For reasons that are beyond my comprehension, a lot of people still turn to photography as a way to put food on the table. I've seen folks from different walks of life leaving behind various careers to become professional photographers and earn a living by doing what they love. While all that sounds romantic and adventurous, it's a major gamble, and one that's being taken in stormy waters.
The photography industry is oversaturated with people buying new cameras and trying to make it into the business. The demand however is a lot smaller. You need to plan a step like this very carefully before you act.
Nevertheless, there is still money to be made taking pictures. Here are our 7 favorite ways of doing it.
7. Night life photography
One of the quickest ways to start earning money with your new camera is to hit the clubs and start snapping pictures of party people. Night life photography is a relatively new genre, but a popular one nonetheless. You basically get hired by an agency or a company to visit several venues per night and take pictures of people having a good time. You then upload them to Facebook or the company's webpage and you're done. You might not make a fortune out of it, but it's not a bad starting point.
6. Little league photography
If you love sports and photography, this could be a first step towards a successful career. Get in touch with a local little league soccer them and become their photographer. Parents love photos of their children playing sports, and you'll have quite a few families tipping in. It's a great way to develop your skills and make some cash for future investments.
5. Portrait photography
This is one of the most sought after branches in the industry. A lot of photographers love to shoot portraits and most of them wouldn't mind making a living from it. The competition is fierce no matter where you live, but if you build the right kind of clientele, you'll always be working and making money. It takes great photography skills and excellent communication skills to get to that level.
Stock has been a long time favorite way of making a living for many photographers. It's also one of the few that will earn you money constantly over many years, even after you stop shooting. The downside to stock photography is that you have to shoot a lot and we're talking several photo shoots per day, at least five days a week. But if you really love what you're doing, it won't seem like working at all.
3. Fine art photography
The world of fine art photography is a very distinct one and also one that's very hard to enter. You basically have to be an artist before becoming a photographer and photography is basically your medium of choice. You have to enter the art world, meet with curators, go to various events, get seen and last but not least, produce interesting and often abstract work. If you do manage to pull it off however, you're looking at five figure prices for individual prints.
2. Wedding photography
No matter how good or bad the times may be, people are still going to get married and they're still going to need a photographer to document their special day. Wedding photography is perhaps the strongest branch in the industry, in most demand and with the most photographers. It's going to take a solid business model and good skills to say the least to become a good wedding photographer, but depending on where you live, it could turn into a long, successful career.
Our favorite way of making money with a camera is great because it's easy, accessible and potentially very profitable. KeepSnap is a new platform that allows photographers of all levels to make money doing what they love and it's very easy. Besides a DSLR and some basic photography skills, all you need to do is go to a crowded place, like a park or the beach and find some happy people. That shouldn't be too hard. Strike up a conversation and snap a few good looking photos of them. Leave politely, but not before you give them your promo card with a link to your gallery. Once they check out your gallery and see their photos, they have the option of buying them and that's how you make your profit. The better the photos you take, the more likely you'll make money. It's simple and accessible and just like with any other type of photography, success is determined by hard work and quality.