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You’ve noticed an improvement in your digital photography, and so have others. You bought a nice DSLR camera, some lens and other accessories. You’ve been reading the PhotographyTalk.com library of how-to articles, learning how to use many of the tips and techniques there, and seeing positive results in the thousands of pictures you’ve taken of family members, friends, pets, vacations, portraits, landscapes, wildlife, etc. Digital photography has become a true passion. You might just be ready for the next step, which is to make money with your photos.
Here are 12 rather easy ways to turn your passion into a cash machine.
Although the stock photography market is evolving, with the introduction of microstock photography, there are still opportunities to sell your photos to stock photo companies. The keys to any success are partnering with online photo databases, shooting the most-wanted subject matter and developing keyword tags for your photos. You can learn more in the PhotographyTalk.com article, Digital Photography—There’s Money to Be Made as a Stock Photographer.
Those with Twitter pages are able to include a sidebar filled with URLs and product information to be placed in the background of the page. Shoot a series of pictures and format them for Twitter. Make sure there is room for a sidebar. Then, invite Twitter users to select images from your formatted series for free to use as background art. If they want your photos for other purposes, however, they then must pay a fee.
There are many more magazines and other periodicals being produced and distributed in your local market than just the major newspaper, city magazine or business journal. You may not yet be ready to compete with the professionals that already shoot for those publications. Instead, start with a trip to the supermarket and bookstore/newsstand to research just how many local publications there are. Take a few of them home to continue your research. Note the kind of articles and photos that are printed. If you think you could provide better photos, then send some of your samples to the editor (He or she will think you’re more professional if you include a self-addressed stamped envelope.)
Create a Photography Blog.
Display your photos on a blog and describe how you shot them, under what conditions, etc. Your blog will attract paying ads through Google’s AdSense.
Some of those publications you’ll find at the local supermarket will be for local Realtors and real estate. Some of them will take the pictures they need, and in some markets, there are professionals specializing in this kind of architectural photography. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity for you. Find some photos of homes for sale in those real estate publications that you think you could take better. Show yours to the Realtor.
If you have what you think are excellent photo portfolios of your travels to various popular destinations, then offer them to travel agencies to use as promotional materials to show clients.
Various businesses, such as cafes, furniture stores, salons, spas, etc. may be interested in displaying your pictures as part of their interior design and decorations. Permit them to use your photos for free, but you can attach price tags to sell them to their customers.
Model Apartment Décor
Virtually all property management companies have model apartments; and often they must buy or rent furniture and furnishings for them. Ask for a nominal fee to use your framed photos in exchange for a small sign that states prints are for sale and includes your name and contact information.
Stagers prepare homes to be put on the market by removing the sellers’ personal items and redecorating many of the rooms. Stagers need art and photos to display on the walls. Interior and home designers often provide home staging services.
Used car dealers
Used car dealers need photos of their inventory for use in ads, on Web sites and for other purposes. Again, you may find a used car publication on the rack in the supermarket.
Personal Insurance Inventory
Homeowners and apartment residents are strongly encouraged by insurance companies to take photos and/or video of all their possessions to create a complete record in case of fire, burglary or other disasters. Ask your friends if they’ve made such a record. If they haven’t, then do a few for free. Then, spread the world throughout your neighborhood that you provide this service. You could also approach local insurance agents and offer your service to their policyholders through the agents.
Community Advocacy Groups
There are many groups promoting various community causes that need photos of their activities and/or pictorial evidence of a polluting business, for example.