If you’re a photographer, it’s natural to think of ways to maximize the use of your camera use to make money.
That's certainly true for professional photographers, who often have some downtime between jobs that needs to be filled with money-making tasks.
The question, of course, is how to do that.
There are flash-in-the-pan approaches that might get you some business, but only for a short time.
There's other options that simply take too much time and effort, especially if you're just in need of some quick, money-making gigs now and again.
That means that the best ways to make money with your camera are those that provide sustainable income for the long-term, but aren't complicated either.
Selling photos on stock photography sites used to be a fairly lucrative means of making some money on the side as a photographer.
When you think about it, it's a pretty good concept...
You take photos, upload them to the stock site of your choice, and your images have potentially hundreds of thousands of eyes looking at them.
There are problems, though.
First, not only are you responsible for taking a great photo, but you're also responsible for delving into the world of keywording. If you have the right ones, you'll get more people looking at your photos. If you have the wrong ones, your photos might go unseen.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, pay for stock photography has plummeted in recent years.
There's a lot of reasons for this, but part of the issue is that there are TONS of stock photography sites with millions of photographers contributing to their pools of photos.
All those contributors mean that stock sites can lowball you because if you don't like what they pay, someone else will.
That's not good news for you...
A better plan than stock photography might be to sell prints.
At least with selling prints, you get to determine the price.
That's a nice little bonus when you're trying to make money with your camera!
What's more, you can decide what printer to work with. That means a couple of things...
First, there are plenty of printers out there, many of which have excellent products with high-quality papers and inks that make your photos look and feel professional.
Second, because there so many printers out there, you have more control over the cost of printing. If you need to keep an eye on your bottom line, you can opt for a less expensive printer with which to work.
But, just like stock photography, there are some major caveats to think about.
The big consideration with selling prints is how you'll advertise them.
You can go small-scale and open an Etsy shop or sell them directly from your website.
You might find local businesses to partner with that would be willing to have a display of your prints in their store for sale.
But the problem with these approaches is all the legwork that you have to do.
It goes back to that old adage of work smarter, not harder, and selling prints is definitely hard work!
Besides, just because you have prints out there for sale doesn't mean anyone will buy them.
The best plan for making money with your camera is to get the best features of stock photography and selling prints.
That method is Shotzy.
Shotzy is an innovative app that brings photographers and clients together in a single platform.
Here's how it works: A business or individual in your area needs a photographer. They go to Shotzy, enter the location and date they need a photographer, and then invite Shotzy photographers to apply for the gig.
If you get the gig, you simply show up, complete the requisite photos, and get paid via Shotzy.
Sounds easy, right?
“Shotzy is innovating and a breath of fresh air. When you consider most photographers struggle with keeping busy and finding new work, these guys are a godsend to photographers from coast to coast!”
- Alex Schult / Founder PhotographyTalk
The beauty of Shotzy is that they do all the legwork for you. You don't have to pound the pavement to find gigs or spend hours and hours marketing yourself - Shotzy takes care of that.
What's more, you don't have to worry about making cents on the dollar, either. You get 80% of the $99/hour rate.
That means Shotzy keeps the other 20%, but when you look at the margins, this is by far the best deal of the three described here.
So, with Shotzy, there's no messing around with uploading and keywording endless photos (for pennies per image) like with stock photography. There's also no need to have prints made or spend hours and hours marketing yourself to get your prints sold.
Instead, Shotzy gives you a good hourly wage to take on-demand photography gigs in your area. No fuss, no muss.
If you ask me, Shotzy is the best way to earn some money with your camera this year!