Photography is your hobby. You like taking photos of birds, nature, people, animals, buildings, etc. using your smartphone or DSLR camera. But now the big question is how do you make money from your photos? How do you convert that hobby into a source of income?
Monetizing your photography
Whether you are doing photography as a hobby or as a way of capturing memories, we are going to break down how to monetize your photography.
The key to success in your career as a photographer is creativity and imagination. The bestselling and most beautiful photos are born out of the creativity and imagination of the photographer.
- Selling photos to the press or magazines
As traditional media revenue decreases, media houses are cutting labor and depending on freelance photographers for photos and videos. If you have access to media events, you can take photos and videos and then sell them to media houses.
In order for your photos to sell to the media, you need to have a wide network of journalists. If you don’t have one, then start building your network by joining journalists and media editors’ social media groups.
- License Photos on Getty Images
You can upload your photo to Getty Image and get paid for each license bought to use your photo. To join the Getty image royalty program, download Contributor by Getty images from App Store or Google Play, upload 6 samples of your photos, they will be reviewed and Getty Image will notify you if you have been accepted to join their program. If you have not been accepted by Getty Images then give Shutterstock a try.
Getty Images pays a royalty fee of between 15% and 45 % for each photo license (visit Gettyimages to learn more about card rates).
Some of the photos that Getty Images is looking for are those that illustrate diversity, workplace, travel, family, etc.
- Sell Photo book on Amazon KDP
If you have a number of photos that you have taken on a specific niche, then you can create a photo book and sell it on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
You will first be required to set up an account with KDP which is a simple process. Thereafter, upload your final photo book in PDF format to KDP and it will be available on Amazon.com for sell.
As easy as the process may seem to be, it is not easy to generate money by selling photo books on Amazon if your photos are not compelling. You will also be required to do some serious marketing if this is your first book and you have not built an audience in your niche.
- Participate in Photo Contests
Participating in photography contests or competition is the best way to build an audience. If you are serious about photography you need to join photo competitions because you will get free exposure and build your network.
Another very important reason why you should participate in big photo contests like National Geographic Photo Contests is that you can win bigger prizes that will help you invest in your career or get free photo trips.
- Events Photography
Successful events take time and money to organize but all that does not matter if they are no photos to keep memories alive.
Although people will tell you that you do not have to be a professional photographer to take photos at events, every event host will always want a professional photographer. Therefore you should strive to be one.
You can start by taking photographs of small events like Baby showers, birthday parties, family anniversaries, family portraits, etc. as you build your portfolio. With time you will start being defined as a professional photographer which means you will start charging more for photo shoots.
Finally, every photographer must make sure that they are on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and have a blog. A blog is the best way to share your portfolio beyond your friends and family. Photos shared on a blog travel faster to people’s homes and offices which makes your brand grow faster.
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