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How to Make Money with Photography – Small Business Trends

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Photography can be so much more than a hobby. Those who enjoy photography often are inclined to turn their passions into successful small businesses. With some talent, a camera and a computer, any photo enthusiast has the potential to make money in the photography industry. There are so many ways to make money with photography, including the following 21 amazing methods.

21 Amazing Ways to Make Money with Photography

Do you dream of becoming a professional photographer? Do you have photography skills, a camera and a computer? Whether you want to specialize in wedding photography, sell poster prints online or edit photos for other photographers, you can make money in the photography industry.

Many photographers become successful small business owners by specializing in one or more photography niche, and sometimes diversifying their efforts is the formula for financial success. Interested in making money with photography? The next question then becomes where to sell photos, because there are many options. You can earn money as a photographer in the following 21 ways:

1. Create a Photography Blog

Photographers can make money by creating photography blogs featuring their work and expert advice. A photography blogger attracts visitors to their website by publishing vivid photographs, often for sale, and other web content including photography tutorials and articles about the craft. When a blog attracts a large enough following, it can be monetized by featuring ads, affiliate marketing links and other influencer marketing efforts.

2. Advertise Wedding Photography Services

You can establish a small business as a wedding photographer. There is always a great demand for shooting weddings, and a wedding photography business is a great way to make money in the industry. Remember, a wedding isn’t an opportunity simply to point and shoot your camera. The bride and groom want to look amazing in their wedding photos, so you’ll want to sharpen your photo editing skills. Taking impressive photos of weddings can then open doors to other event photography opportunities. Many wedding photographers start small and ultimately open their own studios.

3. Sell Stock Photos on Stock Photography Sites

One of the most popular ways to make money with photography is by selling your work on stock photography websites like Shutterstock and iStock. Stock sites allows customers to purchase permission to use a digital image for personal or commercial use. Photographers submit their best images to the stock sites, which then display the images for sale in their digital catalogs. Customers purchase the photography online, download the images, and the stock photography website pays the photographer a portion of the revenue.

4. Join Photo Contests

One way many budding photographers try making money with photography is by joining photo contests that award cash prizes for the best photos. You don’t have to look very hard to find a plethora of available photography contests, many offering substantial prize money. Not only does winning a photo contest mean you’re making money with photography, but it offers valuable exposure that can lead to other paid professional photography opportunities.

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5. Sell Photo Prints

People are always looking for amazing photos and wall art to decorate their homes and workplaces. Some professional photographers make a living by selling photo prints on their own website. You might find a market selling landscape photography or travel photos, while others specialize in framed prints or canvas prints. Some photographers prefer to sell fine art prints, while others might sell more commercial images on their websites. When it comes to art, there’s a market for everything. If you’re just getting your start selling prints and don’t yet have your own website, a variety of online marketplaces like Fine Art America are available for selling high quality photos.

6. Run Photography Classes

Are you a skilled photographer with expertise to share? From finding the right cameras to the best studio lights, you can make money by running photography classes and inspiring aspiring photographers to follow in your footsteps. While you can teach photography to groups of local students, many photographers reach a larger audience by teaching photography online. Whether it’s through video tutorials on YouTube or Instagram or a webinar posted to your own website, you can attract an online audience by creating engaging educational content about photography. Then, you can charge people to access the content or you can monetize the website where the content resides.

7. Make Money with Travel Photography

Do you love traveling? You can make money photographing your experiences. There is always a demand from publishers and advertisers for travel-related photos, especially photos of popular tourist destinations. Freelance travel photographers who can also write well can boost their incomes by writing accompanying written content for travel magazines and travel agencies.

8. Specialize in Portrait Photography

Portraits continue to be in high demand among all demographics as people are always looking for a quality photographs of families, couples, teams and individuals. A photographer who specializes in shooting portraits can open their own studio or travel to take photos at locations like schools and shopping centers. While anyone can take their own portrait, not everyone is a skilled photographer who has honed the craft of portrait making and photo editing.

9. Sell Eye-catching Posters and Merch

Some online photography marketplaces specialize in posters, and photographers can transform their images into eye-catching wall art to sell to the public. Customers seeking engaging poster-sized images can visit sites like Redbubble to purchase prints, and the photographer earns a portion of the sales. Photographers also can make money by selling their photos to print on phone cases, stationery, clothing, blankets and more.

10. Offer Prints on Demand

Photographers with ample portfolios can set up their own online stores and sell prints on demand. Availabile photographs can be showcased in an online gallery, and a customer can order prints of photos they want to own, which can be sold in a variety of sizes and on multiple mediums. There’s no need to print photos in advance and risk the investment in unsold prints, just display your portfolio and wait for customers to order their favorites.

11. Freelance for a Magazine

Print and online publications like magazines and newspapers are always in need of high-quality photos, and you can make money from photography by selling images to them. Some freelance photographers take assignments from specific publications, while others take photos they believe will be of interest and sell them to the highest bidder. Publication niches that feature freelance photography range from travel, outdoors and entertainment to auto sales and real estate listings.

12. Become a Paparazzo

If you live in an area known for its celebrity sightings, you might be able to make money as a paparazzo photographer, shooting images of major names at events and in their everyday lives. Paparazzi jobs in places like Los Angeles and New York City are lucrative, and the photographers are well paid for in-demand shots of celebrities, but it is also a challenging and highly-competative market.

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13. Advertise Maternity Photo Shoots

Some professional photographers make names for themselves by specializing in the maternity photo shoot niche. Expectant mothers and their families love to cherish the memories of a pregnancy, and a photographer who can capture that special glow can build a successful small business with loyal clientele. Photographers can either open their own studio where they conduct maternity photo shoots, or they can take their photos on location in cooperation with their customers.

14. Promote Pet Photography

Do you relate well to animals? Pet photography is a niche growing in popularity as more customers look to preserve precious memories of their furry family members. Photographers who can establish rapport with pets, and who have the reflexes to capture fleeting photographic moments before they pass, can find success promoting pet photography, which can take place at a studio but more often takes place at locations like parks and clients’ homes.

15. Sell Real Estate Photos for Advertisements

Taking photos for real estate advertisements can be a lucrative gig for professional photographers. When listing properties on websites and in trade publications, realtors need high-quality photographs to showcase the homes. The better the photographs, the more interest they will generate. You can make money with photography by sharpening your photographic skills, shooting buildings in ways that bring them to life and showcase their best features.

16. Photograph Small Businesses

Its hard for any modern small business to succeed without a web presence, and nobody wants to visit a website without images. While some companies will choose to purchase stock photographs for their websites, many small businesses seek professional photographers to capture these important images. You can make money from photography by specializing in providing services to small businesses, shooting photos of their properties, teams, products and services.

17. Become an Instagram Influencer

If you frequently post high-quality, engaging photographs to social media platforms like Instagram, and you develop a large following of fans, you can monetize your social media presence as an Instagram influencer. Influencers produce an abundance of social media content, then earn money through activities like selling merchandise, featuring affiliate links and accepting donations.

18. Photograph Events

Weddings aren’t the only events where photographers are in high demand. From company events to homecoming dances to family reunions, people love having photos to remember life’s special moments. Sometimes event photographers are hired to take a portfolio of images for the organization, while others take individual shots and sell photos to attendees. By offering their business cards at events, photographers can take advantage of key networking opportunities and further expand their small businesses.

19. Edit and Retouch Photos

You don’t have to be behind the camera to make money with photography. If you are a photographer who has mastered the craft of editing and retouching photos, you can form a small business performing the service for others. You don’t even need a fancy camera to retouch photos. All you need is a computer and any of an assortment of available photo editing software options.

20. Serve as Photography Assistant

A photographer just starting their career might make money serving as a photography assistant to another professional. An assistant photographer can learn valuable skills at the side of a seasoned photographer while making money helping with the photography equipment list, providing customer service, managing schedules, and other tasks related to the overall photography business.

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21. Specialize in Infant Photography

Do you have a knack with kids? If you can connect with babies from behind the lens, you can earn a decent amount of money working as an infant photographer. Practically every new parent wants to capture the precious few moments when their children are in the infant stage, but special skill is required to take quality photos of babies. A photographer who sharpens those skills and specializes in infant photography can benefit from a high-demand niche that requires a professional with the right demeanor to work with kids.

How much money do photographers make?

How much money do photographers make? A photographer’s income can vary widely depending on the professional’s niche, location and volume of work. According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for photographers is between $30,000 and $40,000 per year, although the top 10% of earners make more than $70,000 each year. Nationwide, the median hourly wage for a photographer is just under $20 an hour, with half of photographers earning more than that wage and the other half making less.

Which type of photography makes the most money?

Photography wages widely vary because there is such a variety of niches in multiple markets, each with varying levels of demand and profitability. A high-fashion commercial photographer, for example, will make far more money than a family portrait studio in a small town. In general, commercial and marketing photographers, including advertising photography and real estate photography, earn more than those who sell photos to individuals, simply because there is a high demand and more money to be spent by big business than by private families.

Image: Depositphotos


AFFILIATE MARKETING

During COVID, Affiliate Marketing Is Emerging As a Cost-effective Channel For Brands

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During COVID, Affiliate Marketing Is Emerging As a Cost-effective Channel For Brands


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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With the outbreak of the pandemic, going for performance-oriented channels has become a prerequisite for stability. Several advertisers are struggling with low marketing budgets and a pressure to drive return on investment (RoI) through limited spends, especially owing to current times. The most common dilemma for companies is to decide where to focus their marketing budgets on, after investing in one’s own in-house paid channels. “Affiliate channels’ often provide desirable solutions, as the performance of such activities can be assessed and paid for. When the budgets are lower, investing on a marketing channel where one gets to pay per lead or pay per transaction, could be the safest bet during the current crisis compared with other marketing channels.


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With the ongoing challenges of customer acquisition and the pressure to get RoIs, the advertisers have tried to come up with the online business approaches in order to depend less on offline means.

Despite the evolution of marketing practices and strategies, amid the big quantum of content available online today, brands are finding it difficult to reach out to their target audiences in an effective manner. Taking the current health crisis into consideration, customers are more concerned about health and safety, thereby influencing their choices with respect to financial services such as in the insurance segment, over the others.

This holds especially true for brands operating in niche segments, such as the banking and financial services sector which offer specialized products and services. Their marketing content, essentially, is about communicating “what’ the brand is offering, “why’ the customer must opt for it and “how’ can the customer acquire the same. It’s not easy to convince people to trust someone to deal with their money and life’s savings.

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Why companies in the BFSI sector must opt for affiliate marketing

FinTech has transformed the BFSI sector drastically. From payments, loan applications to insurance, almost every service in the banking sector is going digital at a rapid pace. Apps, banking services and products are also updated regularly to enhance user experience, and make financial services easier and more convenient for consumers. The digital shift reflects prominently in the adoption of digital payments as well. A 2019 KPMG report showed that non-cash transactions are growing at a CAGR of 12.7 per cent. The number of merchants accepting digital payments has also skyrocketed, growing from around 1.5 million in 2016-17 to 10 million in 2019.

However, due to COVID-19, investor sentiments are at an all-time low and this is likely to cause severe disruptions in the banking industry all over the world. Banks will now have to regroup their departments and teams to chalk out counter-strategies to maintain good assets and earnings.

To tap into the growing digital opportunity, BFSI brands must leverage innovative marketing strategies in order to increase their sales by targeting the right customers. Working on an affiliate marketing strategy could be one of those options which could aid the financial services sector with cost-effective solutions, while driving up traffic. In an affiliate marketing setup, publishers cannot treat the BFSI brands’ products and services like other commodities.

As all of their offerings revolve around money, it is integral for brands to prioritise generating a need for these services among their target audiences. The key to effective brand communication, in the BFSI domain, is transparency in information delivery. To cater to this marketing requisite, opting for affiliate marketing can prove to be highly useful for the BFSI sector. By signing up relevant publishers as affiliates, BFSI advertisers can reach out to their target consumers in a trust-based ecosystem for communicating their key brand messages.

Affiliate with whom and where?

For affiliate marketing programmes, BFSI brands require those publishers who have the required ingenuity for curating relevant information in the right category of the sector. With everything going online from doorstep delivery of daily groceries through just a click, to getting the health checkup or tests done at home, users are now more aware about such needs. The probability that they will go searching online for services and also transact online is very high. It would be an opportune decision to reach out to the target audience in such a manner, as it is likely to generate faster results and direct interaction with a user looking for a service.

Furthermore, countless other possibilities open as affiliate networks facilitate revenue sharing mechanisms between the service provider and a publisher when one’s link gets clicked. Compared to several other digital marketing options which depend on user accessibility and high costs between corporations for using certain platforms, affiliate marketing’s targeted content is more likely to fetch dividends. The post-pandemic growth reality will be a difficult pill to swallow and affiliate marketing solutions can make the changes positive and palatable. This will not only be an economical option, it will also help companies acquire customers who are looking for a particular service, while simultaneously incentivizing the publisher too. Beyond sales and on-boarding of new customers, the average time spent by an Indian working professional or Internet user has increased multifold due to pandemic. This goes to show that people will continue to look for their necessities online across multiple websites and portals. It shall open up opportunities for brands to increase awareness about one’s services across several sectors without the need to remain confined to one’s own market segment. Below are some of the platforms where companies in the financial sector can join affiliates to target more consumers:

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Blogs: Online blogs are one of the most trusted platforms for the BFSI sector. Specialized content publishers who demystify financial services and products such as loans, insurance, credit cards, overdraft protection for consumers, are the most sought-after ones for the BFSI brands in affiliate marketing. They cater to an audience that actively seeks out experts’ advice before making all financial decisions. Bloggers also get an opportunity to drive traffic to specific services offered by different BFSI verticals. Bringing publishers on board who operate in this domain helps the brands drive high-impact marketing campaigns which deliver fast results. Some of the websites that feature such content are Cashoverflow.com and Goodreturns.in.

Business news websites offering guidance on personal finance: Various news portals such as NDTV Profit, CNBC TV-18, etc., feature content that consumers can avail to manage personal finance, insurance policies, etc. These websites are regularly accessed by keen observers on finance and banking, who are one of the primary target audiences for brands in the BFSI sector.

Comparison sites: Comparison sites invite immense traffic of consumers who are interested in getting the right deals in financial services which are most suitable for them from the budget and consumption point of view. Brands dealing with financial services such as personal banking, insurance policies, credit card policies can avail these sites to target potential customers.

Contextual advertising: Contextual advertising is a marketing model where affiliates or publishers can target consumers based on their specific interests. These platforms provide relevant content, targeting a particular set of audience for whom unnecessary features are eliminated based on their past browsing behavior, making it one of the most effective platforms for brands in the BFSI sector. The companies can also get their products featured in specialized content meant to meet specific ends.

E-mail inventories: Brands can supply relevant information to potential and current consumers via newsletters in their email inboxes. Information on latest offers, new updates on products and useful information on services can be relayed to the customers who otherwise find ads, SMS-marketing intrusive and use ad-blockers on their devices. BFSI companies can tie up with content affiliate sites that send out value-based articles and ideas with other exciting information about the brands, promoting more subscriptions and sales.

A win-win for both: the brands and the affiliates

By making the most of the growing digital presence of consumers, affiliate partnerships can prove to be one of the most cost-effective ways for banks and financial institutions to convert consumers online. The fast and approved online transactions help the BFSI brands acquire more control over their businesses than the other conventional marketing practices. Moreover, in creating affiliate marketing campaigns for the brands in the BFSI sector, the publishers also have more opportunities to earn big commissions compared to the other e-commerce campaigns. Brands operating in the BFSI sectors generate more sales and earn more profits on their products and services as compared to the non-financial brands. For every customer gained, the publisher gets an opportunity to earn a couple of times more commission on it than it can from, say, when a consumer buys a stationery product. Big banks pay commission basis the pay-per-scale model. Most financial institutions offer commission of this type to bloggers.

And last but not least, players in the BFSI sectors can get a fair chance to incorporate multiple marketing tactics and test innovative strategies in an affiliate marketing programme without the slightest worry, since rewards are paid only on a performance basis which is well accounted for.

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