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Make Money With Photography As A Beginner

make-money-with-photography-as-a-beginner

Is it possible to make money with photography as a beginner?  It most definitely is. In this blog post, I’m going to give you some great ideas about how you can earn cash with photography, even if you’re just starting out. 

Make Money With Photography As A Beginner

So you’re just starting out with photography and you’re wondering if you can earn money with it, even though you don’t feel you have the skills yet? Fear not. There are many ways you can make money with photography as a beginner and we’re going to look at 5 of them right here.

1. Stock Photography

make money with photography as a beginner - three cows looking into a camera that is down at ground level

No, I’m not talking about taking photos of cows?! Stock photography is photos that people or businesses will purchase to use in their blogs, on their websites, in advertisements, etc. 

Stock photography is good because you don’t have to be a professional in the same way as say a Wedding/Portrait photographer. In those instances, people are paying you big money to get great photos of moments that may never be repeated.  That’s a lot of pressure and you need to know what you’re doing behind the camera.

make money with photography as a beginner - male hand holding up a smartphone taking a photo of a building and palm trees.

You can also do this anywhere, anytime as it can be done with your smartphone. You can take photos of things around your house; people in your neighborhood (you need them to sign a release form); animals; landscapes; buildings; anything at all. 

If you follow the trends and photograph things that people are searching for, you can earn good money from this.  Some examples of Stock Photography sites are Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and iStock.  Make sure you read their guidelines, terms of service, and uploading requirements before you sign up.

2. Start A Blog

You could have a blog just like the one you’re reading now. Blogging is a great way to both get your photography out there and also to earn money.  It is also exciting because there are so many angles you can approach this from. 

make money with photography as a beginner - man setting up a camera and tripod on snow

You can blog about your every day; where you’re going, what you’re shooting etc.

photography equipment laid out on a black table

Perhaps you write about photography equipment and review products.

four photographers walking carrying camera gear with a lake in the background

You could also write about photography courses or trips. It’s limited only by your imagination.

This is not a get-rich-quick idea, however.  It takes time. Generally, around 6 months of regular blogging is what it takes to see any organic traction on your blog.  You can see results quicker by throwing a little money at it but if you don’t have money, just be aware it will take some time. 

Once Google recognizes your blog as a genuine site where photographers can get good information, and not just another spam site out to make a quick buck; it will start to show you in search results and you’ll get more visitors to your blog.  You can then monetize your site by placing ads on it with Google Adsense. This is a fantastic way to get money rolling in on auto-pilot 24-7. 

You can start a blog anywhere really but some great blogging sites are:

  • WordPress – (you can choose between wordpress.org and wordpress.com. I suggest using wordpress.org. This is a paid version but you get far more options. Most importantly, you can put as many ads on the blog as you like and use any advertising platform. With wordpress.com, you cannot do this. Check out this info graphic from wpbeginner.com for more information).
  • Wix.
  • Blogger

And this leads me to the next way to make money with photography as a beginner…….start a YouTube channel.

3. Start A YouTube Channel

In the same way, you can create a blog to get your photography out there, you can also start a YouTube channel. Again, this is limited only by your imagination. 

Photography is a very saturated niche on YouTube but if you do some research you can find a new angle or approach that can get you some viewers.

It takes time to learn the tricks to rank your videos in search results on YouTube but if you can do this; just like your blog, your YouTube channel can start to get organic views.  You can then monetize it by allowing Google Adsense to display ads during your videos. 

There are requirements you have to meet before you can do this, however.  You need:

a). to have 1,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel.
b). your videos must have generated 4,000 Watch Time hours over the last 12 months.
c). you need to comply with all YouTube’s policies and guidelines and…
d). you must have an AdSense account set up

Once that is all done, you can start to monetize. 

Google Adsense is not a gold mine?! Unless you are getting a ridiculous amount of views, you’re not going to make a fortune with this but it does add up to be a good deal of money for doing something you would’ve done anyway. 

make money with photography as a beginner - image of a mine with lights hanging from the ceiling and a railroad track going off into the distance

There are loads of great videos about how to set up a channel on YouTube. Just search on YouTube for “how to set up a youtube channel” and you’ll get all the help you need.  

5. Affiliate Marketing

If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, it’s where you sign up with a company as a kind of digital sales rep.  When you sign up, you are given a unique code that automatically goes into links to products that you put on your website or blog.  When customers click on these links and buy something, you are credited with a small commission for the sale. 

This goes back to my suggestion to blog about photography equipment. You are using great photography gear every single day that you love and couldn’t live without. Why not write about it, sign up as an affiliate with the companies that make this awesome gear, and get paid commissions for sales from readers of your blog? 

make money with photography as a beginner - camera equipment and hiking gear laid out on a grey blanket
This photography equipment can earn you money in more ways than you might think…..

This is why affiliate marketing is so great: 

  1. You only promote products you use and love.
  2. Your readers love your blog and trust you.
  3. You are passionate about the products you review, which excites them about it too.
  4. They are more likely to buy from you because they know and trust you like a friend. 

This is another great way to get money coming in on autopilot.  Yes, you have to do the research and the work to create the blog and insert your affiliate links, but once that’s done; that blog sits there online with the potential to earn you money. 

5. Make Products With Your Photos

You are taking photos all the time right?  So why not make something of them besides just a print or a digital image? 

There is no limit to what you can do with your photos now.  You can print them onto t-shirts, mugs, hats, bags, keyrings, miniskirts……….whatever you like?!  And, you don’t have to do this yourself. 

There are loads of print-on-demand sites that can print and ship the products for you so all you have to do is take the photos, upload them, and they’ll do the rest. 

My favorite site and the one I am earning the most money from is Redbubble.  You might also try Zazzle or Printful

If you are more of a hands-on type person and want to make products yourself, check out Pinterest for some great ideas. You will find no shortage of amazing ways to use your photos on Pinterest.  Do a search for “photo gift ideas” and you’ll be amazed at the results that come up!

Once you have some products you are happy with, you can sell them at local craft markets (which is what I used to do); set up an Etsy store; sell on eBay; set up your own website, and sell from there………there are just loads of options.

That’s How You Make Money With Photography As A Beginner

Those are just 5 ways you can make money with photography as a beginner. I tried to choose things that you can get started with even if you don’t feel that you are very good at photography yet.

You might try some further reading about making money with photography here on my blog:

Thank you for reading this post today. Please leave a comment before you go.

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