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Passive Income for Photographers

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Passive income is income that requires little to no effort to earn and maintain. It is called progressive passive income when the earner expends little effort to grow the income. Examples of passive income include rental income and any business activities in which the earner does not materially participate.


Wake Up To Passive Income

Passive income is the way to earn in 2020. A lot of people are searching for ways to earn money that still give them the time freedom to do other things they enjoy more than working. Passive income for photographers is possible too.

Stop giving your time away.

The days of trudging off to work in the early morning to devote 10 or 12 hours of your time to someone else’s financial stability are long gone.

If you are constantly feeling like your time is not your own and you never have enough of it to do the things that are most important to you, then this is your wake-up call!

Your time is the most valuable thing that you have – why waste it working for someone else?

Common Passive Income Misconceptions

The term passive income is a little bit deceptive. The word passive implies that you don’t have to do anything for the money to come flooding in. This seems to be what the majority of people think when they first hear the term “passive income.”

image depicting passive income with a businessman relaxing on a chair next to a pile of money
Passive income is not as “passive” as you might think

I am here to tell you that even though it is called “passive” income, you will have to do some work in the initial stages. Think of it as doing the work once and being paid for it over and over again.

The other misconception about passive income is that it is only for “young people.” That couldn’t be further from the truth.

You don’t have to be in your late teens to early 20’s, gorgeously-tanned, with large breasts or six-pack abs and 1 million Instagram followers (though that would help!). You can earn a passive income at any age, and with a much smaller social following.

Where Do You Start?

If you had no idea what passive income was before you started reading this, then you probably have no idea where to start. You will be wondering what you need to start making your photography pay on a regular basis.

Are Your Photos Good Enough to Earn A Passive Income?

Of course, I can’t answer this question without first seeing them. However I can assure you – if you have people commenting on how much they like your images, they are good enough.

Remember that photography is an art form and art is specific to the individual. By this, I mean that how I take a photo will be different to how you take one.

In addition to this, your images will appeal to one person and not the next. Because of this, you will attract the people who like your shots and you can build a following from them.

The most important advice I can give you is BE YOURSELF. There is no one like you on this planet. Embrace who you are and let your photography speak from your true self. There will be those that love you and those that don’t and that is ok. The latter are the ones you don’t need.

Do You Need a Huge Social Following?

No, you do not. Of course, it would help if you are both skilled in social media, and have a tribe of people who love your photos and wait with bated breath to see what you will do next. However, you can be successful without this.

If you have some money to get you started, you can advertise on social media. This way you can target your product to just the right people at the right time.

Do You Need A Website?

man sitting at a laptop earning passive income

Here again, I am going to say no. I realise that most people will say to you “oh, you must have a website to succeed in online business today!” Not true.

Social media has more merit than it used to. Potential customers will still respect you without a website. They can also get to know you much better through social media because it’s easier for them to interact with you.

Do You Need Physical Products?

Again, no. This is a digital age and you can certainly earn passive income from digital products. Your photos are all you need.

There are many online printing services that will take your images, print them onto physical products and on-sell them to your customers. These services of course take a percentage of your earnings. However when you consider the cost of getting set up to do your own printing, and the time it would take to print and ship everything yourself – it’s a small price to pay.

Some online printing services I use or recommend:

Ways To Earn Passive Income For Photographers

In addition to the online printing services listed above, this is a shortlist of ways that you can earn passive income from your photos.

  • Stock Photography – people will pay you for those random shots you took down at the beach. You can also set up product shots in your home and sell those on stock photography websites. Your imagination is the catalyst for stock photos. Sites such as Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and iStock are good places to start.
  • Become an Affiliate – you use photography products every day. Why not promote the ones you love and get paid for it? Being an affiliate for a company can be a great passive income. The company provides you with special links which you place on social media, or in the comments of YouTube videos for example. If someone buys through your link then you receive a commission. Simple. Read my Make Money With Photogaphy blog for more information about affiliate marketing.
  • Monetize Your Photography Skills – no matter where you are with your photography skills, there is always someone not as far along in the journey as you. You can help them learn. Why not create a short video course? It could be a Landscape Photography course, or How To Photograph Flowers, whatever it is you’re good at. Put together a short course about it and sell it online.
  • Sell Digital Prints – the best thing about digital prints is that you just upload them once and they could sell multiple times. You can even package photos together into screen saver packs for computers, or wallpaper for phones. This is a great thing to sell to your fans on social media because they already love your images.

Get Earning!

You’ve been here for a while now reading this post about passive income for photographers. I suggest you go and get started earning your passive income!

Don’t jump in on everything I’ve suggested at once! It’s better to start with one thing and get really good at it. If you throw your energy into a lot of different income streams right away, you will not do well at any of them.

Become a master of one and then move on to another.

Good luck and thanks for reading this post. Please share it using the social media buttons below.

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