Snap for Cash: 8 Ways You Can Make Money Online With Photography

By on April 10, 2014

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A high quality camera, a little luck, and some ingenuity could lead you from dabbling in a hobby to making instant fast cash selling photographs online. Investing just a little bit of your time, say four hours a week, could have you snapping for cash in no time!

Check out these eight ways you can make money online with photography and get paid today!

 Selling products online. You have heard the saying presentation is everything. This theory certainly applies to the art of taking a product and making it look its best in an effort to sell more online. Products sell much better when they are presented in a great way and the ability to create clean, crisp images is the secret to profitability. Once you have mastered the art of taking photographs, applying skills and techniques to produce quality images, and grasped the use of editing software, you are on your way to capitalizing on your newfound talent. By setting up a website, offering to take professional photographs of consumer products and goods, you can turn a simple service into making some pretty good money.

Graphic design. The need for good graphic design is on the rise, as it is a much sought after talent that demands skills and techniques that the average small business owner just doesn’t posses. Companies rely on branding efforts to make their products more recognizable and that starts with a great graphic designer who can take and utilize high quality photographs.

Selling prints. Showcase your talent and images for commercial and residential purposes. If you have a great eye for landscapes, architecture, or abstract art, your images could wind up selling online for hundreds of dollars. Land a contract with a business that has affection for your work and your photos could end up gracing the walls of office complexes or hotels. Check out Fotomoto.com. Fotomoto is a print-on-demand, e-commerce widget that integrates seamlessly into your existing website. Just add the Fotomoto code to your site, sit back, and start making money. 

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Selling photographs to news websites and blogs. With over 200 million blogs in the universe, there’s a huge market for selling photographs online. Where do bloggers get their images? In the early days, bloggers used their own images, and then with the ease of stock photography sites such as Getty Images, bloggers turned their sites to paying fees for quality, professional images. Many different companies have developed ways for photographers to sell their work online through their own website, and many of these options allow for the sale of both digital (downloadable) files as well as prints. As a photographer online looking to make more sales, you could use sites such as SmugMug where you can customize a website to host your photos. Services such as these allow for prints to be fulfilled and shipped directly to your customers. Photo Shelter is another option that allows you to choose from one of their customizable templates. You will upload your photos to the site and visitors will be able to buy digital photos or prints. You can choose to have orders fulfilled by their lab, or you can fulfill orders yourself. Plans range from $9.99 per month to $49.99 per month.

Photo editing. Technology has truly advanced the evolution of photography. Since digital photography became so popular, computers have made it possible for anyone to process photographs efficiently and for a lower cost than it was in past years. Taking pictures with the use of a digital camera or an SLR camera will give you amazing high quality photos. With the utilization of photo editor software, you can improve the pictures and make changes so that the result will be in accordance to your needs. If you can perfect photo editing like removing imperfections to softening wrinkles and eliminating blemishes, you can increase the value of your photographs. 

Wedding photography. Back in the day of dark rooms and developing film, breaking into the wedding photography industry was a tough road for any aspiring artist. These days, with just a little bit of luck and skill, the pathway has opened for those wishing to snap for cash. Consider taking a basic or advanced photography class and shadow several professional wedding photographers. You will pick up some good tricks and potentially they might unload a lead to you if the bride’s budget is lower than their threshold. Become part of the online forums, create a website with a portfolio and a blog. Leave comments on other’s sites and link back to your site. Most importantly, be honest and upfront with your bride by letting her know your level of experience and that your fee is based on that experience. Tip: Get your feet wet by photographing couple’s engagement pictures, which is a less stressful experience for all.

Portrait photography. Portrait photography can be a great way to earn some dough and work with some great business owners and online marketers. With a growing online presence for social media, people need professional profile files for their LinkedIn accounts and their websites. Long gone are the days where gray backdrops make the grade. People are looking for exciting photographs that represent them and their brand and that often requires some creativity and inspiration. The great thing about portrait photography is that the set will be ever changing. One day you could be shooting an inspiring songwriter musician backstage at a show to shooting a subject for a newspaper or magazine. Many aspiring photographers have gotten their start offering their services pro bono to newspapers and magazines in return for exposure. Get in touch with local newspapers and magazines and start developing relationships with editors, which will lead to amazing and paying gigs.

Greeting cards. Turn your photographs into works of art when you showcase them in superior quality greeting cards. Getting a great shot allows you to print and sell it multiple times. Sometimes it can be hard to sell large prints and so selling a stack of greeting cards with a small ticket price entices customers to buy your work. Wrap them up in great packaging with trendy bows and color schemes that will make great gifts people can buy online. Invest in a good quality photo printer, you can download a greeting card template and print them at home on some nice stock paper. If you are able to find a wholesaler that will print them for cheap, this is indeed another option. Weigh the cost of paper and ink to that of wholesale printing (plus your time and effort for home printing) and go the route that will produce the highest profit. At first, you might want to DIY until you can get enough money to buy in bulk discount from a wholesaler.

There are great opportunities to sell photographs online. Put into practice all eight of these tips or just focus on a few. Simply snapping the right image could potentially be just the goldmine you’ve been searching for!

 

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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.