The worldwide lockdowns took most of us by surprise. We did not expect to be isolated and urged to change our lifestyles and ways of making money. We had plans and dreams to realize in the nearest future that were cut short. However, we can’t deny reality and all we can do is simply adjust to the challenges we have to face. We must adapt and look for new ways to accomplish what we set out to do.

Changing our lifestyles might take just a week or two. What’s even more interesting is that you might later enjoy your new habits. With job opportunities the situation is different. Sometimes it takes a couple of months to find new sources of income. In light of this many professionals wonder – are there any quick ways to make money as a photographer? There definitely are and we share an entire list of them in this article. 

Quick ways to make money with photography

1. Uploading images to stock photography websites

Those images that you shoot on a daily basis or the entire series you’ve shot shouldn’t pile up in your archives. You can make use of these works by uploading them to stock photography platforms like Depositphotos. You can create a portfolio and start making money with stock photography as a freelancer. 

This activity does not require a lot of effort but you get an additional source of income that might pay off quite quickly. All you need to do is become a contributor to a stock photography website and start regularly submitting your images with the right keywords. You’ll get royalties from every sold image or video. Moreover, the more people will download your works, the more money you’ll earn. Thus, your collaboration with stocks might become a quick but also reliable and long-lasting way to make money as a photographer. 

stock photo islandic landscape

2. Sharing your professional experience

If you’ve been working in the field for a while, you definitely have a lot of experience to share with novice photographers. Workshops, tutorials, and lectures can become a part of your photography business and can help you strengthen your expertise as a professional. Among things you can share can be tips on how to shoot, what camera settings to choose, how to develop your personal vision, how to make the most of a boring location, and other topics you consider yourself to be an expert in. 

In general, there are a couple of ways you can bring this idea to life. If you have some spare time, you can organize workshops on different locations. For instance, you can walk your students down the city streets, gardens, or other spots, while explaining the peculiarities of a specific photography genre and helping them grasp all the camera settings. This option to make money as a photographer is a safe one when lockdown restrictions will not be a problem.

Meanwhile, you can share your knowledge online. Workshops held on Zoom or on your personal website can be a quicker way to make money with photography. You just need to devote time to creating a detailed course structure, coming up with an attractive offer for your potential students, and sorting out the basics of running online workshops. 

3. Doing branding photography

You can also make money with photography by taking pictures of products and services. If you have not done any branding photoshoots yet, this shouldn’t be a problem as you can learn more about it as you get your first job opportunities.

Close up of a cafe table with coffee croissant

What you can do now is simply look for clients in your neighborhood. Visit your favorite coffee shop or bakery and ask if they would like you to take some pictures for their social media. Show them your portfolio and offer to draft a contract. This is exactly what a Paris-based photographer Janelle Sweeney did at the beginning of her career and now she has six clients and her own branding photography agency. 

Janelle says that the most important part in branding photography is having confidence. You shouldn’t be afraid to offer your services to people as you both have an interest in this pursuit. You’re looking for an additional source of income, while many clients need professional images for their social media and a website. 

4. Shooting events and occasions

Photography is a chance for people to remember important moments of their lives and you, as a photographer, can definitely take advantage of this. Capturing weddings, birthday parties, proposals, and running thematic photoshoots are quick ways to make money. 

The only obstacle here is that the market is quite crowded and to win over clients you need to come up with truly unconventional ideas or show off an excellent portfolio. We are eager to help you with both by sharing the best photography tips and advice:

— 10 Non-Corny Couple Photoshoot Ideas

— How to Make a Creative Portfolio: Tips, Advice and Inspiration

— Visual Trends Report 2020: Taking the Futuristic Route

Furthermore, if your clients will be happy with your work, they might ask you to shoot their events more often and share your contacts with their friends and colleagues. In photography, word of mouth is sometimes the best marketing channel. 

5. Participating in a photo contest

Submitting your works to photography competitions is the least popular but a good way to make money as a photographer. Whether you’re a street, landscape, or a nature photographer, there are competitions for professionals working in all the different photography genres. There are also smartphone photography contests so if you don’t have expensive gear you can still try your luck. 

Besides, making money is not the only benefit of participating in a photo contest. Most of the competitions offer their winners additional prizes such as camera gear, backpacks, fancy titles, and of course, international exposure which is just an amazing opportunity for every photographer. 

stock photo of starry sky

6. Selling printed copies of your works

Although the whole world went digital in the last couple of months, you can still make money by selling printed copies of your works. You can create a shop on social media, add a separate page to your website for that, or distribute your works to local galleries and venues. People surfing the web or visiting a place might like your photography and purchase a copy to adorn their interiors, or purchase them as a souvenir or a gift. 

If you’ll be selling your works like this for the first time, try to experiment with print formats to find out which ones are in demand. Don’t produce hundreds of copies at the very beginning. Start with a dozen and see how it goes. If you find a way to offer the printed copies of your works to your potential clients at the right time and place, you might find a lucrative source of income with time. 

 7. Creating your own merch

In addition to selling printed copies of your works, you can also start selling custom products with your images. This is a great way to make money with photography but also to promote your personal brand. For instance, you can print your photos on phone and laptop cases, T-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, pillows, and many other things. Again, you can sell them on your Instagram account, on a website, or in venues. Also, you can attend local markets during weekends and sell your works there. 

Don’t forget to include your or Instagram account’s name at the bottom of a product so more people could find out about you and your brand. 

Close up of a cafe table with coffee croissant

Of course, there are many more ways to make money as a photographer but in this article, we share the quickest ones. You’ll spend just a couple of hours or one day becoming a contributor to a stock photography platform, printing your works, or shooting an event and will hopefully get an additional source of income in a matter of days or weeks.