Research has been undertaken that identified photography was in the top 10 of the most favorite things to be when working for a living. Apparently the top 5 were creative vocations and digital photography was among them. So what!…
Many people are satisfied to do photography purely for pleasure. However, if you like photography, why not do it for a living I say and strive to find an income stream that can be derived from something which others would label a hobby.
Some evidence of this has been the surge of photography related forums, sites, galleries – such as Flickr.com – where everyone force their photographic efforts upon us with relentless enthusiasm. Some great, some good and, to be frank, some absolutely terrible efforts. But with most people tiring of the daily 9-5 office life, this is a superb creative outlet.
The rise in sales of digital cameras would indicate everyone is enjoying the benefits of digital photography; low running costs, the ability to take an unlimited number of photographs at almost no cost, and the convenience of being able to self edit and print them yourself. Recent years has also seen an escalation in the number of digital SLR cameras being sold – in particular, the entry level models such as Canon 350D, Nikon D50, and Nikon D80.
Now I’m not saying that you will become the next David Bailey or Man-Ray, but there is a reasonable income to be made in a freelance photography business, and you don’t have to be an outstanding photographer – just reasonably competent and in touch with photography basics. Take note; you must like to get along with people.
Think about these ideas:
Establish your own website and sell prints to customers. There are a number of brokers on the internet who handle all the web design and shopping cart technicalities. Some make quite a nice second income by selling landscape photographs of just about anywhere. The best advice here is to find a niche in something you like, and focus your efforts on that area.
Register with a stock agency site such as www.istock.com or www.dreamstime.com. These in particular are what we call stock agencies. You upload photographs for approval (by the editorial team) and once approved they are available to download by the agencies clients. With only a small portfolio, this type of Freelance photography won’t make you a millionaire overnight, but it will bring in a steady residual income that will increase as your portfolio grows.
Market your photos to the local newspaper. Seriously, if you’ve taken any decent pictures of the local football game, or community event, then see if your paper will be interested in using it. It sounds like a long shot, but local papers (national newspapers) use freelance photographers all the time. They often can’t afford to employ more than one or two permanently employed photographers.
So, good luck in your efforts. Even if you don’t quite get to quit your day job, it is realistic that you can attain a decent second income which will cover the cost of your expensive filters, lenses and accessories that are great fun and necessary with photography.
If you have an inkling or you’ve been thinking about taking the next step to starting a photo business, don’t rush in before you have done some planning. Your first step should be to learn more on starting up a profitable photography business by Ray Baker which will put you on a solid path to establishing a business that’s profitable – do it right the first time!
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