4 Ways To Turn Photography Into A Business

Photography is regarded as one of the most popular, yet expensive hobby to pursue. Even entry level DSLR cameras can cost several hundreds of dollars each. But the proliferation of smartphones in the past decade has made photography accessible to the average customer. According to a study published by InfoTrends, nearly 1.2 trillion photographs were captured in 2017 - that’s nearly 160 photos for every person inhabiting the planet.


The affordability of photography has also meant a general increase in supply. If you are an amateur photographer however, the emerging internet landscape has also opened up a slew of new opportunities to turn your hobby into a business. Here are a few tips on how to go about it.


Sell photos online

This is one of the most profitable ways to turn photography into a business. While professional photographers seek licensing fee through services like ShutterStock, amateur photographs may make use of tools like Lobster Media to sell their photographs for a fee. Lobster has over 7 million user generated photos from social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Flickr available for licensing today and provides amateurs photographers with a risk free way to sell their photos to businesses looking for them.


On-demand photography

With over 2 million pieces of content being created every single day online, there is a steady demand for high quality visuals to go with these articles. In addition to the demand you have online, there is also demand from universities and research agencies for photos and videos related to their topic of interest. On-demand photography is the capture of photos as requested by a client. For instance, a research group in the US studying elections in a country like Bangladesh may be willing to pay a local photographer to capture photos for their study. If you are a Bangladeshi photographer, you may offer your services as a freelancer to these clients.


Set up A Blog & Social Media Accounts

Photography does not have to necessarily be sold or licensed in order to make money. Depending on the kind of visuals you capture, they can also help you establish your brand and set you up for future work opportunities. One of the easiest ways to go about it is to start your own blog where you showcase your best captures. In addition to this, you may also set up an Instagram account to build a social following. There are over one billion monthly active users on Instagram and this gives you a great platform to be seen and to build reputation.


Photos To Merchandise

Personalized t-shirts, caps and mugs are a booming business. Websites like Zazzle, Etsy and even Amazon let freelance business owners sell products they created online. Capturing high quality visuals for printing on tshirts or mugs is in high demand and can be pretty lucrative. There are a few pointers to note here. Firstly, turning your photos into tshirts or mugs can be capital intensive.


This is especially true if you want to scale your business up and reach customers over websites like Amazon. Also, given the sheer number of tools available to print custom tshirts, you may feel intense competition in this space. It is hence important to differentiate yourself and focus on a unique niche. For instance, you may focus on the student community and specialize in capturing university photographs for their college merchandise.


Are you a photographer who has successfully established a business out of your passion? Share your thoughts in the comments.

About the author

Trott advises small businesses on their market go-to strategy. He may be reached at [email protected]


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