Cameras are everywhere these days, aren’t they? What used to be a luxury accessory is now so common place that there are entire social media platforms based on sharing pictures.
With the popularity of sites like Instagram and Snapchat and the ease of access to cameras, it’s easy to see why people who take a good selfie think they are now a skilled photographer and can use those photography skills to make money online.
But let’s be honest just because you can take a good selfie doesn’t mean you’re a photographer. It might not always seem like it when you look at gossip magazines but photography is an art form and one that many people study for years to master.
That doesn’t mean you have to be a photography student to make money online using photography though, there’s a lot of natural skill and passion involved too. But you do need an understanding of photography and the right equipment for the job.
So, if you have the skills and knowledge, how can you use your photography skills to make money online?
The world wide web is full of freelancing opportunities for photographers, sites like Gumtree and Craigslist are great places to start searching for people looking for a photographer. You might have to do some traveling but there’s plenty of people out there who a need a photographer and these sites are great for finding valuable networking opportunities as well.
While freelancing sites are useful for photographers many people will already have the photographs they want to use, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way for you to use your photography skills to make money. Photography is more than just taking the picture, it’s also all about the after work and editing.
Any professional photographer should know how to use photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro (to name just a few) and there are many people out there who will gladly pay for your editing services.
Freelancing sites like Peopleperhour, Elance, Toptal and Upwork are full of people looking for professional photo editing services. They might want you to simply remove the background on a few product pictures or might want the brightness and saturation altering or they could have a more complex objective in mind.
But by knowing how to edit photographs to a high standard you’ll be able to make a lot of money online.
License Your Photographs
If you take a great photograph it’s only natural that someone who sees it will want to use it right? So why not let them, but of course you don’t have to let them use it for free. Most photo hosting sites will have an option for you to license your photographs and set a price for use.
Your photographs will likely have to be checked first before you can license them but this is usually a simple straightforward process. And if you’ve got your own website (and I’d recommend any photographer serious about making money online as one) you can license them directly on your site and let people contact you if they want to use them.
Create Stock Photography
Let’s be honest outside of school PowerPoint presentations no one is really going to use clip art, are they? For everyone else, there are the more professional looking stock photographs. These photographs can be used on all kinds of articles and if they’re high-quality you could make a lot of money.
So how do you create and license stock photography? If you have your own site you can license it all on there but another great way to create and sell stock photography is to submit photography on stock photo websites.
Every time someone buys your photograph you’ll earn a commission, this will vary from site to site and the popularity of the photograph. If you have a large portfolio of photographs then you could make a lot of money online by selling your stock photography. Some popular stock photography sites to get started with are iStock, Big Stock and Shutter Stock.
The application process for each site will be slightly different and once again your photographs may need to be checked first. But once they’re uploaded you could make a lot of money using your photography skills online by creating and then licensing stock photography.
Now for something a little more fun! Photography competitions are held by lots of websites from small indie magazines to national newspapers like the Telegraph. While you’ll face some tough competition from other photographers even placing well could get you some money and it will be sure to boost your profile.
So even if you don’t win people might see your name and search you out, so if you ever find a photography competition looking for entrants why not give it a go?