10 Ways To Make Extra Money With Your Photography

Even wondered how to create passive photography income?

As wonderful as earning a creative living and being your own boss is, the life as a professional or semi-pro photographer can be tough sometimes. Even when you’re doing everything right, you’re still apt to suffer some slow times. Without steady, guaranteed revenue to count on, even the best of the best can find themselves strapped for cash every now and then.
But, if you’re like many other creative souls, you aren’t doing this just for the money. You’re doing it because you can’t not do it. For you, this is more than a desire, it’s who you are. Making a living from ‘passionate pursuits’ can sometimes be difficult, but there’s hope. And that hope comes in the form of multiple streams of income.
The former financial advisor in me urges you to think of these strategies as you would a diversified investment portfolio. Because you’ve expounded upon your offerings, you’ve always got something going.
This sort of a multifold model provides a vast landscape of possibility. 

Combining your current income with these secondary sources will help you reach above and beyond the ‘time for money’ model and find new ways to pad your pockets.
Here are 10 ways to create passive earnings that allow you to do what you love as you have some supplemental cash coming in the back door.

1. Evergreen Products

Some of the most popular sources of supplemental income are known as ‘evergreen products’. These digital offerings are ever-present, enduring sources of income that are readily available for purchase online, 24/7.
The best part is, this sort of offering can be sold over and over again, requiring little or no additional time or money investment from you.

Some examples:
  • Workshops
  • Courses
  • Digital guides


2. Selling Prints

From beginner to expert, lots of smart photographers augment their income by selling prints of their own, original work, both online and in person.

Some examples:
  • Sell one of a kind prints to increase interest (and price)
  • Sell reproduction prints to allow more people to get their hands on your work
  • Sell limited edition prints to create interest and keep the pieces valuable


3. Selling Tangible Items

Beyond offering prints, there are other ways to get your work into the hands of customers. Selling tangible goods allows you to turn your work into physical products and sell them to your fans.

Some examples:
  • T-shirts and other printable apparel
  • Printed collateral (postcards, greeting cards, etc.)
  • Jewelry and other wearable art


4. Create Irresistible Packages

Developing fun and creative package ideas for your sessions is a great way to establish a relationship-based clientele that keeps coming back for more. This is especially true if you can create a range of price and quantity options that serve both those looking for just a few photos, and those looking for an entire session.

Some examples:
  • Holiday sessions
  • Milestone events shoots
  • Mini sessions


5. Collect Royalties

Unique and exquisite imagery is always in demand by professional businesses. Many of them don’t have the time or resources to create their own photos, but like to use them in their advertising or other promotional or displays. They’re willing to pay a professional like yourself to create this sort of eye-catching, emotion evoking imagery. Royalties are the commissions you collect for selling the rights to the work you have created for these companies.

Here’s who’s on the hunt for this sort of arrangement:
  • Editors
  • Bloggers
  • Designers


6. Offer Additional Services (Upsells)

As a professional, you’re so much more than a shutterbug. You not only harbor an enviable talent with a discerning eye for subject matter, you also have an artistic bent when it comes to editing your work. Your individualized, creative editing prowess and flair for digital artistry is one of the things that sets you apart from all the other photographers out there. And there’s huge value in that. You can monetize your skills by adding extra products and services that will help enhance the client experience.

  • Slideshows
  • Unique Finishes
  • Offering more photos in the final package


7. Sell Stock Images

Stock photos are pre-shot, non-session images featuring a variety of subject matter that are licensed for sale on online websites. In lieu of hiring a photographer for individual images, companies will sometimes opt for the more cost effective option of royalty-free photos available on stock image sites.

Places to start:


8. Become an Affiliate

An e-commerce affiliate is described as one who promotes other people’s goods or services in exchange for a commission. It can be pretty easy to earn some passive income as an affiliate if you’re signed up with the right companies.

Places to start:


9. Sell Actions

Photography actions are a series of digital editing steps that help you achieve a unique finishes for your work. They’re truly are an editorial blessing, as they help bring your creative vision to fruition. Adobe offers a ‘memory’ feature so you can replicate a particular finish time and again. Automating the process will help lessen the time spent editing and release you from the tedium of manually going through the steps again and again for each image. Read more about actions and how to use them, here.

Examples of a couple ladies KILLING it with action sales:


10. Go On Assignment

As a professional, you’ve got a knack for capturing beauty, and that doesn’t go unnoticed. As a commissioned freelancer, clients hire you to take images of a subject of their choosing, usually giving you creative reign to deliver a result they’ll love. They’ve likely chosen you based on the work they’ve seen you do, so just go out there and do your thing. Freelance work is nice because it gets you some extra practice behind the lens and encourages you to stretch your creative muscles.
To learn more about all of these options and how to go about them (including pricing, contract suggestions, and more) grab a copy of Peripheral Vision. It’ll walk you through everything.

So… Which of these methods are you going to try first?



Melissa Bolton

Brand Therapist™ + Copywriter at Melissa Bolton
Melissa is a Brand Therapist®providing neurobranding and conversion copywriting services to solopreneurs and micro-business owners looking to truly connect with their right people. Leaning on proven psychology principles, she helps clients create a brand presence that's not only explicitly unique, but highly memorable. She offers 25 years of extensive sales and marketing experience through her proprietary brand therapy methodologies. You can learn more about her and how she can help you grown your own brand, right here: MelissaBolton.com

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