If we can capture beautiful images and know how to use well, very well our camera and car, maybe it’s time to begin to earn something. We can sell the shots through stock agencies, propose prints, photographs commissioned, make ourselves available for weddings and portraits or still monetize our experience and hold courses and workshops: There have never been so many ways to build on our photography skills!
Of course, the market is saturated and more difficult than ever. It is therefore important to be realistic about how to start the business, on which roads you can explore and what is plausible for growth and must take into account the importance of websites for photographers. We also need to get an idea of what we will have to spend, to begin with, and what we can expect to earn on an investment.
Let’s not fool ourselves: we will not become millionaires overnight … nor will we discover professionals within a night, but perhaps we will be able to earn enough to finance new equipment and, after making our bones, also to consider the idea of undertaking a new career, perhaps as a freelance or in your spare time. Even if changing jobs is not our dream,
How to make extra money with our camera?
One of the fastest-growing sectors is travel, workshops and photo courses. There are more and more people who want to learn how to make better images, discover new places and techniques and be guided by expert people. Although with some overlap, we can distinguish two main areas.
The first is that of the photographic tours: we act as a guide, give some advice on the best points of view and on the shooting modes, we suggest the best times and so on. Obviously, everything works better if the travel destination is attractive and offers enough subjects to keep a group busy for several days. Such destinations are popular for groups, require organizational effort and we must be prepared to handle the needs of a dozen or more people. It is necessary to think about hospitality, catering and all logistics.
The second area is more centered on actual teaching: the courses can be outdoors, but also indoors, especially if the focus is on studio and portrait photography or maybe post-production and retouching. This type of activity is easier to start because it requires far fewer organizational skills, especially if we think of individual courses or for small groups. Drawing on the experiential tourism market requires us to consider many aspects before promoting our services.
First, we need to understand what we can offer and be honest: we cannot sell ourselves as experts in a particular field if we don’t really know it. We must be able to communicate and transmit our expertise, as well as be ready to manage any level of ability and any need of our customers, and there will never be two of them alike! Preparation is crucial for any on-location service: we must know the area very well, have reserve plans in case of sudden changes in weather or local availability. Ultimately, improvisation is forbidden!