Passion into Profit: A Guide to a Career in Photography


Photography is one of the most popular hobbies of people around the world today. With the advent of technology, a lot of people have been actively updating and posting photos on different social media websites every day. In fact, according to Zephoria, there are about 300 million photo uploads on Facebook alone per day. That is approximately 136,000 photos uploaded every 60 seconds. As a result, a lot of photographers use several social media websites as a platform to promote their work and earn a living at the same time.

The success of most photographers is because of these three things:

  1. Finding your niche

Every photographer has their own style, subject, or theme exhibited in their works. Whether the subject is nature, people, places, things, or food, what is important is that you remain consistent.

People usually choose to follow someone whose works reflect their interests. You need to be consistent enough to make your audience stick with you by maintaining a constant theme in your works and by meeting their expectations.

One way to make your style known is to add tags/hashtags and keywords. That way, when someone enters a keyword that matches yours, your works will pop-up.

  1. Building an audience

Just like bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagrammers, one of the most important things for your work to be known is for you to expand your audience. As a photographer, you need to create a network of people in order to build your business, earn credibility, and reach more prospective clients.

There are a lot of social media platforms that you can start with. To name a few, there is Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest. All of which already have built-in audiences that can greatly help you reach wider audiences and promote your works. Instagram also gives you the link to other accounts option, so that a photo in a single post can be shared in a number of websites. Furthermore, there are also some photo-sharing sites that can help you connect with other photographers. These sites allow you to follow others and sell licenses for your work.

  1. Creating several streams of income

Most photographers have a main site where they showcase their portfolio and have their clients hire them. However, there are other ways of earning income through ecommerce. You can also sell courses, physical products, and services.

In fact, you can build your portfolio store on to sell photos online, install other apps, and start sharing and promoting your photography in different forms.

You can also venture into licensing, which is the most popular way to sell photos online to anyone who is interested in using your pictures for their own purposes. That being said, you need to make your photos attractive to a brand or a publisher. Some of the popular stock photo sites are Getty Images, Shutterstock, iStock, 500px, and Stocksy.

Other ways to earn more in photography is to sell prints, photo books, calendars and other things. Of course, the best way to earn is to sell photography as a service. Photographers are in demand these days for different occasions and celebrations. You could be booked to cover for an event, a photoshoot, and such. However, this involves networking your service locally. You will need to build a strong network of people, such as event organizers and other individuals, who might be a prospective clients.

Reminder: Protect your work!

As a photographer who is just starting a career in the industry, you need to know your usage rights and protect your work as much as possible. Some photographers put tiled watermarks throughout their photos to safeguard their ownership. Others use a single watermark which is usually found at the lower corner of the photo. However, such practice would still give others the freedom to steal and use your photos for whatever purpose it serves them.

Final Note

In photography, talent and dedication will be the ultimate deciding factors of your earning potential. It will be hard to sell your works at first. Whenever you’re in doubt about your chosen profession, remember that the income you acquire from doing what you really love, and what you are good at, is the best!