written by: Karsun•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 5/24/2011
The photography business can be tough, but if you have a knack for taking eye-pleasing digital photos then you may be able to make money with your images. Many photography ideas to make money are easy to implement and before you know it you can be selling your very own digital images.
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Photography For Business
Whether you consider yourself a professional photographer or just an enthusiast, learning about photography money making ideas can not only earn you some extra cash, but you can also grow to be respected and admired by other members of the photography community.
First, pinpoint what type of digital photography you want to take for financial gain. You can focus on wedding photography, family and children's photos or something more freestyle such as nature photography or pets. Regardless of what aspect you choose, be sure it is something you enjoy doing so that you have fun while earning an income.
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Where Can I Sell My Photos?
Myriad photography money making ideas will provide extra income. Some could even become full-time careers.
Check out art-related websites. Sell your photos through a variety of online venues such as Deviant Art, Etsy or Art.com.
Start with friends. If you are interested in wedding photography or portraits, offer your services to friends first. Start out either free or at a very low cost to build your portfolio. Once you have work to share, you can charge the public standard rates for your services.
Make artwork. There are venues where you can use your photos to create anything from bumper stickers to coffee mugs. Check out websites such as Cafe Press, where you upload your photos and they create the products for you. When something with your photo sells, you receive a cut of the price.
Sell stock photos. Numerous stock photo sites will pay you for your images that sell. These places can be very choosy for obvious reasons, so be sure your work is stellar before offering any photos. In addition, many of these photos will be everyday type of shots that people need for websites and ad print so you may want to take photos of normal things such as a watch, coffee mug, someone sitting at a desk or a pet bed. These photos are typically less artistic and have more of a commercial value.
No matter which type of venue you decide to use, you can create beautiful photography and perhaps do well enough to start your own business.
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How to Get Started
Your photography money making ideas need a starting point so you can get you noticed and start working on an actual income.
Show your work. Build a website or start a blog where you can showcase your work. People will trust you more as a professional if you have a professional portfolio. In that same vein, carry a material portfolio with you as well. You may get more customers from a website, but there are still those that do not use the Internet. An album or tangible photography portfolio can be a helpful tool that allows others to see your work in person.
Network. Do not count out social networking such as Facebook and MySpace. These are extremely useful as free advertising. With social networking, you can make a page for your photography and invite people to become fans or friends, depending on which venue you use. If you consider yourself a professional, use a professional networking site such as LinkedIn so you can meet like-minded people.
Photography sites. Sites such as Flickr and Webshots are excellent places to show your pictures. People search these sites for specific pictures, so if your photos have the right tags they may see your work first. Don't worry too much about someone stealing your work, since you can protect these photos with Creative Commons licenses and add watermarks to them as well.
Business cards. Even if you do not have a business name (although you should), you can still have business cards created to share with others that may want to see your work.
Treat your photography like a business by advertising as much as possible. Don't be afraid to approach someone who may be interested in your work by giving them your business card. The extra bit of work involved could mean the difference between enjoying photography as a hobby and earning an income from your photos.