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5 unconventional ways to make money in photography

Photography is a fun hobby, but it can also be a great way to earn some extra money on the side or even launch your own business.

These days, creating high-quality photographs is more accessible than ever, and with a little creativity and some hard work, you could be well on your way to a lucrative side hustle.

You’re probably thinking, “That sounds great, but how can I get started?” Here are five unconventional ways to turn your hobby into an income-generating activity.

Exclusive photo shoots

If you want to make money in photography, you need to offer something different from what everyone else does. This means finding your niche and perfecting your skills in this area. Standing out from the crowd will help you gain clients and make more money.

Think outside the box. Sure, countless photographers do maternity shoots with moms-to-be. What about underwater maternity shoots? Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what sticks.

Photography contests

A good number of organizations, magazines and foundations have photography contests you can take part in. Entering most of these competitions won’t cost you anything. Some do charge a fee, but most are affordable. The winners of these contests get prize money and the opportunity to gain exposure and grow their photography business. If you have a real winner on your hands, enter it in a few contests and see what happens!

Looking for pro photography shots or inspiration, tips and advice to drive your own photography goals? Check out Dreamstime for all the pro images and inspiration you need!

Crime and evidence photography

Crime and evidence photography is another way aspiring and professional photographers can make money. Most jurisdictions require forensic photographers to graduate from the police academy, but other avenues exist as well. So-called nightcrawlers follow police scanners to get exclusive photos and B-roll videos of car accidents, crimes and occasionally special interest stories to sell to news outlets.

If you want to go this route, ensure that your photos are of sufficient quality. This means sharpening your skills and investing in quality equipment. Quality is one of the requirements for photos of crime and accident scenes to be admissible in a court of law as evidence.

Freelance photography

Websites, newspapers and magazines are prime places to look for chances to sell your work. In some cases, these entities may not have a photographer or lack the capacity required to create all their own images. Once you have identified the general theme and style of photographs that the platforms prefer, you can present your idea to the editing team.

Be sure to create custom pitches based on the platform you’re contacting. A cookie-cutter mass email won’t cut it.

Photography blog

two people typing on laptops with cameras

If you have good writing skills and some photography knowledge to share, consider setting up a blog. A photography blog can earn you money through several channels: ads, brands, affiliate linking and establishing partnerships with fellow bloggers.

Need help getting started? Check out Kim’s eBook, “How to Start a Blog & Make Money.”

Now, this list is by no means exhaustive. There are countless ways to earn some extra money in photography. Use the same creativity you put into your photos to make a little extra money.

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