Photography is one of those things that you just have to do in-person. Right? Well…it’s become very hard to do that as of late, so we photogs have had to get a bit more creative not only with how we shoot, but how we make an income. So here are 6 ways as a photog you can make money right now.
- Sell stock images. I know this isn’t, like, the best option but bear with me. Personally, I’ve been shooting some stock image type work for a while now, for different companies, and for myself. These images are usually very usable for a wide range of people. Images like the ones below. Websites like Shutterstock are great to easily upload images and start making some passive income.
2. Zoom + FaceTime shoots. This one is photog specific, and is really fun. I’ve done a couple Zoom + FaceTime shoots now and have really loved them. Bonus, they’re totally social-distance acceptable. The images are not perfect (by far), and it’s very limiting, but it’s kinda fun to challenge yourself and get creative in such a disconnected way. My favorite to use, is FaceTime. Yes, if you’re shooting your laptop, the subject is only vertical, and with Zoom, they can be full screen, but I promise it’s better. Zoom is more pixilated, and you can see the screen distortions. However, with FaceTime, you can shoot the whole computer screen and the negative space of the screen becomes part of the vibe.
You can also FaceTime the clients from your phone, and shoot the phone with a pretty backdrop behind and around your phone to create a more dynamic look. This has been my favorite way so far; it’s more forgiving, and more creative.
Below are a few examples of how each type of shoot looks…
3. Front porch shoots. This one is dependent on your state, so it may not be possible (aka legal) for everyone. Personally, I’ve done a number of these shoots with my neighbors and it has been a great way to get the creative juices flowing, create some great images, and continue to provide a service for my immediate community. The shoots I’ve done have been 20min tops, and at a steeply discounted rate. Of course they don’t have to literally be on your client’s ‘front porch’ or front step, but just be safe, and exercise reasonable caution + take precautions if you do choose to do an in-person shoot.
4. Edit photos for others. Another great way to make some money during quarantine is to offer editing services to others in your community. This ones goes hand-in-hand with number four below. While it not be feasible for some businesses to have FaceTime shoots, if they have a camera themselves, you can offer to edit the photos for them. This is a great way for these other businesses to continue to offer professional looking products without the stress of figuring out how to do it themselves. I’ve done this with a few businesses locally and it’s been a great way to not only make money, but to create relationships with other local businesses.
Of course, this stretches beyond other businesses and straight to your everyday clients who may want a professional edit to an important life event. I’ve seen this largely with a number of newborn photographers who have edited iPhone photos in their own editing style so that the parents had some professional looking photos.
5. Teach others the photography basics. While everyone is consuming so much more online content these days and businesses are scrambling to upload their products online, they will need images, and thats where you come in. Some of these businesses may have a camera or at least a newer iPhone with great camera quality, but no know-how on how to use either. This is where you come in. Creating an easy, price friendly guide on photography basics is a great way to help this businesses while still making a little money yourself. Include things like how to shoot manually, camera settings, the importance of backgrounds, and lighting, etc.
6. Affiliate links + referral codes. Theses two aren’t specific to photogs, but are great ways to make some passive income by doing something you’re already doing: creating and using resources. These two also could have been two different resources, but they’re so similar…so here you go:).
For affiliate links, I use Amazon’s affiliate program almost exclusively, and it is so easy. You can add affiliate links to anything from emails, to PDF’s, blog posts, to the link in your social media bio. If you’re offering resources to your clients, and are trying to persuade them to buy something, use an affiliate link and get a bit of a kick back for your efforts.
For referral codes, all you have to do is share about the products you already love using, products and tools that make your life easier, and your business run smoothly. Most business related platforms have referral codes you can easily access. My favorite tools to refer are included in this blog post (and yes my codes are included ;)).