How to Make Money with Photography - Blueprint Method to earn 2k per Month with


If you are new to photography or simply enjoy traveling and taking photos like myself, how do you get started making money by selling your photos online?

There are a number of companies out there that you can submit your photos to online. These companies are referred to as Micro-stock Photo Agencies or Stock Photo Sites.

They mostly sell photos to online companies or web designers to provide images for blogs and websites.

But stock photo sites can also sell images to be used for advertising products, clothing, etc.

How Most Photographers Sell Their Photos

Typically you want to sell your photos royalty-free so that you can sell your photos to multiple buyers without restrictions. This will give you the advantage of selling your images on multiple stock photo sites.

Selling on multiple stock sites, or at least to the most popular ones, gives you a great advantage of increasing your total sales. It’s a numbers game. And this is how most photographers pursue stock photography.

Want to Create an Online Business to Sell Your Photos with the most paying Corporations such as GettyImages and iStock?

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The trick is to direct traffic and people to your photos ;) uploading 10 photos per day and getting even 5 people per photo you will earn 50$ per day! Just check microworkers or Fiverr gig to get the boost (if you know what I mean ;) )

But you can sell your photos rights-managed, which allows the client who buys your photo to own the rights of your photo exclusively for a limited period of time, or in a specific geographical location. This allows you to receive a higher fee for your photo, but then limits the amount of people who can purchase your photos repeatedly.

Top Stock Sites to Sell Your Photos

There are over a dozen popular sites, 19 is my current count. And it varies to which are the top 5 sites, but here is 5 of the top ten sites that photographers utilize to make their point and click cash.

p<>{color:#00F;}. GettyImages.com

p<>{color:#00F;}. Dreamstime.com

p<>{color:#00F;}. Fotolia.com

p<>{color:#00F;}. iStockphoto.com

p<>{color:#00F;}. Shutterstock.com

Micro-stock Agencies typically pay you a commission or a set price per photo that is sold on their site. The nice thing about selling your photos to stock agencies (royalty-free method), is that you can get paid for your photos over and over again, and on multiple sites.

This can be another great method for producing residual income to supplement your current income or assist you with travel expenses while shooting your photos. Heck, some photographers make a good living off of stock photography.

You get paid time and time again for that single effort of point and click. You just have to familiarize yourself with the process of how to take good photos, submit your photos, and repeat the process with the most popular micro-stock agencies.

Here’s a good example of a photo submitted to a Stock Photo Agency that was approved

10 Steps to Make Money Selling Photos Online

Most all stock photo companies work off the same principles. At first these rules are a bit of a pain, but with time, you will learn to adjust you point of view as you choose your photo shot selection, and you’ll get better at finding great photo’s.

1. Join one of the Stock Sites listed above by applying for an account (free of charge).

2. Apply to be a Contributor. You have to read tutorials on how to submit your photos and the quality specifications of acceptable photos.

3. Sign a Contributor agreement. You will want to read over the agreement to see if you are happy with their terms.

4. Review their Contributor Guidelines to know exactly what the stock agency requires.

p<>{color:#000;}. i.e.File Format (JPEG, RPG)

p<>{color:#000;}. Minimum File Size Requirements

p<>{color:#000;}. Don’t submit photos with Trademarks or Logos

p<>{color:#000;}. Submit Clear Images

p<>{color:#000;}. And make sure your images are not over-edited.

5. They’ll make sure you understand their policies and standards by having you pass a short online exam.

6. You will then submit a batch of your top photos and wait to see if you are approved as a Contributor.

7. Once you are approved and understand the stock agency’s guidelines, your job then becomes taking and submitting quality photos.

8. You also want to get approved with multiple stock photo agencies in order to increase your online exposure and opportunities to sell your photos and earn online income.

9. Study what niche photography is selling. It maybe pictures of people, food, landscapes, animals, jobs, etc. What photos are the hottest selling photos in stock photo industry today?

10. Draw up a release for anytime you are taking pictures of people. You will need to have that person release their rights of your photo in order to submit it to a stock agency.

Here’s another good example of an accepted stock photo

Pros of selling photos online?

Selling photos online can be a great way to travel the world and make money. It can allow you to escape the 9 – 5 gig and live on your own terms, be your own boss. Or you could simply supplement your current income.

If you are a good photographer and love taking pictures, this could be your calling. Some stock photographers make up to six figure incomes.

And my favorite pro is that stock photography provides you with the ability to get paid time and time again for the work you did once. You could receive income for years to come with one great photo. What would happen if you had 1000’s of winning photos.

Cons of selling photos online?

Well, there are literally millions of photos in stock agencies that are competing for the sale. You also need to be a disciplined photographer and develop a daily routine of taking pictures.

You need to develop daily habits of submitting a handful of new pictures to the stock photo agencies. And you also shouldn’t expect income right away. It may take weeks and months before you get your first sale.

Most stock photographers recommend submitting around 2,000 quality photos before you can expect to see any type of regular income.

And, with every person that you photograph, you need to have them sign a waiver releasing their rights of the photo to you. Kind of a pain in the ### to constantly ask permission and explain why your subject is signing a policy allowing you to take their picture.

Is Stock Photography A Viable Business?

It sure can be. But you have to be dedicated to your craft and invest in your education.

I love photography and have enjoyed traveling and taking photos of my travel experiences. But for me, it’s more of a hobby than a full time job.

Learning about stock photography and utilizing programs like Lightroom has been a great hobby and learning experience that has helped me in my own online career.

Coffee Plantation: Photo Taken close to Salento, Colombia, South America.

But the reality of Stock Photography is that you need to take 1,000’s of photos before you will ever start to making money selling photos online. You need to understand niche photography and know which niches are making money right now.

The Bottom Line

Stock photography is a saturated market that involves a good deal of education and a greater amount of time, passion, and dedication for something that may or may not make you money.

I encourage you to follow your heart on this one. Taking your passions or interests in life and building online income can be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have.

Here’s a Much Better Idea!

Combine Stock Photography with an online business model. You can take your passion for photography a step further by creating an online business based on photography.

This way you can still sell photos to stock agencies, but you can also sell photography equipment. You could sell lenses, cameras, lighting equipment, classes on photography, etc.

You name it, if it’s related to photography, you can sell it online.

How you may be asking?

It’s simple. By creating an online presence, you can reach thousands of people who enjoy the same niche as you, photography.

All it takes is to create a simple website, provide helpful content to your niche audience, and recommend helpful products to people like you who enjoy photography. No time for a website? With this new platform you can upload directly online and earn 1$ for each download your photo gets, having access to the most important corporation of this business! View more info here!

p<>{color:#000;}. Get paid $1 per photo

p<>{color:#000;}. Upload and sell as much photos as you want!

p<>{color:#000;}. Earn up to $125 per photo

p<>{color:#000;}. Work as much or as little as you want

p<>{color:#000;}. Set your own working schedule!

p<>{color:#000;}. All kinds of Photography jobs to choose from

p<>{color:#000;}. Make money no matter where you are in the world!

How does this all work?

You will be able to instantly sell your pictures to thousands of potential buyers that need them for websites, catalogs, books, magazines, ads, or a variety of other uses.

There is no limit to how much you can earn. Your hobby can be your instant career!

You don’t have to be a professional photographer for this job! All you need is a camera, the drive to take beautiful photos, then click your way to earning money.

These are just SOME of the ways you can make money with our photography jobs and strategic partnerships with MAJOR corporations!

Another idea is creating an affiliate website!

It’s easy to rank content in Google using keyword phrases that fellow photographers are searching on a daily basis. And having a website allows you to establish affiliate relationships with any brand name product.

So by creating a helpful photography based website, you can get your site to affiliate with companies like…

p<>{color:#000;}. Canon

p<>{color:#000;}. Nikon

p<>{color:#000;}. Samsung

p<>{color:#000;}. Olympus

p<>{color:#000;}. [*Sony, etc. *]

Then once your reader reads your recommendations, clicks a link to the product you recommend and makes a purchase, you make a commission.

As you continue to build your site out through producing helpful content based on photography, you begin to make a lot of commissions.

Then keep your photos on display to sell on your site and on top stock photo sites and you’ll make money from multiple sources.

“Several streams of income are smarter than one”

You’ll need help setting up your site, understanding keyword research, building organic traffic, ranking on Google/YouTube, domain hosting, etc..

Check out my #1 ranked online business training center that helps people create affiliate based niche businesses that are perfect for those who love photography and want to make a full time income from it.

Make today a DO day.  Take at least one of these ideas and ACT ON IT if you really want to make your photography business a success.

[On a daily basis, I hear from photographers across the world who are scrapping and fighting to get a profitable portrait photography business off the ground.  It can be tough, but it is also worth it.  Unfortunately, I think many of these photographers put the cart before the horse, and it hurts their portrait photography business.
What I mean is that many photographers fight hard to get a client, but don’t have a system in place to earn as much from each client as possible.  Also, they haven’t considered creative offerings that would help them convince clients to book a session.]

I hope these ideas will help to make your photography business more successful so you can better provide for your families.



Idea #1: Mini photo sessions

I believe that this trend is changing by the number of photographers who are advertising in the market right now, but most families do not pay for a photographer for every newborn, every Christmas, every soccer team, every year in school, every wedding, etc.  Most families will hire a photographer for a few of those events, but it is uncommon for someone to pay a photographer multiple times per year for all of these events.  They usually just pick a few.  Usually, the reason for this inconsistency with clients is because they don’t want to spend the money.

You can sell to these clients by offering mini-sessions.  Perhaps the client wouldn’t normally spend $300 and spend an afternoon getting the perfect Christmas card picture, but they may be willing to pay $100 for a short 30 minute session to get a great photo of their new baby.  I understand that you need to charge a lot to make your business work, but offering a smaller mini-session can help you get cash flow instead of hoping for more clients.  Remember, you don’t make any money when you’re on the computer doing advertising.  Your money comes from shooting photos and selling photos.

Money you can make by implementing this idea: Depends on a lot of things, but you could easily book 2 or 3 mini-sessions a week that you would not otherwise get.  That could easily earn you $300 every single week as a photographer.

Want to earn $350 more from each wedding? Then check out this tip!

Idea #2: Heirloom photo at the reception

This is my super-secret tip that I haven’t told anyone before, but it works like MAGIC!  How would you like to earn $350 more from every single wedding, without asking your client for a dime?  It’s simple!

When you shoot the client’s engagement photos before the wedding, ask the client which photo they would like to have printed HUGE to put in their home.  Not a little framed print in the hall, but a centerpiece wall-hanger print.  The kind of thing that hangs above the mantle.  When the client picks the print and you sell them on the idea of having an heirloom masterpiece print in their home, tell them the price.  More than likely, it will blow them away when they realize that a giant 30×40″ canvas gallery wrap like this will cost about $500.  So, they want the print, and you want their money.  How do you get the money without asking them to pay a dime?

Offer to print the gallery wrap at your own cost.  Then, make the proposition.  You’ll print the photo at your own expense and bring it to the wedding reception.  Hang it on a nice easel at the entrance with a sign and a box.  On the sign, ask for wedding guests to make small donations for the couple so they can get the beautiful photo for their home.

I like to do this with the agreement that all the money in the box goes to the photographer up to the price of the photo (which can be a lot), and the wedding couple keeps anything above that amount.  9 times out of 10, there is way more money donated than the photo actually costs.  This method could easily earn you $350 more per wedding, and you don’t have to ask your clients for ANY money!  Now THAT is a good idea!

Money you can make by implementing this idea: $350 more per wedding for every single wedding you shoot.  Oh, and this idea isn’t just for wedding photographers.  You could do the same thing by taking someone’s pregnancy photos and then having a great “big belly” photo available at the baby shower.  The possibilities are endless with this one.

Hit up your contacts so you can take more pictures

Idea #3: Hit up your contacts

I’m going to say something a little strong.  I don’t mean to be rude, but I want this to sink in so I’m going to say what I’m really thinking.  “Photographers who do not keep an email list of clients and prospective clients are fools.”

No, you don’t have to Spam your clients every week and drive them crazy.  However, it can make you a lot of money if you carefully send emails that will be useful to your clients.  Here’s an example of how to use your email list….

Jenny came in to have a pregnancy shoot done in December.  99% of photographers shoot Jenny’s photos and casually say, “I’d love to shoot the newborn photos when she’s born” as the client walks out of your studio.  That is lousy follow-up and I know you don’t want a lousy business.  Get Jenny’s email and send her an email a week after her due date.  Attach a couple baby pictures that you’ve taken and send a personalized email saying you enjoyed working with her, you would like to do the baby shoot, offer a discount, and mention a couple ideas you have for the shoot which make reference to the attached pictures.

Money you can make by implementing this idea: Almost impossible to guage with a number, but I think it is reasonable to say that you will get 2 or 3 times more return customers with this careful follow-up.  You can do the math.  That’s a lot of money!

Get a second shooter deal for wedding photography

Idea #4: Get a second  shooter deal

When I speak with beginning wedding photographers, most of them admit to me that they don’t usually pay a second shooter.  Sometimes it’s a cost-saving measure, but most of them would be willing to use some of the proceeds from shooting the wedding to pay for a second shooter if they knew how to find someone at a reasonable price.  Also, MANY beginning pro photographers would be willing to second-shoot for someone else if they could get their foot in the door.

So, hop online and find a meetup group or a local camera club.  Rub shoulders and find other new pro photographers like you who are looking for the same thing.  Offer to second shoot for their weddings for a reasonable price, and you promise to hire them to second for you when you have a wedding.  I hate to use trite expressions, but that really is a win-win.  Get out there and network!

Money you can make by implementing this idea: First of all, you’ll make money because the service you offer to your clients will be significantly improved by adding a second shooter.  Also, you could easily fill up a lot of free days by earning money as a second shooter.  This idea is a no-brainer!

‘Tis the season!

Idea #5: Seize the (holi) day

The Christmas season is Christmas card season for photographers.  Also, it’s when families are together, so you’re likely to get a lot of request to do family photos.  Photographers who are too casual with their photography business simply put “Available for Christmas card photos” on their website.  Other photographers feel they are being proactive by having a Christmas card promotion.  Snore!  You care about your business and you know you can book more clients by putting a little more effort into your promotion.

Grab some Santa hats from the attic and get a family to go out with you for a couple hours.  Take some great Christmas shots so you’ll have something to show on your site to potential clients.  Then, SPREAD THE WORD!  Offer your close friends and family members a free Christmas card picture and then ask them to change their facebook status to read, “Took the family to get our Christmas card picture taken.  Christy Jones is the photographer  and she did a great job.  The photos look FANTASTIC and she only charged us $97!”

Which photographer do you think will be busy in November?  The photographer sitting on their couch writing “Available for Christmas card shoots” on her website, or the one who gets up and DOES SOMETHING today?

Money you can make by implementing this idea: Most people won’t want to pay $300 for a Christmas card photo, but the good news is that you can take Christmas card pictures in around 20 minutes if you have great ideas for the shots.  You could book a LOT of families if you charge a reasonable price and do a good job.  I think it would be reasonable to get 2 or 3 families a day during November to pay around $100 if you run a good campaign.  Since Christmas card pictures don’t take much of your time, that is a good return for your time (depending on how much overhead you have).

It may not be the major league, but shooting kids’ sports leagues can be a great way to earn a little extra money.

Idea #6: Shoot the masses

Most photographers would love to get a deal with local little league soccer (football for all you international folks) league to shoot the team pictures, but most leagues already have established relationships with photographers.  Shooting local sports groups can be very profitable because you get paid by 20 or 30 parents for doing just one shoot.  It’s good economics!

So how do you break into this market if all the leagues already have relationships with other photographers?  Don’t try to take the formal team pictures.  Go to the league and offer to pay them $200 or so for the opportunity to shoot action shots during league play.  The league will be happy because they get $200 for doing absolutely nothing.  All you have to do is go to the game, take thousands of shots of the kids playing sports all day, and pass out little fliers to the parents telling them that they can order pictures of the their kids through your website.

If you set up a Smugmug website with a folder for the soccer games before you go, you’ll be able to put the URL right on the flier.  The parents log on, buy the prints, and then Smugmug ships the prints and collects the money for you.  Dead simple!  It could make for a VERY profitable day.

Money you can make by implementing this idea: Depending on the size of the league and how well you sell yourself to the parents during the game, you could easily earn over $1,000 doing this for a morning.  The trick is to keep going up to the parents and showing them the pictures on your LCD.

Idea #7: Freelance for local magazines

National magazines have a team of photographers.  Smaller magazines on general topics such as cooking can get most of their images from stock; however, local magazines are usually scrapping for photos of local places.  If you start searching the magazine racks around town, you will most likely find that there are two or three small magazines or weekly newspapers.  Send a few photos to the editor and offer more for a reasonable price per photo.

If the editor likes your work and you charge a reasonable price, you could get many assignments to shoot places around town in your free time.  This is also a great way to get your name out there and build your portfolio.  The trick is to stop thinking this is a “good idea” and go DO IT!

Money you can make by implementing this idea: Totally depends.

Prints for clients!

Idea #8: Prints for referrals

Most photographers ask clients for referrals.  Every once in a blue moon, you might actually get one from asking.  However, you could be getting 10 times more referrals if you put some thought into how to get the referrals.  Here is one way you could improve your referral system.

After a shoot, offer a free print for each local friend or family member the client refers to you.  The prints will cost very little to you, and the referral is worth much more.  Then, send out a friendly email to the referred friend.  Attach a photo from the friend’s shoot, mention that the friend thought that she would like to do a shoot of her newborn or something, and then offer a decent price reduction since the person is a referral.  Some people won’t bite, but some will.  Either way, it gives you a tool to bring more people in the door.  It gives you a plan to make your business work rather than sitting around and hoping your expensive newspaper ad will make the phone ring.

Money you can make by implementing this idea: Totally depends.

Portrait party!

Idea #9: Portrait parties

For many years, makeup salespeople, Tupperware salespeople, and your annoying neighbor have been getting sales for their companies by asking people to hold a party and invite their friends.  Then, the salesperson attends the party, provides some entertainment, and then pitches a sale to the attendees.  Some of these parties can be really fun, and others are a bit too pushy.

Photographers, especially female photographers, can take advantage of this idea too!  Do a portrait party where you make a home-studio in the person’s house and take fun pictures of all the women who come to attend.  If you’re clever and can throw a good party, the attendees will love it!  Then, make your pitch and offer a price reduction to do a shoot for the women.  If they have kids, newborns, or even just a spouse, they’ll be on the hook for another session.  If you have the personality for this type of thing, it could be a great way to get clients booked!

Money you can make by implementing this idea: If you are a “people person” and can make the event fun, it is likely that you’d get around half of the attendees to book a session.  Multiply the number of sessions by your normal fee, and you have a great profit, and it was fun to earn!

[*Idea #1 0: 50% off holes *]

If you have a decent number of bookings, but you often have holes in your schedule with the studio sitting empty, shoot out an email to some of your clients that you haven’t seen in a while and offer a 50% discount if they come in to fill that hole.

Money you can make by implementing this idea: 50% of your normal booking fee.  It may not be much, but it’s worth infinitely more money than you’ll earn by just sitting around.


Idea #11: Get your clients in a rut

Sit down for a minute and make a LOOoong list of all the professional pictures someone could have taken of them during their life.  Pregnancy photo, then newborn photo, then a Christmas card, then a shoot when they turn 1 year-old, then a shoot of the kid when they are walking and talking, then another Christmas card, then a family photo, then a school photo when they go in school, senior portraits, engagement shoots, wedding photos, anniversaries, headshots for work, etc.  The possibilities are endless from just one client.

The trick is that the PHOTOGRAPHER needs to clue into this system and get the clients in a rut.  Get them in a routine.  Think about it.  When you get an oil change, the first thing you see in your car after getting back in it is a sticker on the windshield telling you when you need to return for another oil change.  Photographers need to do the same thing.  Right when the client orders the pictures from one shoot, hand them a coupon for their Christmas card picture, or whatever the next routine shoot will be in their lives.  Then, follow up with them when it’s time for the shoot.

Money you can make by implementing this idea: If the question is how much money it’s worth to get 20 shoots out of each client instead of just one shoot for each client, I think we can all see that this idea could be worth thousands of dollars and bring return customers for many years to come.

Idea #12: Design the graduation announcement/Christmas card/baby announcement/wedding album

If you’re a photographer, you already know how to use Photoshop.  That’s all you’ll need to know how to design a fantastic wedding album, Christmas card, graduation announcement, or many other paper photographic goods.  It would truly be a shame if you shoot your client’s Christmas card photo and then lose the upsell by not offering to make the Christmas card.  Also, you’ll be able to do much better than the ugly templates at Walmart anyway.  Don’t make me use the trite “win-win” expression again…


We all know Instagram and it’s like the Holy Grail for photography and share your creation! With the right strategy big names and companies can found your works and you will find lot of success for sure! Just google “Instagram method” or “Instagram Affiliate” and you will find lots of useful info to start your instagram journey!


You are now armed with 13 creative ideas to improve your bottom line.  You are now in the driver’s seat.  Are you going to immediately spring into action and make one of these ideas happen, or are you going to leave this site and keep searching for more tips… always learning but never succeeding?  Decide on what tip you’re going to do, and write a comment below to commit to it.

How to Make Money with Photography - Blueprint Method to earn 2k per Month with

  • Author: lukeflour
  • Published: 2016-07-15 16:35:09
  • Words: 4865
How to Make Money with Photography - Blueprint Method to earn 2k per Month with How to Make Money with Photography - Blueprint Method to earn 2k per Month with