For anyone skilled with a digital camera, have you ever considered the potential of earning using your skills?
You don’t need to be a major photography professional to take photos worth selling, after all. A touch of creative eye, some good natural lighting and a decent angle are all that you need to snap a good quality photo. With so many digital cameras offering you such crisp imagery at great prices, too, it’s easy to see why people choose to invest in a freelance photography career. So long as you can get some nice, unique shots, you can sell them on sites and license them out.
Every time they are bought or licensed out, you get a portion of the full fee split to an agreed upon rate with the website. It’s a great way to make a bit of extra money, and has become increasingly popular with people who want to make a living using a camera.
While it obviously pays to have natural photography skills or a degree in the subject, it’s not a necessity. Instead, you should look to try it out yourself and upload some of your photos to the best stock image sites. Some of the sites that we recommend, which are open to amateur photography and get lots of hits, include:
Each of these sites should be a key part of how to make money with your digital camera long-term.
Starting Your Online Photography Career
When you decide to start out with this photography career, you need to understand that it’s quite a challenging thing to do for a living. At first you will have to make sure that your photography skills actually live up to the expectation needed.
While we say that you don’t need to be a professional, you do need to have some artistic eye for detail. You cannot just snap a can of soda lying on the ground and upload it as ‘art’ – it has to have some kind of artistic quality.
Every site above, and other popular stock sites, will check your image closely. They will make sure that it meets up with their editorial standards. We always recommend that you take a look at their editorial standards first and foremost; this can help you to make sure that you snap to their own specifications.
Not only do you need to be a good photographer, with a steady shot and an eye for lighting and angles, but it has to be a good fit for the site. It has to be an image that is actually in-demand on their marketplace, otherwise you may be rejected. This is why you should do what you can to make a big difference to your photography understanding before you start taking snaps; make sure that your shots are of a high quality and relevant to their needs.
An easy way to do this, of course, is to head over the Most Bought/Downloaded range of products on the sites above. If you check them out, then you can easily see what other people are paying for and what kind of images are doing well. Then, you can go out and snap some shots in accordance to the general popular demand.
Picking Your Niche
Typically, you are constrained by time and geography. If you happen to live in a luscious rural heartland with amazing weather, then you might be able to get some amazing shots. By the same token, if you live in an old-school city amazing architecture, then you could find a lot of good work through that.
Our main suggestion for you would to be concentrate on trying to find shots that fit into a certain niche. Don’t try to be a photographer for all occasions right away. Exhaust the best local options that fit in with where you live. Avoid the classic stuff like dogs in the park, sunrises and sunsets, beaches and the like.
Snap stuff that would be in demand without actually being used just yet. From local architecture to some amazing natural landscapes that you come across, though, you can find some pretty marvelous gear overall.
While you could obviously get something nice and basic like this accepted, it is by no means a guarantee. Make sure that you try to look for something that is a bit different to the norm. The more generic the shot is; the higher quality it has to be.
Diversifying your Portfolio
One thing we think it’s important to state, though, is that you need to be able to diversify over time. Yes, start out with a particular theme and niche and build up all the local options that you can for that first. One that is done, start diversifying your portfolio and collection of sites that you use.
You can get a wider customer base if you have a portfolio on specific sites. Each of the stock sites above have different demands from their customers. Take a look at what people are looking at most commonly on each site, and you can then find good local snaps to take that fits that theme.
Once you have exhausted all your options for one site’ particular demands, start a new portfolio for another site. It goes without saying that there’s plenty of more niche sites, too, that you should investigate if they fit in with your niche.
Most importantly, never give up. Photos will be rejected, even ones that you thought were brilliant. It’s happened, and you just need to accept it, learn from the rejection and move on. It can take time to get this right; don’t expect to be an A+ quality photographer from day one!
Stick to the above ideas, and you will be able to learn how to make money with your digital camera in a short space of time. Every image could be sold hundreds, even thousands, of times, so think of every snap as a potential investment for the years to come
Take hundreds of photos and get them all uploaded to the right kind of site, and you can find it very easy indeed to make a consistent, lucrative income from your camera shots. Good luck!