For anyone skilled with a digital camera (or smartphone, for that matter), have you ever considered that you could make money with your digital camera using your skills?
You don’t need to be a major photography professional to take photos worth selling, after all. A touch of a creative eye, some good natural lighting, and a decent angle are all you need to snap a good-quality photo.
With so many digital cameras and smartphones 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 make money with your digital camera by selling the shots 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. 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 your digital camera.
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4 steps to make money with your digital camera
Step 1. Start your photography career
When you decide to start with this photography career, you need to understand that it’s quite challenging 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 artistic quality.
Every site above, and other popular stock sites, will check your image closely. They will make sure that it meets up their editorial standards. We always recommend that you look at their editorial standards first and foremost; this can help you 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 high quality and relevant to their needs.
Of course, an easy way to do this 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 with the general popular demand.
Step 2. Pick 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 with amazing architecture, then you could find a lot of good work through that.
Our main suggestion would be to concentrate on finding 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 lake.
Snap stuff that would be in demand without actually being used just yet. This could be local architecture or some amazing natural landscapes that you come across.
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 a bit different from the norm. The more generic the shot is, the higher quality it has to be.
Step 3. Diversify your portfolio
We think it’s important to state, though, that you need to be able to diversify over time. Start with a particular theme/niche and build up a local reputation. Once you’re 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 has different demands from its 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 fit that theme.
Once you have exhausted all your options for one site’s 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 you thought were brilliant. Once this happens, you 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!
Step 4. Upload your photos to stock-image sites
While it obviously pays to have natural photography skills or a degree in the subject, it’s not a necessity. Don’t believe me? Snap some pictures, then upload some of your photos to the best stock image sites. You never know how much you’ll make on photos you thought weren’t all that.
Some of the sites that we recommend, which are open to amateur photography and get lots of hits, include:
Each of these sites are essential to make money with your digital camera long-term.
Stick to the above ideas, and you’ll start to make money with your digital camera in no time. Every image could be sold hundreds, even thousands, of times. 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 stock photo site. With a lot of hard work, you can end up making a consistent, lucrative income from your camera shots. Good luck!