Making money as a photographer today is very feasible. There are so many ways you can get paid to take pictures even if you are just venturing into photography as a newbie. For some people, photography is just a hobby. They love capturing beautiful moments with their lens. Notwithstanding, you can build a stable income stream by starting a photography business on the side.
Mind you, photography is not filmmaking, and you don’t need a bunch of expensive tools to get started. This post will do well to list the most important tools you need as a beginner photographer, and most importantly, how to make a substantial amount of money by taking pictures.
What App Pays You To Take Pictures?
Apps such as Foap and Stockimo pay photographers to take high-quality pictures. This is pretty legitimate, and you will be paid in real dollars, not in points or anything of the sort. Moreover, the more popular your brand becomes on the platform, the more money you make.
How Much You Can Earn Taking Pictures?
The amount of money you make taking pictures is strictly determined by the platform where you sell your works. Some platforms can help you earn hundreds of dollars monthly, especially if the users of the platform love the theme of your pictures.
On the other hand, you can earn thousands of dollars weekly or monthly by taking pictures of high-profile clients such as celebrities or politicians.
What You Need To Take Professional Photos
To start your small photography business, here are the most essential tools you need to get the job done:
- Smartphone Camera
The smartphone camera we have today are as good as the best digital cameras worth thousands of dollars in the market. For example, your iPhone 11 is good enough to take professional pictures. Your clients won’t even believe you shot the pictures with a smartphone. If you want to get paid to take pictures and can’t afford a $5,000 camera, get a good smartphone instead.
- Professional Camera
If you have enough money to invest in a digital camera, then nothing should stop you. Working with a camera such as the Nikon D3500 would make you appear more professional.
Unlike a smartphone, holding a digital camera is a subtle way of telling your prospects that you are engaged in photography. Just look for a good camera that fits your budget. As time goes on, you can get a more expensive digital camera and gadget.
- Photo Editing Software
To get paid to take pictures, you must know how to make your works look stunning through detailed editing. That’s why you need editing software. Adobe Photoshop is probably the most popular photo editing software on the planet. Used by millions of photographers across the world, this software can help you create magic with your pictures.
Mind you; the software is not free. You’d have to pay around $300 annually to use the tool. But Adobe usually offers new subscribers a free trial to test the software.
This is not very necessary but you might need it as a beginner. One thing about taking good pictures is that your hand must be steady. You need to hold the camera firmly without shuddering; otherwise, you won’t have a clean shot.
A tripod helps you hold your camera while you relax and take your shot. All you have to do is fix the gadget on the three-legged stand and hit the “capture” button.
19 Ways To Get Paid To Take Pictures
Due to some of the new strategies and platforms on the internet, it’s now very easy to make money from images you create with your camera. You are about to discover 19 unique ways to get paid to take pictures without doing anything extreme or time-consuming.
Apps That Pay You To Take Pictures
Imagine having applications on your smartphone that allows you to upload images and make money with a few clicks. Here are some reliable apps that pay you to take pictures:
1. Agora Images
Agora Images is an amazing application where you can sign up as a creator and upload original photos to make some money.
The best thing about this platform is that you are allowed to keep 100% of your earnings. This also doesn’t mean that you will be charged any membership fee. It’s simply mindblowing. Your earnings on the app are based on your ratings. There are four main levels you can get to as a creator: Junior, Advanced, Pro, and Master.
Another interesting thing about Agora images is that you don’t have to sell exclusive rights to your photos at once. You can actually resell the same photo to multiple businesses. This increases your earning potential.
Signing up on Bylined is one of the ways you can get paid to take pictures. This is a unique app that connects brands with photographers. In essence, Bylined is not the actual company that needs your photos. They are usually contacted by other brands who need professional photographers. What the app does is connect both parties easily.
Foap is a well-known money-making app for photographers. As a creator on this app, you will earn a 50% commission on the sale of your photos.
Aside from it being a marketplace for photographers, different brands across the world send Foap requests for a certain theme of high-quality photos. Once the app has all the specifics of what these brands need, there will be an open contest for photographers on the platform. The best photos will be chosen, and you could make hundreds of dollars if your work gets picked.
Scoopshot is one of the apps that pay you to take pictures. The unique thing about this app is that you are allowed to set your own prices. You could earn more than other creators if your images are much better. There are also contests and tasks you can participate in. If your submitted photos get chosen in the contest, you will sell them at a very good price.
Also, if your photos are used by online publishers, you will earn a share of the advertising revenue generated by the content.
Stockimo is a legit application launched by Alamy, one of the largest stock photo agencies in the world. You make money on this app by selling the license to your photos to users.
Also, this platform is perfect for you if you don’t have a professional camera. This is because Stockimo accepts only photos taken from your cellphone. You will receive a 20% commission on every sale. However, Stockimo does a lot of visibility marketing to ensure that creators are able to sell their works on time.
Stock Photo Websites That Pay You To Take Pictures
If you are looking for some of the most legit websites to sell your photos, here are some platforms you should consider:
Shutterstock is considered the easiest way to get paid to take pictures. It is one of the world’s leading stock photography websites for selling photos and making money passively.
Within the past 15 years, the company has paid out over a billion dollars to its creators. The site increases your chances of making money by showing your photos to millions of users. The more of your photos downloaded by premium users, the more money you will make.
However, it’s crucial you know that you can’t make a substantial amount of money as soon as you join the site. You need time to build your credibility and have thousands of high-quality pictures on the platform.
Alamy is one of the best websites that pays you to take pictures. With over 313 million stock images on this platform, users consider it to be one of the best, and due to the increasing number of users on the site, photographers can keep making more money. Regardless of your niche or theme, you can sell your images and receive 50% in commission.
There are millions of photographers on this website selling photos. Most of these photographers are able to make money off their pictures because 500px has over one million customers across the world that regularly demand for these pictures.
Once you list your photos on this site as a creator, you are open for business. As long as your photos are high-quality and meet the site’s requirements, you will make money. You can also connect with other professional photographers who are already succeeding on the platform.
9. Getty Images
Like Shutterstock, Getty Images is a popular website where creators can get paid to take photos.
With over a million customers worldwide, Getty Images has what it takes to make your works visible to an insane number of users. Mind you, the standards or prerequisites for selling your images on this site as a contributor are pretty high. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t be eligible. As long as you meet all the requirements of the company, you can start earning money from your photos.
10. iStock Photo
iStock Photo is a subsidiary of Getty Images. You can be a registered contributor on Getty Images and still sign up on this platform. However, your earnings on iStock Photo is significantly lower than what you get on Getty Images.
The good thing about considering this site is that it might be your only option if you aren’t eligible to be a paid contributor on Getty Images. iStock doesn’t have stringent rules for photographers who want to make money taking pictures.
Freelance Sites That Pay You To Take Pictures
If you need more platforms to sell your photos, here are some legit freelance websites that pay photographers to take high-quality pictures:
Looking for a quick and easy way to sell your photos? EyeEm can make that happen. This site has a special AI that automatically scrolls through your camera to select the best pictures. However, before the photos are put up for sale, you can confirm whether to sell them or not. EyeEm simply wants to make the whole process of selling your photos very easy. Mind you; you can only keep 50% of the profits.
Joining SnapWire is one of the ways you can get paid to take pictures. This site works differently from other platforms. On SnapWire, you can only make money from your photos by participating in creative challenges.
To participate, all you have to do is read the brief and understand the rules that will get you qualified. You will get paid if your photos are picked at the end of the challenge. Otherwise, you would have to try next time. You are allowed to keep 70% of your earnings while the platform retains 30%.
Being a contributor on MiPic is one of the best ways to get paid to take pictures. Your job is to take high-quality pictures with your smartphone or digital camera and upload them to your gallery. The platform is responsible for promotion, printing, shipping, customer service, and other important things you need to make money on the site.
They also give recommendations on the best types of pictures to print on merchandise. This will help you not to upload images that potential buyers will reject.
Etsy is one of the biggest online marketplaces for handmade goods. People use Etsy to find beautiful artwork and handmade crafts. Fortunately, the platform has made it possible for photographers to earn money just like other artists on the site.
You can set up your own online store and upload your pictures. Any user who likes your picture can place an order. Etsy handles the printing and shipping. Also, you can set your prices. Etsy only charges around $0.20 and a $5 fee for each item you sell.
Getting paid to take pictures is easier with Fotomoto. This website can help you create a stable online photography business. Unlike Etsy, it’s not an online marketplace. It’s a service that takes orders from customers, prints the products, and then ships them to the buyers. They do all the heavy lifting.
All you have to do is shoot high-quality photos and upload them to be seen by prospects. Fotomoto offers free membership, but you will have to pay 22% of your earnings.
Other Opportunities To Make Money Taking Pictures
Aside from joining freelance websites or finding apps that pay photographers, here are other legit ways to scale your business and make money from your pictures.
16. Start An Instagram Theme Page
Creating an Instagram theme page can give your photography business the visibility it needs to thrive. All you have to do is choose a specific niche and keep uploading jaw-dropping photos within that niche. As you post consistently, your Instagram page would begin to grow and attract new followers daily. With time, you will become a well-known brand on Instagram, and clients can contact you for personal gigs.
17. Become A Blogger
Having your own blog is another reliable way to get paid to take pictures. You don’t have to write long-form articles and upload them every day. Your blog can simply serve as an online shop where prospects can visit to examine your photos and possibly buy some.
The good thing about this is that you are keeping %100 of your earnings to yourself. You aren’t going to be affiliated with any website that takes from your profits.
18. Work With Real Estate Companies
Real estate businesses will always need photography. They have to capture their beautiful buildings and apartments for marketing.
As a professional photographer, this is where you can come in. You can offer to work exclusively for a real estate company, helping them take premium pictures of their latest properties that are up for sale. All you have to do is create a mind-blowing portfolio so that whenever you apply for a job like this, you might be considered.
19. Work With Restaurants
Working with restaurants is also one of the ways to get paid to take photos. Many fast-food restaurants trying to grow their presence online need to constantly share high-quality images of their special delicacies and dishes.
As a professional photographer, you can be hired to handle this job. Taking pictures of the various meals prepared in the restaurant and uploading them to social media is the job. You can be a personal photographer for multiple restaurants.
20. Become A Celebrity Photographer
This is how many photographers build a fortune by taking pictures. If you have the opportunity to work with a celebrity personally, that could be the big break you need to make a ton of money and become a well-known photographer. Most singers, actors, comedians, and influencers all have personal photographers who accompany them to events and shooting sets.
Becoming a celebrity photographer isn’t going to be easy, especially if you are just getting started. However, ensure you are prepared if the opportunity comes. Keep building your brand and improving your expertise in the photography space.
Getting Paid To Take Photos: Recap
Photography can be a very lucrative business if you take it seriously. Besides, it doesn’t seem like a tedious job. You can have fun taking creative pictures and selling them without much hassle.
The best part about this is that you don’t need to invest in a professional camera and other expensive gadgets. Once you have a smartphone with a good-quality camera and photo editing software, you can get paid to take pictures.
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