Holiday Gifts for Photographers - Part III: Making Money with Photographs

Tired of buying all of these expensive photography gifts?

So in my previous articles on the subject of buying holiday gifts for photographers, I've focused on inexpensive stocking stuffer gifts and a more expensive themed gift idea centered around a new activity for your photographer - Strobist or off camera flash technique.

In this article I want to address those who might be getting a little tired of your significant others expensive hobby draining away all of the families disposable income. Lets face it. Photography is an expensive pursuit and all that money spent on cameras and lens could go a long way towards vacations, dinner out, jewelry and a new dress once in a while.

No one is suggesting trying to squash someone creative outlet, rather how about trying to get your significant other to actually make money with their semi-professional equipment. After all the professional photographers have to justify their expensive camera purchases with actual income. Unlike the photo enthusiast who seems to put no limits on their purchases, the professionals have to make business decisions for every purchase. So why not try to subtly suggest to your semi-professional photographer that they make some money with all of that equipment?

There are a number of ways to turn pro, either full time or part time. One could start covering events like sports or weddings or one could shoot stock photographs. Stock photography or microstock photography involves a minimum investment. Photographs are submitted to stock libraries such as Dreamstime and designers for advertisements, blogs, web sites, brochures, posters, books etc can select images. The microstock site and the photographer split the commissions. It can be a great way to bring in a little cash for more photography equipment.

To get started in any of these money making pursuits I suggest the following books and software for maximizing your photographs before submitting to stock photography sites. Adobe Photoshop Elements is great for removing copyrighted symbols for stock photography and for general photo correcting. Adobe Lightroom3 provides the more advanced photographer a work flow for storing photographs, developing and printing.

Lightroom excels at processing large volumes of photographs, creating the perfect negative, and outputting collections to web, print and slideshows. Photoshop remains the ultimate pixel-level, individual-image-editing and compositing application.

Both software packages work well together to provide everything you need to start making money with your photographs.

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