ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make it as a Photographer

Updated on July 18, 2015
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years. Hope you enjoy my hubs!

Business cards

Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0
Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

Boudoir photography

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

How to make it as a photographer

Photography is a hobby, a profession and can be both. But making money in photography can be difficult but not impossible even though the field is very competitive.

Almost anyone with a good camera, a business-savvy attitude, and marketing know-how can take & sell photos. What distinguishes those who sell some photos from those who make photography their living is dedication,perseverance,technical expertise,patience,a good "artistic eye", the ability to network, lots of effort and some luck.

Almost any photography genre can be used as a way to make a living. Is it easy? No. Photography is quite popular and there is a large abundance of professionals trying to sell their art.

Unless you happen to be the one who takes the first and only shot of "the first alien visitors to planet Earth", making it big will require effort.

Making photography into a business takes planing, market research, and lots of marketing. None of today's top professional photographers made it in one year, in fact it took them an average of ten years, lots of submissions and side jobs. But they all had one thing in common; they had a love for photography that never waned.

The basic steps that one should undertake in no specific order are first to research the market; Is there a demand for the genre that you want to pursue; i.e photos of flowers. Who will be your main buyers, how will you market yourself, do you have the technical skills needed to repeatedly make 100% technically sound photos, do you have the gear or can you afford the gear, can you sustain yourself for up to a year with some other income besides photography.

Once you have mulled over these questions, the next thing to do is decide which photography genre will make up your mainstay. The main money makers are : portraits, business/commercial, fashion, nature, photojournalism, and scientific. Other genres are real state photography, astronomical photography, and event photography.

Each of these break further into subdivisions. For example, when I first started I found it easy and profitable to take photographs which were meant to be used in wall calendars, with nudes being the most in demand at the time.

Soon I found myself gravitating towards nature and shortly afterward decided to focus on nature photography.

I had a very good paying (other than photography) job at the time so money was not an issue and nature photography was and is very well represented , I therefore knew that it would take time for me to become recognized and start selling my wares.

The next step is to shoot enough quality shots to be used in submission to various publications or used to display your talent. After a period of four years my photos and work slowly began to be recognized and used and by that time I had accumulate about 2300 quality photos.

Next was to set up business cards, office supplies, contracts, models releases, a business address(my home), a business phone and email, a storage system, work space, and marketing materials which included a sample portfolio, a computer, scanners, light box, and applicable office equipment.

Photography as a business is not only going out and taking the best shots that you can. Like any other business it takes many aspects coming together to make it a success.

The best advice that can be offered is to first accumulate as many quality shots as you can (usually in the range of 500 to 1,000), and then start contacting publications to obtain their submissions guidelines and then start your submission.

Note: never- ever submit unsolicited material, more than likely it will be returned unopened or worst, discarded. If publishing is not on your mind, you should at least have enough quality photos which you can use as your advertisement format in your shop or by portfolio. They will be your "business cards".


Web presence

Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-ND 3.0
Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-ND 3.0 | Source

Some definitions of the various photographic genres are:

Portrait: people, babies, couples,school, weddings,birthdays etc.

Fashion: models, fashion shows, accessories

Nature: fauna, flora,landscapes,natural events(not disasters although this is a gray area)

Scientific: microscopic organisms, crystal formations,bacteria, virus etc

Product/commercial: specific products, store fronts, services, business concepts, people at work(not to be confused with portraits), industry shows, car shows,food.

Photojournalism: news, events at local, national and international level, disasters; natural or man made.

Abstract: Images that capture small parts of a subject but leave the identify of it in the dark. Useful for fine art galleries and advertising campaigns. Mostly art impulsed.

There are many more sub categories but these are the most lucrative ones or rather the easiest to enter and make it as a professional photographer.

I hope that making money in photography-tips and suggestions has proven to be helpful to you in your photo endeavors. Good luck

Portrait photography

CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

Thought this was interesting?

See results

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      10 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Jackie Lynnley: You're welcome

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      10 years ago from the beautiful south

      Alright, forgiven. Sorry, just saw the ones up there seven months and assumed you were acknowledging none. It is a big job keeping up with acknowledgements and return visits I am very aware, but one I take seriously.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      10 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Jackie Lynnley: Thank you and sorry if I took long but I approve every comment good or bad, however,sometimes it takes me longer than 20 minutes to get to them. Glad that you enjoyed the article.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      10 years ago from the beautiful south

      I love the frog and snake picture, wow, to catch a shot like that! I do think I have a couple of UFO shots though. I sure never thought about the competition but I do think I have an eye to take angle shots of nature such as I have never seen but then I haven't been looking, so I guess I had better. It is something I have to do, one way or another. Great hub. Too bad you don't appreciate people enough to acknowledge their comments.

    • montecristo profile image

      Angel Caleb Santos 

      10 years ago from Hampton Roads, Virginia

      Great! Thanks for sharing.

    • Yackers1 profile image

      Yackers1 

      10 years ago from East England, UK

      A great article there - I have a passion for photography but don't think I could ever go pro. THe competition is just so fierce.

    • aquarianodyssey profile image

      Mariette Chapman 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      Great article! I love photography, and would like to become a professional, but it just seems to be a daunting task, because, as you mention, there are just so many good photographers out there.

      At the moment, I will just keep to it as a hobby!

      Regards,

      Mariette

    • sarclair profile image

      sarclair 

      10 years ago

      Thanks for the hub! The pictures you have are nice too.

    • WhiteOak profile image

      Eva Thomas 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Good good suggestions. Thank you for writing this very useful information.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)