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Photography: How To Make Money With It!

Updated on October 30, 2017

Photography 101


You are a photographer or just do it as a hobby, why not use it to make a little extra money. There are sites that take different levels of quality, whatever your skill level you will find a way to make money. and as you learn and get better you can try the more professional ways to sell.

You have many choices of how to get started, because I did not have a dslr camera yet and could take a good picture with my point and shoot I started with a couple sites that do not sell the images. You make money by people clicking on the ads on you photo's page or from the amount of views they get. These two sites are called Free range stock and Stock vault, you do need an adsense account for this.

There are different types of sites and you should find a way you like, you can do stock photography and you will need a decent camera. There are sites that you can use your little point and shoot camera with, and you can use sites that put your pictures on merchandise and sell it giving you a commission. If you are already a photographer that does weddings or portraits this can become a good second earner.

Stock Photography

There are plenty of stock sites to put your pictures on for sale, some are better then others and there are a few that lead the industry. I will name a few of the ones I make money with and a few others I just started trying to see how they work.

123RF is a site that I make money from, they are less stringent and easier to get your pictures on. This site is my second in sales. It also has a referral program as another way to earn.

Dreamstime is a very popular site that I get the most view from even though I have not loaded that many images there. It takes a little longer here for your pictures to be reviewed and added to the site.

Bigstock is a great site and my leading one when it comes to sales, getting your pictures on here is a little harder but doable. My pictures look good on all the sites but here they really seem to be clear and colorful, you put a good picture on here that is in demand and it will sell.

I Stock is a Getty images site that is popular, you pictures have to be good to get on here. You will see images from here in major magazines and on the news.

What Is Photography To You?

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Perfect An Area

The best way to earn with photography is to pick an area and become really good in it. To specialize in it and become known for your work. Build a reputation around one thing and then start over with another area of photography. Kind of like related niche sites.

DSLR Cameras

These cameras replaced the older 35 mm Film cameras with digital images that can easily be saved, printed, and corrected. There is much more control over the picture and you can make corrections or changes in the camera. They have better and larger sensors to capture more detail and pixels, a larger picture gives the buyer more control to use the image the way they need it. There are so many tools within the camera to take a quality picture, I will name a few.

White balancing is where you set the exposure for the type of available light, if you are photoing in the sun or the shade you can set it to your needs and there are several other settings.

Bracketing is when several pictures are taken right after each other and then used to make one image of higher quality then would have been available with one exposure.

High Dynamic Range is when three images are taken at different exposures to catch all the details and put into one for a better image.

Exposure is set depending on light conditions and the subject of the photo, If you are shooting a still object in low light you can lower the exposure so the sensor is exposed longer to catch the details by gathering more light. A tripod will be need for this. Shooting a fast moving subject in good light can be done by raising the exposure to stop movement, exposures can be set from several seconds to a 6400th of a second.


Brand Names

Their are different brands of cameras you can by, Nikon and Cannon seam to be leading the industry. Nikon is slightly better quality and more expensive. You can pick up Cannon cameras and lens reasonable because their seems to be an abundance of them for sale all the time.

I went with Nikon before knowing that cannon was cheaper, i am very happy with it.

Merchandise Sales

Their are sites where you can put your pictures on merchandise and sell it, you add your art work and advertise it and the site does the rest. These sites are called Zazzle and Cafepress and they have plenty of quality merchandise to add your images to. Zazzle is the newer site but it has been around for a few years and is well known.

Learn Photography

This is a field or hobby that is always progressing so learn what you can and stay on top of the advancements, a lot has changes from the old 35mm days and the newer digital cameras have many features that you should know and understand how to use for better pictures.

I learn what I can online for free and I also buy books for when I am away from the computer, in bed, or on a trip to read and learn from. Books were the learning tool before the internet and are still very useful. Knowing photography will lead you to much better results and payouts.

Learning the new tricks and ways to take better pictures will ensure you sales, if you always take some time to learn you will become a better photographer and your pictures will improve and sell themselves.


Macro Images

Taking macro images require a special lens or can be done with extension tubes as a cheaper way. A macro lens captures more detail, you can get one with a shorter focus range like 40 or 50 mm if you like being on top of what you are photography. If you want a few feet of distance you can get a larger focus range like 100 mm. This is all personal preference.

Telephoto Images

When your subject is far away you will need a lens that brings it closer, this is called a telephoto lens. These lens come in varies sizes and can be expensive for a good one, they do what is needed to get the shot.

You want to avoid the cheaper after market ones that have a higher F-stop because you will not get enough light unless you are in bright sunlight.

Wide Angle Images

This is another lens choice that serves a purpose, when you are photographing a wide image and do not have the room to back away to fit it in the frame you will reach for a wide angle lens.


Get started and try different ideas you have, once you get going and find what you like to do then you can focus on getting better at it. There are many ways to make money online and photography is only one of them, it may have more then a few in itself to earn and as you get better your earnings will come.

-------------------------------------- The End ! ----------------------------------


© 2015 Vince


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    • iggy7117 profile image

      Vince 19 months ago from New Jersey

      You can get a decent camera on ebay for 200.00 to 600.00 dollars. The lens is where you will spend the money, The lens is more important then the camera.

      What I done was decide what good camera I wanted, then I bought a second hand camera that took the same lenses as the good one. I put my money into quality lenses and started making a little money. As the money grew I purchased the better camera and already good lenses. Sold the cheaper camera for almost the same price.

      You do not want to lay out a lot of money on a camera until you know you like it. Good luck...

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 19 months ago from The Caribbean

      Seriously thinking about following up on this offer. I have always loved photography, but I will need a really good camera. Thanks for the motivation.