Income Ideas for Photography Buffs

So, you love photography, and would like to earn a living, or at least some income with it?  Here are five ideas you can use as a basis to build your own unique idea.

Teach Independent Classes

Finding a decent basic photography skills class is often limited to the local community college continuing education department, or  camera store. Why not create a portable class and take it to small groups, or lead small independent classes? Scrapbookers are a huge market that already gets together to assemble their albums and share stories. Partner with someone selling scrapbook materials, or organizing group crops to offer a variety of classes from basic skills on up. Another angle would be for a specific demographic such as kids, college students, seniors.

Lead Photo Expeditions

This doesn’t have to involve trekking around the world. Similar to the classes, but with the added allure of actually getting people out with their cameras to take pictures, and then receiving feedback. You could have theme classes, such as “photographing interesting doorways,” where you walk around with several students taking photos, then have a lunch and learn debrief where you upload the photos and critique them.  Sunrise or Sunset.  Dog Park.  Cars. The possibilities for this are practically endless.

Specialty Photography

Do you love taking pictures of something in particular? Why not become the known expert in your area for taking these photos? For example, one lady has a thriving business doing outdoor dog portrait photos. Heavily beach oriented, she takes photos of the dogs running, and playing, then creates a portrait photo or grouping of photos. She works on commission, makes a tidy income, and spends her days playing fetch on the beach with dogs, camera in hand.

Traveling Scanning Service

This one might be a better side-business to one of the above, than a passion in itself. But those scrapbookers I mentioned above, and many others, have reams of photographs in shoeboxes that need to be digitized. There are excellent quality high-speed portable multi-feed scanners than run less than $1000.  Priced competitively, this service could provide an entree to whatever other photography oriented income you choose.

Stock Photography

You want to work alone? Take some time and get serious about stock photography. While the old photography purists lament the loss of photography as fine art, the good stock photographers are getting rich. There are multiple sites, and you can choose to work with just one or several. The money here is made two ways – a few great photos that get downloaded frequently, or lots of photos that sell less often. Read the stock photo site’s information – they will usually tell you exactly what kind of photos they need the most. I know of one gal who was perusing a magazine rack, only to see one of her stock shots on the cover!

Yes, these all fall in to the category of an independent business, but there is no reason why it couldn’t also be seasonal.  Spend the season where you want and only offer your services when you are there.   If you are in a place during a high tourist season, that’s a built-in market right there.


Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.