Lets not kid ourselves. We’re all infatuated with the thought of being able to generating some extra income and when you have an expensive hobby such as photography, I think the level at which you can monetize from it will be determine on how much you’re able to differentiate yourself from the countless other’s who are trying to do the same.
For many people, the typical business model in which a photographer can get compensated for their work is to either get booked for a gig, to sell prints online or to continue shooting while putting their best work out there with hopes that one day one of their pieces will be discovered by a major magazine and get published. They’re all great sources of revenue but it’s certainly not the only avenues available especially now where the very things that make us unique are displayed and discovered online.
Look at it this way - people whom you might have never heard of are now putting out great stuff and they’re making a killing out of it. Most of their success revolves around great content and personal branding and so my interest is in discovering news ways that photographers like myself can monetize from what they’re passionate about by profiting outside the conventional box in which you would normally see a photographer making money in.
Natalie Johnson recently wrote a must-read article for every upcoming photographer where she shares 10 money-making ideas for your photography and the suggestions go far beyond the 3 that I mentioned before.
I’m often asked if I’m interested in doing some wedding photography and while the pay has driven me to accept some offers as an assistant, the mere act of photographing isn’t too exciting if you’re not photographing what you like.
So how else I’m I expecting to make money as a photographer you ask? Well, that’s the question that’s been on my mind and while I haven’t discovered a definite answer yet, I believe the opportunities exist online where the commodity is the mixture of your photographs and the ideas and opinions that are valued by the people who have a vested enthusiasm for the same things you’re passionate about.
At this point, the conventional way in which a blog can make money is by either having Adsense, selling eBooks or by offering advertising space on their site. It’s difficult for me to envision how these techniques would benefit a typical photoblog like mine without the fear of distraction towards the photographs themselves but I’m sure someone somewhere can pull this off tastefully.
By the mere mention on prominent blogs such as Shawn Blanc or Minimal Mac to name a few, I’ve gain a consider amount of traffic which has resulted in the selling of prints but it’s not all I think about by just having a photoblog.
I think there’s no secret that money tends to flow towards those people who can use it to produce valuable goods and services which benefit others and based on what I’ve seen online from successful photographer such as David duChemin or David Nightingale, much of what attracts people to them aside form their work is their insight, their advice and their tutorials on how people like myself can improve on what we love to do which is to photograph.
So what I’m learning is that the “selling of something” becomes even greater when the people paying learn that what they’re getting from you goes far beyond the tangible stuff and I think there lies the key to being able to profit as a photographer in new ways.