How Can I Make Money With My Camera?

How can I make money with my camera? Photography is a fun hobby; unfortunately it can also be an expensive hobby. But with just a little imagination your hobby can pay for itself.

Photography is a fun hobby; unfortunately it can also be an expensive hobby. Especially since the advice given most often to amateurs is to shoot, shoot, shoot. The more shots you make, the more likely you are to have a wonderful photo in the next batch you get back from the developer. But, the cost of developing and buying all that film can add up, so it helps if you can earn a little of that money back through your photography. And, with just a little imagination your hobby could even pay for itself. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Brochures

Brochures are everywhere. Businesses offer them, churches, and especially Real Estate offices. And, they all include photos. Since they are usually working on a limited budget, they are often willing to work with beginners. You can work cheaper than a professional, since you don't have the high overhead that they have to figure into their fees. You will get exposure through word of mouth, which will lead to other work in the future.

2. Post Cards

When you have mastered the basic photography techniques, you may be ready to try your hand at selling your own post cards. Local tourist attractions are the most popular subjects for postcards, but don't forget other possibilities, such as parades, festivals, schools, hospitals, and businesses. The more varied your subjects are, the more places you can find buyers for your postcards. Also, consider selling them directly to businesses to give away as promotional items and advertising.

3. Pet Portraits

Pet portraits have became popular over the last few years, but pet owners are not always comfortable taking their pets to a formal photography studio. You can set up an outdoor studio and offer your services as a neighborhood pet photographer. A studio can be as simple as a backdrop hung on a porch, with a few props to add atmosphere. Just remember, pets can be difficult to photograph since they don't always cooperate, so this is only a good choice for the true animal lover. Patience is the key word in pet photography.

4. Informal Senior Photos

Senior Photos have always been a major expense for family's who have a child about to graduate. In the past, this meant one set of formal photos, taken at a photography studio. These photos can usually run well over a hundred dollars. Now, the common practice is to have two sets of photos; one formal and one casual. While most will choose to have their formal shots done in a studio, some may cut costs by having a private photographer take their casual shots. A private photographer, like yourself, can once again do this for much less than a professional photographer. You can make these shots on location at sights that your subject feels comfortable with, such as his own back yard, with their favorite pet or even their car or truck. These photos are great when taken outdoors, at parks or other natural attractions such as lakes, streams or waterfalls. One photographer even made a photo of a girl standing on the train tracks with a train coming toward them from behind the girl. I don't know if I would advise this, but you can see that the options open to you are endless.

5. Calendars

Calendars are another great selling item. People snatch hundreds of them off the shelves every year. Most of the time, though, all they have to choose from are ones with no connection to their area whatsoever. If you are lucky enough to find one that covers your particular state, it is unlikely that your town will be included. If you have a calendar of your area to sell, with some strikingly beautiful photos, you will have filled a void in the market. Yours will be the favorite among all those others and will jump off the shelves in no time. You can also contact the banks, funeral homes and other businesses in your area for the possibility of taking the shots for their calendars that they give away every year for advertisements. Local shots will be more likely to sell to local customers.

These are just a few ways to make money with your camera. Once you get started you will discover many others, and will start to see a return on your investment in no time. Eventually, your hobby may turn into a full time profession and your career in photography will have turned into a wonderful money maker!

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