If you love photography and thinking of what business ideas make money for photographers, this article will help a great deal.

It shows up to 25 of such business ideas to look into, to get the best of both worlds – your love for photography and making money at the same time!



Inevitably when photographs are taken there always seems to be a pair of rabbit ears over someone’s head, sticking out of a tongue, or a funny face that is made when a group picture is taken.

Having our picture taken is a fun activity and, although many will indicate that they don’t like to have their picture taken, most individuals do like to see themselves as moments in time are captured during special events, or just a family or group setting to reflect the moment and maintain the memory.

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Of course, now we have cell phones in which our favorite subject is continually photographed by taking selfies.

In addition to spontaneous pictures being taken, photography is a serious business.

An example could be a group picture that may be multi-generational of those individuals involved in the photo.

Or a 50th or 75th wedding anniversary in which you want the photo just to be perfect or a centenarian blowing out the candles on their birthday cake.

In such instances, the event may call for a professional photographer to ensure that the lighting is correct, the proper lens used, the correct speed, any filters, etc.

Although the majority of us have smartphones and are equipped with sophisticated cameras, there are photographers who take photography to the next level and as such can be involved in a number of business ideas to make money.


25 Best Money Making Business Ideas for Photographers


1. Stock Photography 

Stock photography is the option for you as the photographer to sell your photos through a variety of online websites.

By registering you can start the process of uploading your photos and making them available for sale to individuals who may wish to use them for a variety of reasons.

One such website is Shutterstock and you need to be 18 years of age and the photographs need to be original.

Of course, there are restrictions or limitations on what is acceptable.


2. Pet Photography

Families adore their pets and as such the pets are almost treated like children.

Consequently, the demand for having pets photographed is becoming a thriving business.

Examples of photographs of pets could include the animals dressed up in costumes or even taking photos of pets playing with their owners or on their own.

Often, the pet owner will use these photos for greeting cards or wishing holiday greetings.

You could promote your business by dropping off your business card at various pet stores or veterinarian offices.


3. Weddings 

One of the primary business opportunities for a photographer to earn significant money is by photographing a wedding.

Certainly, there are many that attend these joyous events and take photos.

However, having a professional photographer is usually more acceptable for the official photos because the items are posted, the quality of the photography is exceptional, and a good to the excellent photographer will come up with creative and ingenious ideas of how to capture the day of celebration.


4. Children 

Of course, nothing speaks to our pride and joy as our children.

Having photographs of our children during certain stages in their lives or on celebration events such as a graduation, birthday, etc. always calls upon the need for a professional photographer.


5. Printed Photo Products 

You can specialize in taking photos of members of the family, pets, etc., and affix those photos to various products.

For example, a Father’s Day mug could have a picture of the children emblazoned on the mug as part of their gift to the most special dad in the world.


6. Greeting Cards 

People still enjoy staying in touch with other family members and friends, especially during the holiday season.

Other special occasions could include birthdays and anniversaries and various pictures can be placed on greeting cards.

Also, you can specialize in taking the photo, creating the greeting card, and even putting a QR code on the photographed car in which the recipient can scan the code and it will take them to the individual’s website for further information about the family, what may be happening in their lives, a newsletter, etc.


7. Professional Headshots 

Many professionals know the importance of making a good impression with potential employers or when the individual’s picture is being posted in a publication for business use.

An example of a professional photo that needs to be taken would be included in an annual report or on the company’s webpage.

Therefore, as a professional photographer, you can specialize in taking professional photos of business leaders to ensure that the lighting is correct and all of their strong facial features are highlighted.


8. Passport 

In today’s day and age, having a passport is a significant means of identifying an individual and is often needed for traveling purposes.

Therefore, people turn to professional photographers to take their passport pictures.

The pictured passport has to be a certain dimension and certain characteristics revealed in the photo including the display of one of the earlobes at a certain angle.

As a professional photographer, you can specialize in taking professionally done passport pictures that an individual will be proud of as the passports are good for 10 years without needing to be renewed.


9. Daycare Photos 

Many daycares have graduation ceremonies when the children move into the next level of the daycare or actually reach that age where they move on to school.

As a professional photographer, you can offer your photography services to these daycares and take individual photos of the children that are graduating as well as the entire class.

Parents always want to see their children excel and this graduation process would be part of encouraging the child and making it a special occasion.

Sometimes the daycare even put the children in graduation caps and gowns.


10. Social Media 

Due to a number of personal encounters occurring online, many individuals post their profiles and include a picture.

Therefore, an individual wishing to portray their “best side” may engage a professional photographer to give that added professional and quality dimension to a photograph that they can use on their social media accounts.


11. Buildings 

Companies and architects, in particular, create a portfolio so that their designs and creations can be shown to other potential customers in the hopes of gaining new accounts based on their designs of buildings.

A possibility of a side business for a photographer is to be in the area of taking photographs at the best angles and with the best natural lighting to bring out the lines, and designs of architectural work.


12. Magazines 

There are two aspects to journalism.

One aspect is the written story in which the reporter will share the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the story.

The other aspect of journalism is photography.

You could be a freelance photojournalist and submit your work to various journals.

You could be a freelancer that specifically covers photo opportunities as assigned by your newspaper or magazine that utilizes your photography expertise.


13. Contests 

Another photography opportunity to not only gain cash awards but distinguish yourself and your photography is to be involved in various types of competition.

One such site that lists a number of contests can be accessed here.

You will be able to view a full list of contests that might be of interest to you.


14. Travel 

An opportunity that might present itself is to be a travel photographer.

One way in which you might be able to get paid for your photography as it relates to visiting different parts of the world is by freelancing for a travel magazine.

You could reach out to these magazines, provide a reflection of your work by presenting your portfolio and offer to be part of their freelancing team to take photos.

One outdoor magazine that accepts submissions can be found at www.outdoorphotographer.com/submissions/.

Another way that you could utilize your photographs from different parts of the world is by creating a travel blog and utilizing these pictures.

Revenue may be achieved through your sponsor, affiliate advertising, or your followers.


15. Teach 

As an established photographer, a good way to earn money and stay within your craft is to teach others some valuable tips, techniques, and processes as it relates to being a professional photographer.

You can work with your local community college, library, community center, etc., and offer these classes at a fee.

Part of the class structure could include subjects such as types of a camera to invest in, lighting, the lens to use, the use of a drone to capture a unique photo, etc.


16. Real Estate 

Just as location, location, and location are the mantra for selling real estate, equally as important is photography as it relates to capturing quality images of the real estate for sale.

The first item of the potential new homebuyer’s attention as it relates to real estate is the visuals that are presented.

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Therefore, one of the tens of ways of earning income is by being a real estate photographer.

To obtain realtor customers or to capture the attention of real estate associations, it is important to get before them and showcase your work.

This can be accomplished as many associations meet on a frequent basis and you could work with the leadership of the association and do a presentation as it relates to the importance of photography, examples of good and poor photographs, and what you can do to increase their sales.

As part of your photography, you would want to catch the various angles of the home, at certain times of the day to create an inviting and warm appearance, taking photographs from an elevated position by climbing a step ladder, etc.

Any way that you can enhance the features of the home will help to make a quicker sale.


17. Aerial 

Aerial photography is a new trend that is gaining popularity and bringing a different perspective and new life to standard photographs.

Perhaps you could learn how to operate a drone or work with a drone company to capture the perfect photographs.

With a camera mounted to a drone, you could come from a distance and focus on the bride and groom and zoom in to where they may be taking their vows or standing.

Also, a possibility is to have a drone coming over a body of water and have rolled on the photo video the story of the couple and then come into focus their sharing of their vows, etc.

The words could be flowery and talk about seeing each other from the distance and then the closer the couple got to each other the more solid the relationship became.


18. Sports 

Another area that is important, as it relates to photography, which could involve an individual or team, is the world of sports.

Often, sports teams wish to take photos to promote the team in the community, chronicle a particular team member’s career, and more.

Or an individual team player may wish to hire you as a photographer to be at the games, take various pictures in order to promote their own personal career, or perhaps a book is being written about their sports career.

In either case, the world of sports is a highly visual as well as extremely active opportunity for a photographer to get good photos.

Some of the sports could include rodeos, surfing, baseball, basketball, car races, golf tournaments, etc.

Related: Best Websites and Apps that Pay You to Watch Sports.


19. Corporate 

Businesses and corporations host a number of events not only for their staff but for their customers and vendors.

Some of these events could include trade shows, sales conferences, and training seminars.

To market these events and their product, photographers are often hired to capture pictorially the event and the various attendees.

In addition to taking photos of presenters and the audience, group photos are taken to showcase who was attending as well as who the presenters were.

This is a good advertisement for future events.

You could promote your service as a photographer for these events through your website as well as social media platforms and by word of mouth.


20. Art 

When an artist has completed a project and wishes to display his or her artistry to other individuals, often they will utilize an experienced photographer to capture the photo so that it can be added to the artist’s portfolio.

To take photographs of artwork requires special skill and equipment so as to make sure that the artistic painting is enhanced or not obscured due to the texture of the oil painting, or any other materials utilized for sculpting or other artistic work.

This specialized photography could earn an individual some significant dollars if the artist is able to provide a photographic copy to a high-end buyer for sale consideration.


21. Photographic Artist 

In addition to taking photographs of items and capturing those images, another option for a photographer is to be a photographic artist.

A photographic artist can capture the likeness of an individual, landscape, or even city life and use a variety of photographic techniques to create a mesmerizing artistic work.

For example, if the artist reduces the speed of the photos taken the photographic shots could provide a blending of city lights together with the skyline or the vehicles.

This technique is very engaging and adds a unique artistic flair to the photo.

Also, if an individual wants to take a photo of an individual or couple, they could use the various techniques of lighting, focus perhaps on the hands or the weathered face, and capture a unique perspective of Americana.

Related: Best Money Earning Opportunities for Artists.


22. Photo Restoration 

An aspect of photography is the restoration of photos and converting old photos into digital creations.

This is a valuable photography service in that many individuals have older photos and wish to preserve them.

The way that this can occur is to have them restored and converted.

To accomplish this would be a moderate investment in an average to good scanner along with specialized software and be able to provide this service to nostalgic customers.


23. Retouching 

An aspect of a photographer is to take the almost finalized digital representations and artistically apply a few moderate touchups here and there.

For example, the teeth can be whitened up a little bit, a blemish can be obscured or the background can be changed as in lightning, darkening, or a complete change out.

Also See: How to Earn Extra Money Taking & Selling Pictures of Your Body.


24. Jewelry 

A critical component in the selling of jewelry is presentation.

Just to simply put a diamond ring out on a cloth and shine a light is sometimes not going to be enough to capture the entire beauty of the piece of jewelry and convince a potential customer to purchase that wonderfully crafted ring.

As part of the presentation, a photographer will use the right light to capture:

  • The various facets of the diamond
  • Angle the ring in combination with the movement of the light to capture the spectacularness of the diamond’s gleam
  • A perfect blend of contrast and brightness to enhance the quality lines as portrayed by the craftsman
  • ETC

In addition, when photography is used to capture the beauty of jewelry, it needs to be placed on the proper background that will not detract from the item but bring out every specific feature and quality that the particular piece of jewelry has to offer.

There is actually an online jewelry photo kit that can be purchased through such sites as Amazon.com.

Related: How to Make Money by Becoming a Jewelry Designer.


25. Fashion 

Another industry that is extremely dependent upon photographers is the fashion industry.

In fact, fashion photography is one of the highest-paid photography businesses that are available.

When photographs are taken of the model wearing a particular clothing item, there are a number of effects that can be used such as a wind machine to move the hair, a variety of poses that the model can take to bring out the uniqueness and flair of the clothing design, etc.

Of course, a critical component of fashion photography is a perfect blending of the light and the use of reflective or light-enhancing equipment.

Through Amazon, you can obtain a softbox LED lighting kit.


Personal Story

Two Saturday nights ago I got a very pleasant email from my sister who lives in the Midwest.

Evidently, our cousin in the southeast sent her over 500 photos of our family from both my mother’s side and father’s side of the family.

She forwarded the attachment to me, and it was such a delight.

The pictures ranged from my father when he was a little boy, his military service, my mother and father’s wedding pictures, and very early pictures of the family that they brought into this world.

Some of the older pictures, of my dad’s grandfather and grandmother, were typical black-and-white photos that seem to be taken from the pages of history books.

All had one thing in common.

That one thing in common was it seemed like nobody smiled.

I don’t know whether they had to sit still for a length of time for the exposure to be taken, or they were unhappy or perhaps their dental care was not what we are able to experience today.

Anyway, all that to say is if a lack of a smile in a photograph is an indication of unhappiness, it seemed like my ancestors were all very unhappy until the 1940s when it seemed like my parents were able to put a smile on their face.


Money Earning Photography Business Ideas FAQs


What Are Some of the Unique Adjustments or Considerations That a Photographer Needs to Account for?

Some of those considerations that include both the use of the camera and external factors include:

  • Camera settings
  • Composition
  • Light
  • Postprocessing


How Important is It to Choose the Right Lens?

There are many considerations that a photographer takes into account when choosing the lens.

As it relates to the lenses, they are different due to the magnification, autofocusing speed, maximum aperture, focal length, etc.

However, the most important consideration when choosing a camera lens is choosing the lens that best fits the intent of the photograph and as it relates to the photographer’s particular preferences and requirements to ensure that the perfect camera shot is achieved.


You Can Do It

There are many business facets available to a photographer in which they can earn good money.

The photographer’s creative tool, the camera, in some individual’s hands can just be an opportunity to point and click to capture the photograph,

With a creative photographic artist, it is more than just pointing and clicking.

Involved is imagination, ingenuity, utilization of a variety of techniques associated with photography, lighting, speed of the photo being taken, various lenses utilized, etc.

There is a customer base waiting for a quality photograph to be taken for their special event, their loving pet, or to showcase their own particular creations, etc.



Photography has come a long way since the days gone by when individuals would pose for a photo, and just sit there and concentrate so that they didn’t move when the photo was being taken.

Today, with the advent of computer and camera technology, a host of action types of photography can occur based on the speed of the camera and the lifestyle of individuals today.

Through these advances and your particular unique and creative photographic style, you can say cheese and smile all the way to the bank.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!