Most people get into photography as a hobby. Photography is fun and allows you to explore the creative side of life. But, photography is also a lucrative profession, and even if you aren’t looking to turn this hobby into a full-time career, there are ways to make it profitable.

If you need money now and know your way around a camera, you’re in luck. Here are effective ways that you can make money by simply taking photos.

Sell Your Photos on Stock Photography Sites

If you’re a hobbyist photographer, you likely have a large collection of high-quality photos. Instead of letting them go unseen, submit them to stock photo sites so that you can make money off of them! Licensing and selling your photos on stock photography sites is a great way to earn passive income.

How to Make Money Taking Photos

Using sites like ShutterStock, iStock, and BigStock, you can generate some serious revenue each month. All you have to do is sign up for an account, upload your photos, add photo descriptions and metadata, and then you will submit your photos for review.

As users download your images, you’ll earn a commission. The amount is based on the picture and how popular it is.

Offer Photo Shoots

Chances are that there are plenty of people in your social network that would love to do a low-cost photo shoot with you. Even if you don’t have a professional studio, most clients these days love the natural look of outdoor photos, or photos taken at a unique location.

How to Make Money Taking Photos

People are always looking for a photographer to help them capture and commemorate important moments of their lives. To start building your portfolio, offer photo shoots! You can offer a wide variety of options, including:

  • Newborn photo shoots
  • Maternity photo shoots
  • Family portraits
  • Pet photo shoots
  • Birthday photo shoots
  • Headshots
  • Boudoir
  • Real estate photos

Depending on the length of the shoot and the number of pictures that will be taken, you can easily charge no less than $100. This isn’t a huge amount of money, but it’s enough to put some extra cash in your pocket. You can make a lot of cash if you can land several photo shoots a week.

How to Make Money Taking Photos

Start a Photography Blog or Vlog

Blogging and vlogging have become more popular than ever. As a blogger, you can make revenue from sponsored content and ads. If you don’t mind writing a few blog posts each week, you can start earning by sharing photography tips and tricks or by making tutorials for amateur photographers. You could also review photography gear or the latest software that you use.

How to Make Money Taking Photos

If you aren’t much of a writer but like to speak, vlogging is another option. Video content is all the hype today, and with videos, you can create all sorts of content such as product reviews and tutorials.

Once you get a steady flow of traffic to your blog or YouTube channel, you’ll then be able to start actually making money from it.

Enter Photo Contests

You don’t have to be a professional photographer in order to earn a photo contest. Amateurs and experts alike join photo contests, so don’t be afraid to enter and to give your photos some visibility.

How to Make Money Taking Photos

What’s nice about photo contests is that if you do win, you typically win a cash prize or some sort of photography equipment. Some cash prizes go as high as a few thousand dollars! Not bad for submitting a few photos.

How to Make Money Taking Photos

Even if you don’t win, at the least you’re able to gain confidence in your work while also getting some exposure.

Sell Your Work

For some people, the right photograph is a beautiful piece of work. People pay for art, so if you want to make a few extra bucks, find ways that you can sell your prints. You can consider options such as:

  • Selling at local photography and art galleries
  • Bring framed copies to arts and craft events
  • Upload images to paid photography websites (ie. ImageKind, Adobe Stock)
  • Display your artwork at local restaurants and coffee shops

How to Make Money Taking Photos

Before you get into the business of selling your photographs, be sure that you have access to a good printing service. You want all of your prints to be high-quality so that they put your skills and expertise on display.


As a photographer, you may just take photographs for fun, but in the future you may find that you’re looking for ways to drum up a little extra money. If you’ve got a knack for capturing awesome images, keep these options in mind as a way to monetize your hobby and to give you a little financial cushion.