How to Be a Photographer

If you are looking into becoming a paid photographer, chances are you are already good at taking pictures.  You may have family and friends who ask for copies of the pictures you take or who ask you to photograph their special occasions such as a baby’s baptism or a birthday party.  How you make the leap from hobby photographer to paid photographer largely depends on what type of photographs you take.

Sell Your Photos Online

If you love to take photos but don’t want to be confined to a particular type of subject, you can begin to make money by selling your photos online.  Some popular sites to use include Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, Dreamstime and Fotolia.  You will make approximately .02 to .20 cents per photo.  The more photos you have up on the sites, the more money you can potentially make.  On average, if you have hundreds of photos on each of the four sites, you could make $100 to $150 a month in passive income.

Become an Event Photographer

A much less passive way to make money from your photos is to become an event photographer.  You can choose from a variety of different jobs.  If you work well under pressure and don’t mind working on the weekends, you may consider becoming a wedding photographer.  Or, you could set up a studio in your home and take professional quality photos of graduating high school students or children or family photos.  Another option could be freelancing as a photographer for a newspaper.  (Check with the newspaper to see if they hire freelancers to take specific photos or if they would just like you to bring photos to them that they might like.)

Pay will vary according to the job you choose, but wedding photographers can make between $800 and $4,000 per wedding depending on the services you offer and how experienced you are.  Of course, photographing the wedding is only one part of the work you must do.  You will also need to market your business, meet with potential clients, and develop and present the photos.

There are many different ways you can pursue your passion as a photographer.  To be successful, you may want to take some photography classes, upgrade your camera, and develop a portfolio to show potential clients.  Doing a few jobs for free to build your portfolio is worthwhile.  While you have young children at home, you may want to sell your photos online and then become an event photographer as your children grow older and more independent.

Have you made a career of photography?  Share your experience, tips, or a link to your website in the comments!

*Photo by MikeBaird via Flickr.

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