6 Ways I Make Money As A Photographer

man holding a camera, missouri wedding photographer


For the photographers out there wanting to diversify your income… just know, you’re not alone. Many of us want to have those extra income streams, especially during the slower seasons (and with our current economy). Photography is more than just a service though, the money making possibilities are almost endless. The key to being successful with multiple streams of income as a photographer, is to choose those that make sense for you, and focus your efforts there. Spreading yourself too thin will create subpar results in all areas. With that said, let’s dive into the six ways I make money as a photographer!

The 6 Ways I Make Money As A Photographer

1. Wedding, Sports, & Portrait Photography

Through my brand (as seen here on theofficialroyalphotos.com) I offer personalized photography experiences with a specialization in weddings, sports, & portraits! As my main source of income through photography, this is also where the majority of my efforts are focused.

2. Real Estate Photography & Videography

Under the same business, but using slightly different branding, I also offer real estate photo & video services! Using this structure for my business allows me separate my online presence (social media, website, etc.) and target different audiences, but still gives me the ease of only having to do some things once – like taxes, business registration, and more. My real estate photography website and information can be found here: royalphotosrealestate.com

3. Freelance/Contract Work

There are many reputable, or at least semi-reputable, photo and video business out there that hire photographers for contract/freelance work. You can find smaller local companies to work for, or larger national ones. There are even sites specifically designed for photographers to find associate and second shooters in the wedding industry. Some of my favorite places to find contract/freelance work:

4. Selling Artwork

Almost all of my wildlife, landscape, travel, and automotive photos are available to view in my online galleries. You’re able to purchase them as a digital file, fine art print, canvas, metal or acrylic art piece, & more – and they’re customizable to fit your space! You can view my galleries here: theofficialroyalphotos.pixieset.com

5. Stock Image Sites

In my free time, I upload photos I’ve already taken to a few different stock images websites. Definitely the most passive stream on this list, and it can be quite lucrative with the right photos and effort. There are TONS of different stock images sites out there that you can trust. To find the best fit for you, determine what you’re looking for in a platform. A big factor in determining which platform you use is the exclusivity. Some platforms are only exclusive or non-exclusive, meaning you may only be able to upload and sell your photos on that one site. Though usually means higher payments per sale and better visibility for your work on the platform. I currently only use a few stock image sites, which are:

6. Education

Although I don’t have any paid resources, courses, or coaching available currently. I have tutored younger aspiring photographers on occasion. More recently I’ve definitely seen an increase in experienced photographers going this route! There are tons of platforms to host your online courses, create ebooks and PDF’s, or offer coaching. You’ll know when you”re ready to educate others!


Making money as a photographer definitely doesn’t come easy. According to Thimble, out of the many businesses they surveyed in 2021, the low income earners paid themselves a salary of about $24k while the high income earners paid themselves a salary of around $75k. The Bureau of Labor Statistics backs this up with a median salary of about $38-40k. By making money through multiple streams of income, your able to reach your income goals easier, and even switch from the more active income streams to the passive ones. Like I said earlier, the possibilities are next to endless!

As always, thank you for reading, and don’t forget to follow along for more content like this!

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