Today we will talk about photography business ideas that can make you rich. I believe that nothing is more time-wasting than having skills or hobbies that can be cashed into thousands of dollars, but you aren’t starting a business. Just because you don’t know how to start a photography business step by step, doesn’t mean that you can’t learn it.
We will share with you some of the most practical and profitable photography business ideas that will work best in 2020. To start any business, you need some basic knowledge of business, the gear, basic skills and then you train yourself through the hard-earned knowledge with your practical work.
Photography Business Ideas
And I believe that this decade is the best time to start your photography business because history witnessed that this year was the most successful year in the history of photographers. The demand for photography is increasing day by day. It is your chance to turn your dreams into reality.
Here are some profitable photography business ideas:
1. Stock Photography
If you have ever tried to use an image from the internet, you already know about stock photography. If still, you don’t know. Here is what stock photography is; the supply of unplanned photographs for the whole world. Stock photographers take pictures of hundreds of thousands of subjects and then upload these photos on the internet, either through their own website or by other already existing big corporations. The most successful stock photography company online is Shutterstock.
Shutterstock is an American provider of stock photography, stock footage. It is headquartered in New York City. You can also find some additional services like stock music, sound effects, drone shots, etc. People like magazine owners, websites, bloggers and newspapers purchase the photos you supply on the ShutterStock and thus you get paid for every photo sold.
Now you have got two options to start stock photography and it truly depends on your business budget and skills.
If you a good amount of investment, you can make a professional website, upload the photos, beat the competitors, learn and apply the principles of successful photographers, there is a chance that you can do well in this business.
Let me make it a little clear for you by telling you that stock photography is way much more than a one-man show. You may need a responsive team that is passionate about the business and ready to serve 24/7. You need way much more investment than you think you need.
If you have small investment, then you can just start working with any of the online companies already working and competing in the niche. And personally, I think this is a little better and secure way to first learn how stock photography works and you will come to know that it takes time, patience, hard work, persistence, passion, and sweat to bring a successful start. Once you start earning a few dollars daily, you will start learning the tactics and strategies you can use to bring more sales and revenues.
2. Real Estate Photography
If you ask me I will tell you that the most profitable photography niche is real estate photography. If you master the skills required and start dealing with the right small businesses and companies, you are more likely to get rich with a few years.
And I can’t emphasize more on the point that you need to learn and adopt the changes according to the situations. Being creative is the most important part of successful business skills.
Let me tell you that real estate photography is in demand always! Why? Because houses are sold and bought on a daily basis in each and every city.
But nothing is easy, especially real estate photography is a little tricky. It needs you to concentrate on the business very keenly so that you can actually understand the reasons why someone got impressed by the photos you took. While on the other hand, why your client could not impress that specific customer online. Was it because he was not really inspired by the photos you took.
So, when you come to know the difference between both of the stories, you will, through some more experimentation come to know that some photos sell and others don’t.
But if you master the skill once and your client is really satisfied with the photos you took, you are more likely to get more him to call you back, over and over again.
And you know what the best thing people love in business is? It’s a returning customer. So, when you get your client to call you over and over again, it will give other property agents a signal that your photos are doing great. And guess what happens! You already know the answer! They will also hire you and pay you.
Let say you start with a very small amount of 100$ for a small photo session. I know it is not a good price but a successful business starts with a creative and unique plan, you have to do something like that.
So you charged 100$ for your first photoshoot and the same day your quality photos made an impression on the customers of your clients. Let say he told your property agent “The photos are awesome” which happens in more than twenty percent of the cases when clients ask questions like, the photos are great, no doubt, is the house the same way!
Such a stupid question! But it makes sense when you are going to invest your hard-earned money in some sort of property.
And now you got a plus point because your photos were awesome. If you get positive feedback twice or thrice from one client, it means that you can double your prices.
Surprised? You should be surprised. But this a really helpful tip famous mentors have always given to their students. You are not going to lose clients just because you doubled your prices, but you are going to earn more and get more clients. Because when you were offering a 100$ per session, they already knew that you are charging less than half of the price you should charge.
And you already know that you will increase your prices soon. So, they won’t get surprised. Instead, they would demand a little more effort and quality. Which is just a sign that your clients don’t want to lose you.
With every photo you take, the price of your work increases slowly. And ultimately from a one-man show, you turn into a big company, scaleable business within a year or two. But always keep in mind that you need to be passionate, persistent, and creative in your business. Smart work will lead you to success.
Once you master in one field, you can start a second one, then a third one. Don’t yet think about scalability.
If you need some additional information, here is How to Get Into Real Estate Photography
Let’s jump into the third idea.
3. Photography School
If you are really an expert in your photography skills and you believe that you can teach others, you should start a photography school.
Here is how to start a photography school:
Decide the type of courses you will teach
The first step in starting a photography school is to make your mind clear about the type of skill you are going to teach. What is that you are good at? What’s your specialty?
Let say you are pretty good at portrait photography or Ariel photography, you can teach that. If you are good at wedding photography, and you know that people usually join photography schools to achieve this skill. The wedding photography is something special when you see the bride and the groom with two or three photographers hanging around them, you already know that you can’t mess with the most special event in one’s life.
So, you will only get a contract for the wedding project if you are really skilled at that. That’s the reason why most people start working with experienced photographers as a student to learn the skill first.
What if you are offering wedding photography classes? You are more likely to get more students. Just because it is something that comes with proper training and experience, you have a good chance to turn your passion into quick cash.
Choose a location
You can start an online school, but offline presence is quite important in this business. Choosing a good location is way much important than you think.
Most of the successful small businesses that are crushing right now are successful because they started in a unique way from a unique place.
So, if you want to get more students, you need to open your school in a location where your services are in demand.
Develop a business plan
Do you know what is the most important thing that successful entrepreneurs do? It’s planning.
You need to develop a business plan. You need to write down the stuff you need to do. The tactics, strategies, and all your ideas.
You need some professional teammates to work with you. You need to hire experts like you.
Before you hire someone, I will recommend you to watch some videos about hiring a team or read some articles.
Create a business name
Naming your business in the right way can make your business, at the same time, if you name your company in the wrong way it can destroy your business. Here is the complete guide, and name ideas for photography business.
Buy all the required equipment
If you are already an experienced photographer, you know better what kind of camera gear you need to buy.
Market your business
Marketing your business in the right way is quite important. This is the part of the business that most people just ignore or forget about. But I believe that marketing is way much more important than awesome services.
If people don’t know what you are selling, no one is going to ask you. You have to tell people that you are offering the best services in the city. And that through your courses, students will be able to find careers and starting working on unique photography business ideas.
4. Wedding Photography Business
It’s one of the profitable photography business ideas. People are ready to spend thousands of dollars to put their precious memories into beautiful pictures.
But that doesn’t mean that you need to pick just a camera to start shooting weddings. The most important celebration in one’s life needs the most conscious efforts and quality work. So, you need to learn everything perfectly before jumping into this business. So that you don’t ruin people’s special events and that you can get some positive reviews and grow your business faster.
To learn wedding photography, I will suggest a perfect plan. If you follow that you are more likely to become an awesome wedding photographer.
I am going to share with you two main techniques or you can say methods that you can follow to become a professional wedding photographer.
The first thing is to go to YouTube and watch each and every video out there about shooting weddings. For a better experience, you can watch the videos more than once that you liked the most.
Once you are done with that and you also wrote some points for you that you need to work on, you will start thinking that you have learned everything.
This actually happens to human beings. With a little knowledge, theoretical knowledge, they start thinking that they have learned everything they need to. But this is not the case, you know nothing.
But you will come to know that with the second step.
The second part is to start working with an experienced photographer or company for free as a student. Don’t get paid. People who get paid, work for people who pay them. You don’t have to become an employee. You don’t have to get paid so that you can realize that you are here to learn not to earn.
So, when you focus more on learning, the money will follow you. Once you are done with learning, you will come to know that you are handling most of the work for your teacher and that your teacher has started trusting you with major events. This is the time where you need to start your own business.
As I said before, if you are skilled, the money will follow you and then you can either invest that money in other profitable photography business ideas or you can invest them in some sort of real estate. This truly depends on the type of life you want.
5. Fashion Photography
Fashion photography is the genre in which photographers shoot stuff likes clothing, accessories, and fashion models.
In the world of today, where professional cameras like DSLRs are available at a very low cost. And almost everyone who is trying to start a photography business can afford a DSLR.
And the best part is, to do fashion photography you don’t need that many skills as the quality of digital cameras is increasing day by day and you don’t have to be that much experienced to take that crispy images that will inspire people. With the increase in the technology and availability of Digital cameras to more people, the competition in the market has increased to a significant level. And now to compete in such a high competition market, there is only one thing that can help you the most.
It’s your unique style and creativity. The way you take pictures should be different and unique than most of the people. Just because the competition in the photography businesses is high, doesn’t mean that you can’t become a big corporation.
You need to focus on the stuff you are doing and you have to learn the stuff fast and go with trends.
And we all know that the trends come and go, and we get new trends. You have to take advantage of all these trends as a fashion photographer.
And now you must be thinking what kind of stuff am I going to shoot as a fashion photographer.
You can shoot the following things as a fashion photographer:
If you look at the famous brands and their stores online, you will come to know that each and every piece of products they are trying to sell needs to be photographed and it needs to be photographed well so that it can generate more sales than normal. When you are selling products online, the only things that can give the customers ideas about the quality of the products you are selling is the quality photographs.
So, e-commerce stores and brands are constantly looking for fashion photographers to get their products photographed.
Editorial is the stuff you see in newspapers, magazines, etc. This kind of job is a little hard to find.
Most fashion photographers get paid for shooting photos for ad campaigns.
6. Photography Studio
Opening a photography studio is one of the most profitable photography business ideas in 2020.
But How to open a photography studio.
The first thing that you need to start a photography studio is to learn the skills required. You may have to take courses and classes.
But once you learn the skills, you just need a business plan and a small amount of investment to start this business.
Here is how to open a studio:
Make a plan
The first step is always planning your business. That’s what successful entrepreneurs do. Write down your business plan and each and every step.
Choose a location
Choosing a perfect location, where the population is high is important. Otherwise, you may not get the customers you want. You should go out and search for places and markets where there is a need for a photography studio and you can do well there.
Buy the equipment
Buy all the stuff required to open a studio. Here is the list of things you need:
- Camera bag.
- Editing software.
- Business cards.
Find a business name
We have recently created an ultimate list of photography business names from where you can find a studio name.
Advertise your business
Advertising your business is way much more important than you think.
Let’s jump into the next photography business idea.
7. Portrait and Family Photography Business
You can start portrait photography by taking photographs of your family and friends.
And people who are looking for photography business ideas with low investment, this business is for you.
You can earn a good amount of money by scaling your business through proper business planning and focus.
8. Photography Courses
If you are really skilled in photography, what are you waiting for? Create some unique photography courses and put them online.
Promote them offline and online or create a blog to promote them through the search engine. Once you start selling, you will slowly start to come up with ideas for selling more and more.
The better way to earn a good amount through this business is to create courses around the skills that are not yet made by anyone else. If you are trying to put the same courses as others have done it, it may not help. You need to carefully take a look at the online courses website and you need to find out what kind of courses are in demand. Once you know that what’s selling the most, you can either create something unique or you can create a 100% better version of what’s already out there.
And if you just put some courses without any research and without analyzing the market, you are making a mistake.
Your business will not sky rock with just creating these photography courses, you have to promote them and prove your wealth to the audience. A very good way of this is to go to podcasts as a guest and explain to the people in the right way the benefits of the courses. It is essential that you highlight the benefits of the courses instead of throwing them on the audience to just buy it.
If you were able to impress your audience and other’s people audience through your way of talking and explaining, and telling them some good stuff that they don’t know right now, you will sure get some people interested in you and your business and your courses.
9. Child Photography
You can start child photography as a side hustle. Not everyone is ready to pay for a full photography session, a 300$ price. So, you have to make something creative to get more clients.
When a new kid is born, it is a time of happiness for all families. So usually photographers are hired for photography. But if your prices are high as the regular prices in the market, people are not going to hire you if they can’t afford.
So you have to create small sessions for people who can’t afford it. Let say you charge 300$ for a photography session of two hours. Now you can create a mini session of 30 minutes and charge 100$ which will be both helpful to you and your clients.
Also, the photography of kids is increasing day by day as people want to create a documentary around the happenings in their lives and their kids’ lives so that they can turn them into sweet memories. That’s what creates your opportunity to earn a good amount of money.
10. Pet Photography
People who love pets and want to create a personal gallery around their pets are more likely to hire you for their pet’s photography. If you have made your mind to start pet photography, you have to create awesome photos and promote your business through proper pet websites so that you can get the most relevant people to see your work. This will inspire them to hire you.
Once you start getting clients, your business will start to expand if your services of photography are good. To me, it is one of the most profitable photography business ideas.
11. Wildlife Photography
This kind of photography and videography is quite popular nowadays and people are earning thousands of dollars by selling their photos and videos to TV channels and other ideography sites. But this kind of business is a little effort demanding and proper planning, going to different places to get some shots.
Wildlife photographers take serious risks in life to get that awesome shots every dude talks about and likes and share. So, if you want to start wildlife photography beside all the gear you need, you have to take some courses and classes from the experts. You have to work with them as a student to get some serious knowledge of the work.
This kind of photography needs patience, hard work, persistence and ultimately as a result of these efforts, you get high-quality photos and more money.
12. Criminal Forensic Imaging photography
Although this kind of photography can’t make you rich, you can earn a good amount of money. You will get work on a daily basis and as a result, you will get paid on a daily basis.
But if you start this business on a large scale and you put your team into action and start getting contracts throughout the city and your teammates are present throughout the city, you will win the race and overcome all kinds of competitions in a short amount of time.
The good thing about this kind of photography is that you can sell this kind of photo to news channels, magazines, and other related websites. If you need a side hustle, you now know how to start a photography business on the side.
13. Insect Photography
Have you ever thought, what do insects do throughout their lives? How do they eat? Do they take showers too 😂, lol, but if you are somehow interested in insect photography, don’t think that it’s a waste of time. But instead, it is one of the main niches of photography where you can earn a good amount of money.
You can sell these photos throughout the internet to the related sources. There are news channels, documentary producers and other related people who are ready to buy from you.
14. Magazine or newspaper photographer
Mostly there are two types of newspapers. The ones that buy photos and use them. And the other who hire a photographer and then give him the work to photograph stuff.
So, there are two types of opportunities for you if you want to get into this business. Either you have to start working as a photographer for a newspaper or you have to create photos in which newspapers will be interested.
I personally think that people who create their own stuff and then sell it is a good one but it takes hard work and time. Patience is required to stick to this kind of photography.
15. Sports Photography
Sports photography is a little difficult and different from the other ones. You need some special training and the use of your equipment to rock in this business.
You have to visit different places and cities to get these photos but once you are a little popular in your industry, everyone would like to work for you and will love to take you to their events and clubs so that you work for you.
This is a really broad field and you need to manage different things.
16. Travel Photography
If you are fond of traveling the world and exploring the different countries, you are on the way to big success. You can create amazing photos and videos throughout the world and sell them to different related sites.
If you only start from creating travel photography for your Instagram, you will start getting sponsorships from different agencies to promote them through your phots and they will sponsor your trip to any city or country.
17. Aerial Photography
This kind of photography is getting more popular with time as modern technology has entered the market. The recent releases of affordable drones have turned people into Ariel photographers and everyone loves that unique crispy shots.
This can be your next business if you can work and pay full attention to the business and into the creation of the amazing work.
18. Celebrity Photographer
Celebrities are always in the news and news channels are always looking forward to getting that few shots you have taken.
So if you want to get into this kind of photography, you have to start visiting your favorite celebrity’s different meetups. If you create a documentary around what happens throughout the day of a celebrity, because more and more people are interested in that, you will get more audience.
Photography Side Hustles
Here are some side hustles for photographers:
- Start a YouTube channel about photography.
- Food photography on Instagram.
- Online photo editing services.
- Start nature photography.
- Interior designing photography for small businesses.
- Underwater photography.
- Create scientific photos.
- Health photography.
- Start photography mentorship.
- Plant photography.
- Automobile photography.
You can also check this post on how you can start your photography business.