99 Ways To Make Money From Your Photos


No, this isn’t a list post. We’ll spare you having to read a list that long on your monitor. And a list that consisted of little more than 99 headings and a line of explanation would always be of limited value. It’s not enough to know that you can make money selling textures, teaming up with hotels, or creating photo products. You want to know how to do it, what you need to shoot, how much you can earn… and where to begin.
We couldn’t fit all of that information in a single blog post, and to spread it across the blog would make the different methods too difficult to browse. So we’ve gone analog and put it all in a book. It ran to 340 pages.

99 Ways to Make Money from Your Photos took more than a year to produce. It draws on interviews with photographers, businesses and buyers. Its recommendations are based on case studies and success stories that reveal exactly how amateurs, enthusiasts and professionals are making money from their images.

A Comprehensive Guide to Making Money with Photography

We’ve tried to cover as broad a spectrum as possible. Professionals should find plenty of information in the book about licensing, upselling and joint venture opportunities. Semi-professionals can learn the basics of part-time stock photography and discover niches that they might never have considered such as pet photography, children’s photography and food photography. And occasional shooters can discover how to combine their hobbies with image-making to sell their crafts and create products that they can place in stores to bring in a little extra cash.

We’ve also tried to cover as many different aspects of making money with photography as we could. So some chapters focus on particular types of photography, revealing, for example, which images sell the best on eBay and suggesting novel ways of providing portrait services. But we also look at marketing methods, with chapters on iPhone-based promotions, working with sales reps and building subscription lists. Of course, we’ve also discussed the most effective Web-based photography services, explaining what you need to do to make the most of those sites and maximize your earnings.

Most of the ideas in the book describe activities and strategies that are already in use. We’ve talked to photographers who are actually making money from these methods, the companies that act as intermediaries between buyers and producers, and the customers themselves. Occasionally though, we also discuss opportunities that we’ve spotted but which have yet to be exploited by independent photographers (such as creating your own specialized sets of trading cards) or at all (such as working with the homeless to spread your photos and build a brand while benefitting the community). We’ve tried to be both creative and pragmatic, practical as well as inventive.

Filled with Little-Known Opportunities

Some of the opportunities we discovered surprised us. We assumed that children’s dance schools, for example, represented no more than a yearly opportunity to supply photos that parents might otherwise shoot themselves with their camera phones. In fact, we were told that new performances are usually held several times a year and that each performance creates a new opportunity for a photographer to make money. While school photography companies compete fiercely to gain access to high schools, nimble independent photographers are discovering the benefits of extra-curricular classes.

Each chapter is divided into concise sections that explain what that particular method involves, what you need to shoot, how to do it and where to break in. We even offer expert tips for success in each field and talk you through the first steps. It’s always knowing what to do at the beginning that poses the biggest problems. Once you’ve shot the images and discovered the marketing channels necessary to sell them — and certainly, once you’ve made your first sale — whichever method a photographer uses tends to develop a momentum of its own. You discover for yourself what works and what doesn’t and, in time, build a customer base that’s loyal, stable and buys regularly. 99 Ways provides 99 different entry points into the world of paid photography.

So far, the response to the book has been immensely gratifying. Jeff Beaver, a co-founder of Zazzle, has called it:

“[A] great resource for any photographer serious about turning their passion for photography into real money.”

Oleg Tscheltzoff, CEO and co-founder of Fotolia has said that:

“99 Ways to Make Money From Your Photos is an excellent guide for both novice and experienced photographers…. Whether you just invested in your first digital camera or you’ve got an image library spanning years, this book will give you a step-by-step resource for capitalizing on your images.”

And Andreas Reinhold, a professional engineer who now wins regular photography commissions from top car magazines, told us that

“Several of the shown ways to earn money with photography work for me. Some of the given hints were new to me and proved to be successful and this is why I also recommend this book even to more experienced photographers who already earn money with their pictures. This guide is so comprehensive that any photographer should be able to find a good starting point to get his business going.”

Clearly, we don’t expect you to use all of the methods that we’ve described in the book. But you don’t need to. Start selling images with just one or two of the strategies that the book contains, and you’ll already be in profit, whether you’re a professional looking to expand his or her business, or an enthusiast looking to earn a little extra income.

This is the first of a series of publications that Photopreneur has in the works. 99 Ways to Make Money with Your Photos is a print book but we’re also about to release online a collection of premium reports revealing how to make money as a pet photographer, sell microstock images, and market your Photoshop skills, as well as two professional guides to using Flickr commercially.

99 Ways to Make Money with Your Photos is now available for sale at Amazon.com.

16 comments for this post.

  1. Seb Coursol Said:

    Excellent resource and very original ideas on how to capitalize on your photographic content beyond the more traditional outlets of stock content sales. Some rather known, others truly interesting.

    Seb Coursol, CTO and co-founder of iSyndica

  2. XIII Said:

    Dammit, no list post...

  3. Erick @ DSLRBlog Photography Business Blog Said:

    This is a great idea, especially if used right by aspiring professionals - that is, used to identify potentially profitable niches and then building a business plan around specializing in those niches. I think that's the way many make the transition.

    I wish you would have provided a sample list of the ideas here, even just 10-20.

    BTW, I wanted to let you know that I included Photopreneur in my list of photography business blogs at DSLRBlog. Keep up the good work.

  4. Candi Said:

    Sounds like a book I need!

  5. AUGUSTO Said:

    Do you think an Illustrator could take good advantage of this book? Or do you intend to make a version for illustrators as well?

  6. Mirko Said:

    I am from Germany and interested in your book. Will it be available as an e-book download? Or will I be able to order it at Amazon.de in the near future?

  7. Photopreneur Said:

    The book is already available as a KINDLE edition. So, if you have an iphone or ipod touch, you can download the kindle app and buy the kindle version. In the NEAR future, when we release our other ebooks, we might release this book as an ebook as well.

  8. Mirko Said:

    Thanks for that. As I don't own one of the gadgets named, I will have to wait and hope for a normal ebook release...

  9. Heath Said:

    This looks fantastic! How do I get my hands on a copy in Canada? Any chance you can make it available on Amazon.ca?

  10. Photopreneur Said:

    right now, you would still have to order it from amazon.com...

  11. Dave Brown Said:

    I really hope you release this as an Ebook, I have such a hard time reading hardcover books, because I don't want to carry them around all the time.

  12. MadMutant Said:

    I came here from graphics.com only to find out that amazon.ca or chapters.ca doesn't carry the book. Rather disappointing. And, no, won't buy an ipod or iphone just to read your book, sorry.

  13. 1kadayblogspot Said:

    This looks great and it also tells us that they teach the technics of taking photos and we can also order the collection from amazon.com.. Great information for photographers

  14. Abu Abdullah Said:

    Nice book to buy.

  15. michael tsarnas Said:

    I have a print that dates back to the early 1900's late 1800's and i am looking for information on how i can find the value of my print. I have no experience when it comes to the arts, so any information you can help me with I appriciate.

    Thank You

  16. Jen Pruet Said:

    Very interested in buying this book, there is a lot of free info on the internet but what you really need is a book with unique ideas to make money and sell your photography, Jen

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