But that doesn’t mean they can’t also turn their photography skills into a source of income.
Here’s how you can do it…
Moonlight at Evening Weddings
For most professional photographers, events are their bread and butter, the one sort of job they can rely on for high-value sales. But many events take place in the evening and at weekends, making them an opportunity for part-time photographers who aren’t available from nine to five.
The time limitations might mean you have to be a little selective — photographers are usually the first to reach the aisle so you might have to be quick out of the office door — and you’ll need enough talent and good samples to compete. But if you don’t mind the odd late night followed by an early morning for work the next day, wedding photography could make a fun second job.
Take a Little Extra with Microstock
If the idea of spending your spare time drinking Champagne and eating salmon or chicken doesn’t thrill, then microstock could be a good alternative.
We talk about microstock a lot here because it’s an easy way to make your first image sale. Remember though that to get the multiple downloads and permanent customer base that top microstock photographers rely on, you need to shoot commercial images that sell, not offer your top artistic shots and hope someone will buy them because they’re nice.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can shoot microstock whenever you want. While top-earning microstock photographers shoot full-time, you can generate some useful extra income by shooting at the weekends and editing and uploading in the evenings.
Sell Photography Products
Photos aren’t the only things that photographers can sell. Put your images on t-shirts, mousepads or magnets and you’ll have a whole new way of converting your talent into income. Zazzle and Qoop are two places that let you create photography products but you should also be able to find local printers that can produce at a high enough quality for you to start marketing at craft fairs, stores and online.
You could even team up with a designer and put your photos to a truly original use.
Write a Book
It’s the dream of almost every photographer — professional or amateur: to create a photography book that contains their images and which people are actually prepared to buy. Low-cost, print-on-demand services like Blurb have now made that possible.
But the same principle that applies to microstock applies to creating photography books — if you’re as interested in selling them as you are in making them, they need to be commercial. The easiest way to do that is to think about the subject matter as well as the composition. Local landmarks could sell well in nearby bookstores; cuddly animals tend to sell well.
You’ll still be able to take the shots you enjoy in the time you have available but you’ll be getting paid for them too.
Check out our post on becoming a wedding photographer and tell us how you manage to fit your photography around a full-time job.
[tags] part time photographer, freelance photographer [/tags]