Things you can do with your photography skills!
Most people think "in the box" rather than "out of the box" when it comes to using their photography skills. In other words, most photographers only consider monetizing their photography skills as photographers. But there are other ways to use your skills and creativity.
Not everyone wants to get paid to take pictures or run a studio; there is a lot of work and responsibility which goes into doing that. So some photographers prefer to leverage their gift in other ways. Here are a few of them:
Sell Prints and Photo Books: Whether you're a hobby or professional photographer, you can sell your prints or create and sell photo books through online sites such as Etsy and local art fairs. Here are more ideas on how to sell your work online.
Exhibitions: Exhibiting your work can be very fulfilling and helps you to engage with potential clients. Scope out some area exhibitions and local fairs where you can exhibit as well as sell.
Stock Photography: Did you know you can sell your work through stock photography companies? You might not make a lot of money initially, but you might be able to build a reputation with time. Here are some stock photography companies which buy from the public. One thing to look at carefully before you submit any work is who owns the rights to the image? Once you turn it over to some stock photography companies, you lose all rights to it as it transfers either to them or the buyer. Always read the fine print!!
Teach: Teaching photography to others can be a gratifying experience and an excellent way to keep up your skills without having to run a studio or take up your weekends shooting events. You can teach at a local community college, vocational school or run private classes either as an ongoing class or a short-running seminar. Here are some ideas for running a photo workshop.
Assist: Don't want to run your own photography business but still want the live-action feel of being out on shoots? Work with or for an established photographer with a thriving business. Working as a photography assistant is a good way to learn more and perfect your skills. Be judicious in whom you decide to work, though. Be sure your personalities and styles will work well together. Another way to assist other photographers is to be paid to do their post-production work. Editing and retouching is something not all photographers enjoy doing (or have time for), but can be outsourced to other photographers.
Professional Coaching: Some young photographers are willing to pay for professional coaching. Use your experience as a photographer to earn some money while helping others.
Photo Tours: You don't have to travel far to run a photo tour. It doesn't matter where you live, there is always something interesting to capture. There are many options when it comes to running a photo tour. You can do a downtown walking photo tour. Meet up at a local state or national park. You could even pick just one site to shoot. Try offering a few free tours as a trial run with family or friends before you start charging. Also, take a few photo tours to learn more! Note that running a photo tour of any kind can be tricky business, and it will pay off to do your research first. What if someone gets hurt during the tour? What's your cancellation policy? When and how do people pay? Here are some great tips photographer Becky Hayes, who runs a photo tour company called Foto Ruta, on how to run a photo tour.
You don't have to be a studio photographer to use your photography skills. Think outside the box and you might find that you can earn a living doing other things with those creative skills.