7 Streams of Passive Income You Can Create as a Photographer

Income is important, but passive income is incredible. While it can be tricky to develop revenue streams that pay you passively (even just to a degree) in every industry, it is possible, and if don't correctly, can free you up to work on what you love.

There are very few quotes that I think about weekly. In fact, I'd say there are only really two. The first is a song lyric by Frank Turner in which he says "no one gets remembered for the things they didn't do." It's not an infallible philosophy, but it's one I use as a motivator to push myself and take risks. The second, which is far more pertinent, is Warren Buffet's famed words, "If you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die." It is alarmingly accurate and particularly as somebody self-employed, it is crucial.

When I first started working for myself, I only put a toe into passive income waters, and as a result, I received little back. I was lucky in places with image sales for commercial purposes that lead to royalty cheques, but in terms of seeking out passive income, I didn't go much further than selling stock photographs on Getty. Since then, I have developed other streams, like affiliates (albeit never pushed here on Fstoppers) and investments that have improved the health of my income streams.

If you haven't started looking into passive income, you really must. Photography and videography is a tough profession to make a strong wage in, and while it's most certainly possible, I would recommend that you do not restrict your income to paid jobs where you are swapping time for money. They may be the lifeblood of your business, but as the last 18 months have shown us, anything can happen and prohibit you from earning directly through photoshoots.

Robert K Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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I wish the writers here could do to a TLDV (Too long didn't view) instead just a hey look at this 13 minute video paragraph...

I have heard the videos get a few more pennies per view at 10 or 20 minutes. That's why there are so many videos that are 10:14 or 20:34...I fast forward a lot so I don't know how that affects the algorithm

Thank you for creating the video. It would save time if you would please get to the point. I came here to listen to what you promised to deliver - your view of the streams of passive income. Not to look at your sneakers, and not to guess how old you are.

First, there is no passive income here (at least when I gave up watching him talk about doing admin on wedding shoots).
Second, he is largely in the wedding and portrait business. This is a business that DEMANDS endless marketing, networking and SM blather. That is real work.
Third, while it is not passive income, print sales for a wedding should be massive. $1500 is pathetic.
Selling "passively" online seems like easy money but then so is standing outside Starbucks with a hand scrawled sign, a five day beard and old clothes.
This guy spends more time working than he is actually claiming. Or he is ignorant of the time he spends.

The real passive income comes from making a proper profit so one can invest in other ventures that DO throw off money while you sleep.
I can guarantee that Warren Buffet is not spending his time tapping out menial admin tasks for his buddies and thinking he is making passive income.

BTW I am convinced that YouTube videos are often needlessly long because it gives more time for ads. A 5min video of substance and value generates nearly nothing for Google. Whereas a 20min video with a clickbait title gets a lot promotion from Google.

TL;DW version:

1. Print Sales
2. Associates
3. YouTube Ad Revenue
4. Amazon affiliate links
5. Affiliate commissions from brands
6. Real Estate
7. Stock Dividends

The true hero, here.