How to Make $100,000 a Year With Your Photography

Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, it’s safe to assume that you’d love to make at least $100,000 a year with your photography. Chances are, you’ve already heard that the key to reaching this number is to have multiple streams of income. In this video, Evan Ranft offers an alternate path for making six figures a year.

Multiple streams of income are certainly important, particularly for anyone who is self-employed. Many people lost their primary source of income during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photographers whose sources of income included in-person workshops saw this revenue stream dry up for a year or more. Conversely, photographers who understood how to offer online workshops or even online photo shoots saw their income increase. In the video above, Evan begins by detailing his own multiple streams of income. These streams include photo shoots, a YouTube channel, sponsorships, Lightroom presets, and print sales. While this formula is working for Evan, he acknowledges that not every photographer is equipped to immediately implement multiple streams of income. For these photographers, there may be an easier solution.

Breaking down the math, if you want to make $100,000 per year, you will need to generate $8,000 per month or $400 per day for 20 days of the month. It is important to understand your value as a product and/or service provider when you look at these numbers. Photography is the product you are selling, and the more value you can provide with this product, the higher rates you can charge. Evan’s contention is that it is more difficult to sell a lower-value product to a larger number of people than it is to sell a higher-value product to a smaller number of people. Instead of seeking out 20 clients each month willing to pay $400 for your product, you should seek out 10 people willing to pay $800. Simply put, direct your energy to where the money is.

Evan believes that most photographers’ prices are too low. However, many photographers have no choice but to price their services as such because these photographers do not offer enough value to their clients. Some photographers offer nothing more than good images to their clients. Rather than just offering photographs, maybe you could give your clients some assistance on which images should be used on each of your client’s various social media platforms. Perhaps you could help your clients by writing captions for their social media posts. What if you assisted your clients with finding locations for photoshoots that match the colors, message, and feel of the client’s brand? Are you capable of facilitating a collaboration between this client and another client that you have worked with in the past?

With this strategy in mind, your first step in earning $100,000 in 2022 will be to put in the work to increase your skills so that you are offering a high-value product so that you can justify charging a high rate. An added benefit of this strategy is that by shooting fewer days of the year, you will free up time that can be used to create additional streams of income. As Evan states, this formula is not complicated, but it will require hard work on your part.   

If you'd like more professional tips on the business side of photography, Fstoppers produced a full course with Monte Isom, Making Real Money-The Business of Commercial Photography that includes lessons from the highest paid photography gigs out there along with free contracts, invoicing times, and other documents. If you purchase it now, you can save a 15% by using "ARTICLE" at checkout. Save even more with the purchase of any other tutorial in our store.

John Ricard's picture

John Ricard is a NYC based portrait photographer. You can find more of Ricard’s work on his Instagram. accounts, and

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I earned 10 cents on my last Shutterstock sale

It's a good start of the year. You just need to sell 999 999 images more to make $100K. Just believe in yourself and stay positive. It will free up time for additional income streams.

Gotcha' beat! I was paid 99 cents from Adobe Stock. ;-)

He totally lost my interest when he mentioned that it took him years to understand he could make his own web site. It's a huge contradiction on this article.

OH....the 100,000 dollar a year box...

Get a camera, make photos of your house, sell the house. Now you have 100 000$ per year for the next few years thanks to your photography. ;)

I've said this before and I guess I need to say it again: Please stop using the word "Make" or "Made" - If you're in business selling your photography Make and Made tell us absolutely nothing - Learn to use the following words: Grossed or Gross; Gross profit; Net Profit; Netted or Net; Net before Taxes are a few examples - Fstoppers, please make this a requirement - The words I mentioned have legitimate meaning when running a business - Make and Made are useless without further information - Words have meaning, please use the correct terminology.

Valid point. I'll keep it in mind the next time I'm writing on this general topic.

I liked this piece alot. I have the high paying clients but it was a good reminder to create multiple streams of income. Thanks for sharing