There are a lot of variables to consider when discussing the income we generate from our photography. Aspiring professionals often site a lack of work when defending their status as either hobbyist or part time photographers, but the truth is often a little more complicated than that. When times get tough, many creative photographers use the skills they’ve collected to generate income in other ways.
I know what you’re thinking. “He said ways to make side income as a photographer, not a…” and you’re right, but hey, income is income and there’s a good chance that the skills and knowledge you’ve developed as a photographer also make you a decent graphic design artist. If you’ve ever created a watermark or logo for your business, you’re that much farther ahead than the next guy, who assumes a vector layer is just another layer of the atmosphere. Make the most of your skills and cash in on easy jobs like logo design, which can produce an extra couple hundred bucks here and there and don’t consume much of your time. I know you’re busy.
Here’s where traditional web designers are going to hang me out to dry, but most of us have become pretty proficient in the use of the many online DIY website designers, like Squarespace. If it’s something you enjoy enough to be able to make a site for a friend, you could be cashing in on that time spent. I won’t venture to provide a number when it comes to the value of web design, however a quality website is worth a fortune in my mind.
These little devils are popping up everywhere. In fact, I can’t say that I’ve shot a wedding in the last couple of years that hasn’t had a Photobooth for its guests to have fun with. Initially I hated the idea of what I essentially viewed as a robot, taking pictures of guests that I could be taking myself. The idea has grown on me, and I now appreciate them for what they’re for. I mean, have you ever had an annoying guest that insists on having their picture taken over and over? “Hey dude! Look at me now!” I’m happy to direct those guests over to the robot to have their picture taken.
Many photographers are beginning to invest in Photobooths and they charge accordingly for their presence at events like weddings. A slightly large initial investment for sure, but it’s one that could pay for itself in short amount of time.
Assuming you’ve honed your skills to level worth passing on to others, workshops can be a great means of generating extra income. It's important to note that not all workshops are created equal, and the amount you charge for yours should fall somewhere within the appropriate price range. By this, I mean we all likely know who Peter Hurley is, and what he's best at. If I’m looking into workshops to attend, his name is going to add value to the workshops, and rightfully so. With that said, who are you? It’s definitely something to consider before you go pricing your workshops the same as some of the more noted professionals out there.
These are just a few ways you can boost your income as a photographer, both during slow months and busy months alike. While some, myself included, prefer to focus on fewer crafts (all of which deserve their respect), in many situations there’s no excuse for a lack of work. As the talented individuals we are, our creativity is often enough to supplement our income rather nicely - it all comes down to how hard we want to work to get things we feel we need.
What are some ways you’ve used the skills you’ve collected as a photographer to supplement your photography income?