How to Turn Your Photography into a Business

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

You may initially have taken up photography as a hobby, but if you’re getting compliments on your pictures, this could spark the idea of turning your much-loved hobby into something that makes you money. But how do you turn your photography into a business?

The great thing about photography is you can build and develop a business slowly.  It is entirely possible to start a photography business while you remain earning elsewhere, giving you the time to develop your identity and build up a client base before you give up your day job! Here, we offer some tips on how to find those all important new clients and how to advertise your services.

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Build A Portfolio

Whether you’re advertising on photo sharing sites, or want your own website, go for quality over quantity when you create your portfolio. Make sure that you include only the absolute best shots you have to create a wide range of images that reflect your style and the style you want to sell. If your portfolio has gaps set up scenes to fill them.  


Consider joining a photo sharing community such as ClickASnap, which offer unlimited image storage and the chance of being paid for your content. When your images are viewed you can start the journey to making money from your work. 

Another benefit offered by some sites is the chance to sell a range of merchandise featuring your work. As well as joining a community of like-minded people, they can help you set up to sell merchandise such as mugs, keyrings and canvas prints to their audience all adding to your exposure and the chance of making a living from your photography.

Discover Your Niche 

Having a unique style or being able to adapt to trends can help your work become noticed more easily. Don’t change what you are good at, but find a way to make it saleable.  

For example, consider selling limited edition prints of your photos by teaming up with a reputable printing company, turn your photos into cards, or sell digital downloads online. Researching trends and coming up with creative solutions is important to make your photography a successful business and having an understanding of what clients expect will help you tune your business to meet them. 

Set Your Prices

Perhaps one of the hardest for any new business based around creative talent is setting a price that truly reflects and rewards the work involved. Pricing your work for potential customers is essential though. 

There is a fine balance between putting people off if you are too cheap or seem expensive, so check out the competition and while you are getting set up perhaps set a middle ground. If you wish to do photoshoots and weddings make sure you price to include your time and travel expenses. If you are selling prints of your work factor in the cost of inks, printers and papers to a quality that reflects your work best.

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Brand Yourself

Strong visual branding can say more than all the words you type on your website or social media.  If your work is not a style that is instantly attributable to you, then your branding is even more important.  A professional looking website and social media presence allows potential clients to follow you, view your services and portfolio before they contact you. 

Generating leads is harder work than the photography itself generally so you have to be proactive in your approach.  Contact local clubs, schools, and bridal shows as well as advertising and encouraging word of mouth referrals.

While it may take some time to turn into a full time business, you might be surprised at how quickly you can monetise your talents and create your business.