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Top 10 Ways to Make Money Remotely During a Pandemic as a Photographer

Photographers are among the hardest-hit groups during a global pandemic. Photography relies so much on gatherings to generate the income – and most photographers pursue the “Wedding Photography” business model. If you are one of the photographers who need to physically sell their services, it is time to consider other business models.

This article proposes 10 ways you can still earn despite staying home or keeping social distances. Our ten options are probably your best shot at the moment. wedding and engagement occasions, parties, clubs, educational institutions, and other places and types of gatherings are being cancelled as the government enforce lockdown and social distancing measures that ban any kind of crowd formation.

As a photographer, you are probably reeling from the economic backlash of the pandemic. It is for the purpose of this possibility that we have collated a number of ways to maintain even a trickle of income to your pocket. Consider each option carefully and decide how well positioned you are to adopt one or more earning potentials. It is not an exhaustive range of options and we encourage you to think up other innovative ways to earn. But it should give you a good start – particularly if you are stuck figuring out how to survive by your camera and expertise. So here comes our recommendation for ways to earn remotely as a photographer.

1.   Sell or License Your Photos

As a photographer, you can make a lot of money online by selling or licensing your photographs. This is the most important option on our list because, under the right circumstances, you can start immediately. There are millions of webmasters and bloggers who need different kinds of photos to create content. There is never a shortage of demand as long as original images are used in articles, books and pages. As a photographer, this provides a large market from which you can make thousands of dollars

By far the groups which buy the most pictures are bloggers and small to medium-size website owners. These also happen to form the bulk of the internet. They go to certain places to buy photos each time they need it, and some bloggers buy tens of photos each month to satisfy their content needs. Just like there are certain groups of people who buy photos in the largest numbers, there are also certain types of photos that sell the most. Below is a description of the most popular photographs on the internet.

Photographs of people: it could be kids, adults and everyone in between from every country and culture. They could pose in different ways, against certain backgrounds and maybe with different expressions on their faces. It could also shoot to capture a mix of all groups and classes of society according to age, gender, income, etc.

Photographs of people working: these images are very popular with businesses and blogs about business. Take good pictures of people working on laptops, writing, speaking at a meeting, which has a high demand even among freelancers etc. Just don’t make your pictures so generic as to become a meme. 

Pictures of food: you can snap photos of a variety of fruits and delicious foods – even empty unwashed plates. Restaurants and blogs related to food or medicine always buy pictures like this and if you have a good collection of them, you could make quite some money.

Photographs of working tools like gears, hammers, nuts, bolts and screws can convey a lot of things for potential buyers. This is also popular with websites and blogs to do with skills, manufacturing, etc. and there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of such websites.

Photographs of cities including, cityscapes, buildings, people commuting, traffic, certain lovely or ghetto locations and many more. Travel agencies, news websites and blogs, educational organizations and many others buy photographs like this.

Photographs of nature: this class of photographs is a no brainer which never gets old to shoot or sell. You can spot captivating locations of nature whether on land or in water to take pictures portraying the beauty of creation.

Photographs of travel: travel photograph shots from around the world are always in high demand too, and it works like the ones about cities and nature.

Online Websites to Sell or License Your Photographs

There is a wide selection of websites that can help you display your pictures to the potential buyers for free. You can sign up with one or more of these after satisfying yourself through some internet search that they are good for you. Pay special attention to their terms of use especially how much they charge, and the method of payment for freelancers. Also, try to find out the categories that sell the most for each website. It is not mandatory that every website has popular photo categories in the order discussed earlier. If that marketplace is doing particularly well in a category to shoot most, then that should be a good choice.

  • Adobe Stock

Adobe is the maker of the most popular photo-editing software solutions including, Photoshop and Lightroom. They are the first online marketplace for photographs and have been in the business for over a decade. The thing about adobe is that their royalty share is pretty good – better than for most other marketplaces. They don’t require, unlike other market places, that you sell exclusively on their platform, and you get to keep anywhere from 20 – 60% of the take.

  • Shutterstock

This is one of the most popular sites for selling photos, videos and mp3 files and has been around for 15 years. You get to keep 20 – 30% of whatever your images sell and get paid monthly. Shutterstock says contributors have earned as much as $500 million since its inception. You can also sell the same photo on any website while selling on Shutterstock.

  • Alamy

This is another great platform to sell your photos. There are no complicated rules. You just upload your photos on Alamy and wait to get paid when someone buys them. Alamy have paid out up to $180 million to photographers worldwide. They offer you a competitive 50% on any sales.

Other photo marketplaces you can sign up with include: Etsy, Fotomoto, Crestock, 500px and many more.

2.   Start a New Photography Blog

It takes time to start earning through a blog. How much time depends on the number of hours you dedicate to the blog a day, your knowledge and use of SEO, and a few other less critical factors. You can make money as a photo blogger by displaying adverts or affiliate marketing. A blog does not have to be paid at the beginning. You can start with a free blog using platforms like Blogger, Wix, WordPress, etc. you can also make tutorials, share tips and tricks or write product reviews on photography gear and software. Not only that, but you can also write books on photography and sell to your fans. Normally, if you write useful content and do good SEO, you’ll attract more fans which means more money since they are more likely to buy your books.

3.   Start a YouTube Channel

Similar to running a blog, you can also start a YouTube channel. You can upload videos of tutorials, product reviews, usage guides, and many other types of content for people to learn or use certain tools of photography. A large following on YouTube can also take time to realize, but once you have thousands of people subscribing to your channel, you’ll start making some money from the adverts on youtube.

4.   Sell Your Prints in Public Locations

You can also make portraits of some great pictures. Many people are willing to pay for a beautiful work of art. You can sell your prints through your website or upload to sites like ImageKind. You can also display your work of arts at coffee shops and similar locations where people could see them. Don’t be surprised to find buyers even during this pandemic. Not everyone is so economically hit as to not afford spending on a work of art.

5.   Offer Your Photos Directly to Blog and Website Owners

You can easily locate a good number of high-quality blogs and website owners who belong to a niche suitable for your type of photos. Contact them through mail or the contact options on their websites. Explain how good a photographer you are and make them an offer, preferably send samples of some of your best shots. Give them the option to describe the type of picture they want and you’ll get it for them when you go out shooting. If you send out enough pitches with the right samples, don’t be surprised to gather long-term clients through this method. Clients you acquire by contacting

6.   Freelance for Magazines or Newspapers.

You can also contact local magazines or even distant newspaper houses for freelancing opportunities. You can do this online or offline if you are close to the location. Depending on your competence some will be willing to hire you on a work-from-home basis. Although the coronavirus has hit all sectors of the economy, newspapers are still largely up and running due to the criticality of information during times of crisis like this.

7.   Become a Paparazzo Photographer

You may be able to have access to celebrities during this pandemic. Take that opportunity to take pictures of them and offer to sell on the various platforms for such trade.

8.   Offer to Work as an Assistant Photographer

Get in touch with established photographers who may need a hand. Don’t be surprised to find many overwhelmed with work even in the pandemic. Such people often have personal blogs and social media presence through which you can reach out. It is very possible you end up contacting someone desperately in need of an expert photographer to help them.

9. Sell Your Photographs in Galleries

If you find galleries that are open in your location, you can sell your photographs by sampling them along with others for interested people to examine. You can make some appreciable amount of money if you are really good at what you do.

10. Offer to Teach Photography Online

There are various platforms through which you can earn by teaching people a particular trade or even answering questions regarding that trade. Skype and Udemy are an example of such platforms.

In conclusion, these are a number of ways you can spend your time productively in a lockdown. Even if you are not able to start earning fast enough, the amount of time and effort you’ve invested should go a long way in teaching you new methods to earn establishing your online presence.

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