In this horrible economy, it is often necessary to try to supplement your income. Instead of getting a low paying second job, try to think of other fun ways to earn extra money. There are many ways to make money with photography. My wife has helped out our financial situation by specializing in senior portraits.
Take pictures of high school seniors. If you have a knack for taking portraits, this is a great way to earn money without having to invest much. Getting business is usually not too difficult. You probably know of someone who is graduating from high school soon. You can offer to do the pictures with no sitting fee and only charge for the prints. If you do a great job you WILL get referrals. A studio is not necessary. You can find a scenic spot at a park or lake. If it is winter, sometimes a local community center will have areas for taking photos. You may have to rent a spot, so try to get this money back in the sitting fee or the up charge of the prints.
As as add on, you can offer to put together graduation announcement cards. Offer to take photos at the graduation and at the grad party.
Real estate photos. This could mean residential listings or even listings for hotels and businesses. Agents and business owners don’t always have time or the ability to take high quality photos of their properties. You should be able to find the agents that do the most business in your area just by seeing their yard signs. Contact some commercial real estate companies to see if they could use your services.
Weddings. If you are thinking about getting into wedding photography, I would think twice before doing this on the side. Weddings are very time consuming and you are going to need more equipment than just a camera. My wife doesn’t normally do weddings but she did accept a job for a wedding that was casual and outdoors. We knew that this person wasn’t going to be high maintenance and the job turned out well. Even though I don’t have much experience, I became the backup photographer, and I did manage to get some good shots that my wife didn’t.
Stock photography. Taking pictures of cars, people, flowers, mountains, just about anything you can think of. There are websites you can join, such as Shutterstock, where you are able to upload your pictures for a chance to earn royalties on them. Think of someone with a website. They quickly need to find an image of a car for their auto parts site. They will look to download one off the internet instead of taking the time to take the picture themselves. Plus, they will probably find a much higher quality picture than what they could have taken.
Special events. Anniversary parties, birthdays, graduation parties are just a few examples of places where someone might want professional photos taken so they can remember the special day. You can make money by charging for your time and then by the mark up on the prints they purchase.
These are all great ways to make money with photography. If you need extra money, or you lost your job this could be a fun career to get started in.