How to make money with your camera: earn cash with your photography

How to market your photography

There's no point in shooting amazing images if people are never going to see them! As a pro photographer, your job isn’t just to press the trigger. You have to wear several hats: accountant, photo editor, location researcher and, of course, chief marketing officer.

Nobody else is going to do the hard work of promoting your photography for you, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few simple things you can try to drum up business. Many people think marketing is a dark art, but it’s quite straightforward: just use every means at your disposal to tell people what you’re shooting and why they should hire you or buy from you. Here are six ideas to get you started.

Always carry business cards

One of the cheapest and most effective ways of marketing your photography is to not only invest in some business cards, but to also carry them at all times. You won’t believe how many opportunities present themselves where people will tell you they (or a friend) need the services of a photographer, so be ready for it.

A set of 50 quality business cards isn't expensive, but remember that the card is a reflection of your business, so avoid cheap deals that use inferior stock paper.

Build a portfolio website

Having a permanent website where potential customers can not only view, but also buy, your imagery is the single most important marketing decision a professional photographer can make.

With a multitude of platforms to choose from, you are spoilt for choice, with many websites offering a full service that showcases your work, provides links to social media platforms, includes a cart and checkout facility and connects to printing labs to fulfil orders so you don’t have to lift a finger.

Don’t forget to go the extra yard and set up a proper domain name for your site.

Blog about your work

Regularly telling people about the photographs you’re already taking gives them a preview of how you approach photo shoots, the gear you use and the finished product you create. This can influence a client’s decision to hire you – and a busy shooter is a photographer in demand.

By sharing your activity on a blog, it also encourages people to revisit your site for updates; and blogs can, in turn, be shared to your Facebook page.

Dive into social media

There’s no mistaking social media has changed the photography industry. One picture going ‘viral’ can catapult a photographer into the spotlight and help them gain major exposure. 

Every photographer who wants to make money from their camera should set up a Facebook page – it’s free and takes a matter of minutes to create and seconds to maintain with posts. The same goes for Instagram, a great platform for sharing images and video.

Showcase your prints

If you are keen to sell prints offline, try approaching local businesses in your area, like independent restaurants. Chat to the manager and ask if they would like to showcase a few of your prints. It’s a great deal for both parties: you get to showcase your work to a new audience, while the business gets prints on the wall for free!

You can go a little further and donate a print to the local health centre. Not only do you do a good deed, but your photography is seen by even more potential customers.

Attend trade shows

The Photography Show is the biggest UK photography event and is attended by all major brands. Along with the opportunity to bag a bargain piece of kit, it places you in a hall with hundreds of like-minded professionals, plus a number of key influencers who could help steer your pro career.

Smaller events also take place around the country: these also serve up the chance for you to market your photography business to a new crowd.

Read more: How I reached 10,000 Instagram followers