You Can Make Money With Digital Photography
"Since the early 1990s, camera technology
has zoomed. Digital imagery
has swept across film-based photo industries, leveling the playing field
between pros and amateurs".
Lynn Ascrizzi Staff Writer Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel.
Digital photography is one of the world's fastest growing hobbies. If digital photography is your hobby, or you are prepared to learn and develop the necessary skills, then with a little know-how you can turn that hobby into a lucrative, money-making business.
If digital photography is not your hobby at the moment, don't worry, there are lots of courses and workshops around to help you develop the necessary skills. It will just take a little longer to get started.
If you are a digital photography hobbyist, chances are, you already have most of the equipment you need to get started. But just in case you don't, here's the basics you'll need:
- A digital SLR camera and lenses.
- A tripod or two for certain picture-taking occasions.
- A printer capable of printing excellent quality photographs, or a reliable printing service.
- A computer to store your photographs and burn CDs/DVDs.
- A good digital photo editing software. Some of the best known applications are:
If you don't want to shell out for one of these programs you can download a copy of GIMP, a free editing application which has some very useful features. I use this program quite a lot for photo editing and can highly recommend it. Another free program you can use is Paint.Net - I've also used this from time to time with excellent results. You can find a lot of free video tutorials on YouTube GIMP and Paint.Net to get you started.
Depending on the type of digital photography business you decide on, you'll probably need some additional items of equipment. These are covered in the relevant pages.
There are lots of ways you can put your digital camera and photographic skills to work to generate an income. It just takes:
- A little imagination and creativity.
- A bit of marketing to get your business noticed by potential clients.
- A bit of salesmanship to secure paying clients.
- A simple business plan to set the course for your business and keep it heading in the right direction.
- A small start-up budget for marketing materials to promote your business (accounted for in your business plan).
- Most importantly - the willingness to work at building your business.
Why Would People Pay For Pictures When They Can Take Their Own?
Before we move on, this is a good time to clear up a major misconception...
A lot of people believe it's impossible to make money from photography these days, because almost everyone has a digital camera or at least a camera phone so wouldn't pay for pictures when they can take their own."
Not true. Let me tell you why.
Yes, almost everybody does have a digital camera (or film camera) of one kind or another…. But just how well do they at use it? Let's face it, taking great photos is something that not many people are very good at.
If you look at the pictures the average person takes I think you'll agree that most are hardly what you would call great photos are they? Here's some of the problems we see…
- The image is blurred from holding the camera incorrectly.
- The color is poor because the lighting of the subject was poor.
- The subject is posed awkwardly so the picture looks out of balance.
- The subject hasn't been centered in the photograph so it is sitting too high or too low in the frame.
- Dark shadows obscure the subject's face.
- Often photos taken of people display the ubiqitous "red eye" making them look like vampires ready to bite.
…Even if these people understand how to use digital photo editing software properly, many of their pictures would be beyond help… Let's face it, there is only just so much you can do to correct a poor photograph.
And what do you suppose happens when these people try to print their photos? You've probably seen some of these images. The prints have poor resolution because the person taking the photograph had no understanding of the camera settings that would ensure that their pictures were sharp, clear and suitable for printing.
This is great news for you. Why? Because with your excellent digital photography skills you can easily build a portfolio of your work to show prospective customers that will get them signing on the dotted line.
Don't think this is likely? Let me tell you about Sara, a neighbor of mine.Sara has built herself a nice little part time business in wedding and function photography, earning anywhere between $750 - $2000 per session. She got started through a friend who needed a wedding photographer, but couldn't afford the high cost of a professional. Sara jumped at the chance and actually did the job for her friend for free... But she still made money... How? Well, despite the fact that a lot of the guests brought their own digital cameras and snapped away quite happily, they also ordered sets of the "official" photographs from Sara making her a tidy $625. And as an additional bonus she received orders for two birthday parties and another wedding… and so Sara's part time photography business was launched.
Sara goes to each wedding or function armed with her digital SLR camera, laptop and printer, plus a range of photo mounts. She takes her photos and sets up a presentation on her laptop for everyone to choose the photos they want to order. She takes their payment when they order and then prints and mounts the photos. All this is done at the venue and her customers collect the photographs they have ordered as they leave. How cool is that?
Develop your photography skills and you can do this too - To this end you will also find a selection of courses and tutorials on various aspects of photography to help you develop your skills, plus a range of leading brand Digital SLR cameras and equipment to get you started if you don't already have the necessary equipment.
This site has been designed to provide you with ideas that you can use to make money from your digital photography. All you have to do is decide on the type of photography which is the best fit with your skills and resources, decide how you're going to market your business and you can be on your way to a well paid career in digital photography.
Oh. And before I forget to mention it...
These are NOT get rich quick overnight schemes - they are ideas which will require work and some investment in time and money to develop them into viable businesses. I must emphasise however that they are just ideas not a blueprint, what you do with them and how successful you will be is entirely up to you.
Now with that said let's get down to looking at those money-making ideas.
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