What's the best way to monetize my photography hobby?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
john isaacs Veteran Member • Posts: 3,396
Re: What's the best way to monetize my photography hobby?

ILoveAsianGirls wrote:

I like taking photos, particularly landscape, travel, and street photography. I don't spend much time or effort on it, but I think that if I did, I could produce photos of high aesthetic quality. I know everyone thinks that, and most are wrong, but I'd like to find out.

Here is a general outline of what I would like to accomplish with this hobby:

1. Take great photos (with Olympus m43 gear, because I'm an Oly fan boy and why not).
2. Create some kind of photography products, either print or digital.
3. Find some way to sell or otherwise profit off these products

I have a few general ideas in mine but an open to suggestions and any specific details of how to execute them (roughly in order of how feasible they seem):

1. Create high quality prints and sell them on ebay or some other large scale marketplace.
2. Go to traveling photo shows, art & wine festivals, etc., and sell my photos there.
4. Start an instagram account, find some way to go viral and then monetize my following through ad revenue
3. Display my photos for free whevever I can and get "discovered" by someone and have them sponsor me to take photos for them.

Note: I have a good office job, stable six-figure income, positive cash flow, and savings, so I am willing to put out an initial investment to create sustainable revenue streams. However I don't want to quit my job to become a professional unless I can somehow make even more money doing that (which seems unlikely).

Why on earth would you want to ruin a perfectly good hobby by spending all of your spare time dealing with cranky customers and marketing your images or your self?

Okay, if you must, then

1. Enter lots of contests.  This will do 2 things; see if your work is popular enough to get some votes and give you bragging rights if you win some.

2. Put up a web site, get some business cards.  This is the simplest basis for promoting yourself.

3. Join an artist co-op or guild.  If there is one near where you live.  Then print and frame your best work and see if it sells at their shows.  Take pictures of your installations, put them on your web site.

4. Get to know the local gallery owners.  See if they think they can sell your work.  Build up a big enough portfolio, and try to get some gallery shows.

5. Get to know the local publishers.  See if your work can be used for their publishing.  If you can sell your work for advertising, then that can help with your portfolio.

And so on.

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