How to make Money with Landscape Photography as a Side Job
Earning money with landscape photography and making a job out of your hobby - how does this sound?
#1 The Conflict of making a Hobby to a Business
Landscape Photography has the biggest power of everything I know on this planet. It brings me down after a hard day or week, it makes me happy when I'm sad, it is healthy because it's a sport, it's a brain sport as well. It has a healing power, it prevents me for getting a burn out - what an amazing hobby, isn't it?
The first two times when I got asked if I would sell one of my photos as a print I answered a clear "no". And the reason therefor is, that I feared to loose all these advantages that landscape photography gave me each time I went out. I feared that I would have to think about which kind of photographs I have to take and in which way to get out the best profit - as it is usual when you operate a business. I feared that I would have to photograph exactly in that way my customers would want me to photograph. That is what I definitely didn't want - I wanted to photograph in the way I loved it.
But finally I found a way that worked for me - I saw the appreciation in the people who asked me for a print, the acceptance of my photography exactly in the way I do it. And when I only go for a side job, I also don't have to maximize my profits to survive.
#2 Aks yourself about the "Why"
I built up a company for IT, marketing and business intelligence, which I'm operating already for around 20 years. We often helped out people with building up their businesses and what I found out is, that most people don't think about the "Why" when it comes down to build up a business.
But this is very important, because it will help you to decide about the methods of your income, the prices and the amount of orders you will go for.
#3 Selling Prints
You take photographs, so it should be obvious to sell prints out of them. But there are a couple of things to be considered. Are your photographs already on a level, so that they are accepted by your target group? The easiest way to find out is, that people ask you for getting a print, when you post your photos on social networks. If you don't get asked, you can ask photography friends if the level of your photography is on a high enough level. But very important: Don't only listen what they say - also listen how they are saying it. Because most landscape photographers don't want to harm others, they even want to support, what's really a great thing, by the way. But you definitely have to read between the lines.
You don't need a webshop in the beginning. It is already enough just to mention on your social networks, that you offer your photos as prints. If there are interesting people out there, they will contact you. If you don't get inquiries - work on the improvement of your photography. You should always do, not only if you don't get inquiries :)
You don't have to be a master of photography to offer 1-2-1 workshops, where you lead other photographers to amazing places. If you know a place very well, you are a kind of location guide. If you have more experience you can also go for group workshops, but this is recommendable when your level of photography is already on a higher level.
Giving workshops always helped me to improve my own photography. Engaging with photographers of different levels, even with basics of photography is really refreshing and helped me to have a totally different view onto my own photography.
You want to know if you are good enough for giving workshops? Also here: When you got already asked, there is no doubt about.
To be honest, I never produced a calendar by myself. I don't know why, maybe because I never got asked therefor. But I saw lots of photographers out there producing calendars successfully for their families and friends and when they finally got used to it, they went public and sold a good amount.
#6 Don't do it for Money only
I mentioned already to ask yourself about the why of making your landscape photography to a business. But as I think this is such an important point, let me just tell you, that I don't think it would work for me if I would do it just because of the money. I do it for appreciation - money is just the necessary pain to make the appreciation visible.
Check out my gear, which I use for my landscape photography:
Christianback to the overview