If you love taking photos, you don’t need to open a photography studio to start making money.
Here are four creative side hustles you may have not considered that are easy and cheap (or free) to start.
#1 – Stock Photos
Don’t be fooled into thinking all photos on the internet are free! Ad agencies, magazine publishers, food bloggers and business owners all require images from reputable sources so there’s no chance of copyright infringement. Sites like Big Stock Photo, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Dreamstime, 123RF and Fotolia—just to name a few—rely on high-quality photographs from individuals just like you who earn royalties every time an image is purchased. What’s even better is that you’re not locked into submitting to only one site…you can submit your images to multiple sites and increase your earning potential!
#2 – Mockups
Mockups are hot right now, and showing no sign of slowing down. Mockups basically fall into three categories: scenes, elements, and products. Scenes typically involve a photo of a room or part of a room with blank wall space where an artist can add a photo of her artwork as if it were actually hanging in that room. Many artists on Etsy use room mockups showing a sofa, dining room or bedroom to give their potential customers an idea of the scale of the artwork. Elements are isolated objects on a clear background that can be arranged according to the purchaser’s needs. Popular objects include iPads and iPhones, cups of coffee or tea, flowers, succulents, pens and pencils, paperclips, donuts, etc. that someone might have on her desk. To properly isolate the objects you photograph, you’ll need an image editor like Adobe Photoshop or Clipping Magic, which only costs $3.99/month. Products can be anything from blank tshirts to building signs to food/beverage containers. Creative Market offers a robust selection of mockups to give you an idea of what’s possible, and is also the perfect outlet for you to sell the mockups you create.
#3 – Photo Collections
Bloggers absolutely LOVE photo collections because they offer both value and time savings. Food bloggers are always on the hunt for clear, attractive photos of fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, soups, salads, appetizers, desserts, spices, utensils, and beverages shot from different angles. Lifestyle bloggers need images of items that appeal to their demographic such as baby products, pet accessories, travel scenes, etc. Once you have a cohesive collection of images—or if you already have a collection—you’ll zip them up into one or more files and offer them for sale on an affiliate marketplace such as Warrior+ or JVZoo. The beauty of selling on these marketplaces is that affiliate marketers are constantly looking for new offerings to promote to their followers for a commission that you get to set. This provides a lot of exposure for your photo collections as well as the opportunity to build your own list of followers.
#4 – Public Domain Photos
While this side hustle doesn’t use your own photos, it’s an easy and fun way to make money with photos that other people took. Public domain images are photos that the photographer has voluntarily given up all or part of his or her copyright, making them available for use by the public. Some of these images still place limits on their usage and/or require attribution of the photographer. Others place no restrictions or requirements on their usage whatsoever, allowing you to assemble them into your own product for sale. Another way images become “public domain” is when their original copyright simply expires, as in the case of vintage images. This provides limitless opportunities for you to combine, repurpose or reproduce the images and sell them to hungry Etsy buyers who adore images of old maps, botanical illustrations, bookplates, etc. For more information on the many ways to make money with public domain images, visit Tony Laidig’s website. He’s both a photographer and expert on public domain.
So, how will you turn your passion for photography into a creative side hustle? Share your thoughts in the comments below.