The ability to make money doing what you love isn’t a far-fetched fantasy; it is something you can achieve. Many people dream of becoming first aspiring, then professional photographers.
However, the number of people with the determination to make this bold step is fewer than you may expect. The idea that the market is over saturated and that there is no way you can make money with your photos is the wrong way to think about this endeavor.
It’s not hard to find a variety of opportunities to make money as a photographer. The difficult part is learning where your niche is, and how to promote your work to the world.
Rather than worry about availability of jobs out there, better to think about:
- “What can I explore, define and create with my camera that will create value?”
- And then, “How can I monetize that value?”
Understanding the glamour and nude photography market is key in order to make money professionally as an aspiring photographer.
Find Your Niche in the “Woman” Photography
Being specialized as a photographer makes you rare, unique and more sought after. Lay your work in front of you and observe what direction it leans towards, for example:
- artistic nude
- glamour, or
Whatever style your work inhabits, be sure you understand that method and cultivate it further. Knowing this information allows you to better describe and sell your work.
How to Monetize your Niche Photography: 5 Tips That Work
1. Go Private. Seriously.
So much of making money with glamour or nude photography depends on the drive of the photographer. Working privately certainly requires the most determination out of the artist, but it is also highly rewarding. If you have a DSLR camera and a space to work in, you already have the first steps out of the way.
Second, let the world know. This step of course can be difficult, but self-promotion is easier now than ever with the use of the Internet. Digital photography makes it easy to create an online portfolio and your own website. You can connect to the whole world by posting on social media websites, and search for job opportunities on sites like Craigslist, Model Mayhem, OneModelPlace etc.
Once you are able to make your self known, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing you have the ability to earn decent money doing what you love.
2. Keep Learning – Stay hungry
There are many ways in which you can educate themselves. Whether it is through private classes on glamour/nude photography or by simply checking out a book from the library, the key is to keep learning about your craft.
Stay away from cookie cutter digital art schools that simply trade your money for a diploma: they have no value. This is another instance where the internet is your best friend, read blogs (like this one!), find free online advice, and connect with other photographers.
Staying hungry to learn will expose you to fresh ideas and keep you current with trends within your niche.
3. Stock Photography – The (huge) Penny Market
Working with stock photography companies is a great way to start to monetize your photography or bring a little extra cash to your existing income. Companies such as, iStockphoto, Fotolia are nice to work with since they deal with commercial issues and licenses for you. This may seem slow way to make money at first, but the potential to grow and make serious cash is there.
4. Self Publishing – Make Money with Writing, Tutorials and Compendiums
Think outside of the box. It’s not just your photographs that can make money. The knowledge you have gleaned from your experience as a photographer is a valuable asset. E-Books are an amazing example of how you can make a profit off what you know. This is something that is of little cost to you; simply your effort. I cannot say enough how vital the internet is to the new professional photographer. It provides the ability to self-market not just work, but knowledge as well.
Creating a presence through guest posts (e.g. on our blog), online tutorials or any valuable content is an excellent way to obtain fans and audience, which opens you up for further opportunities.
5. Actual Magazines: Don’t be shy!
Magazines in actual print do still exist:) Though it is a market on the decline, that doesn’t mean you should forget they are there. Male orientated magazines like Playboy, Maxim, and FHM accept naked photos from any photographer. Even if a certain publication declines you or isn’t accepting work, it doesn’t take much effort to call them up or send an email asking to keep you in mind for the future.
Though the pay for these jobs sometimes doesn’t justify the time put into them, having the publication credentials will help your reputation when gaining your own clients.
Set Your Mind. Get Ready!
An under estimated factor in the preparation is mental readiness. All serious camera equipment will not help you when your work is ignored. What helps is having the resolve to keep finding new prospects.
Preparing your mind through education, exercise, and contribution will give you the confidence to grab opportunities.