This is the perfect year to learn how to make money as a photographer because all of the events that have been cancelled the last year and a half are finally coming back. It’s definitely an awesome time to be in a creative industry.
But, with so many opportunities, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. Since you really need to pick a specific niche (or two) in order to get really good at your photography, you should do some research into different photography business ideas before jumping in.
So, I’ve compiled a list of the photography business ideas that I think are going to be the most lucrative in 2021. Keep in mind that there are plenty of other types of professional photography, and I highly encourage you to look into them if it's what you really want to do, but I foresee these specific niches being the easiest to get into this year.
When you get really good at photography, you also get really good at following trends. You have to follow photography trends, of course, but you also follow other trends. One such trend that has really taken off during the pandemic is real estate. Everyone is buying and selling houses right now, and I’m a firm believer in the idea that the best photography business ideas are the ones that fall into your lap.
One easy way to make more money as a photographer in real estate is to work for your immediate friends and family first. If you have anyone selling their home, ask to take photos of it for the listing. You can either do this for free or a small fee, so you can get some photos for your portfolio and your family member can hopefully get their house sold quickly.
Then, when you have at least a few houses in your portfolio, you can start posting your services online or working directly with real estate agents in your area. Some photographers find real estate photography boring, but since it is so clinical, I think it’s a really easy way to make extra money on the side.
Since the best photography business ideas are the ones that follow trends, then wedding photography should be on the top of your list this year.
Since so many weddings have been cancelled for a year and a half, the wedding industry is expecting a huge boom this summer. All of those backlogged weddings have to happen sometime and, in many parts of the country, they already are.
This is, again, one of those photography business ideas that will simply require you to work for a friend or family member for free or a small price first. Then, when you have a few weddings under your belt, you can start posting your wedding photography services on sites like The Knot, which cater to couples who are planning their weddings.
While trends can provide wonderful photography business ideas, the easiest photography business ideas are the ones you don’t have to do anything extra for. This is one of them.
Instead of giving away your work for free, which is essentially what you’d be doing in order to break into a new photography niche, you can instead start selling your expertise. You can host Zoom classes where you teach budding photographers all of the tricks of the trade.
Selling your expertise is wonderful because you can choose what you want to teach people about. If you’re great at the business side of photography, this is even better since most photographers aren’t and they’re willing to pay good money to be.
Of course, you can also sell your presets through your social media as an additional revenue stream.
Some photography business ideas are a little more out there, but if you’ve been paying attention, then you know people are starting traditional families a lot later in life and they’re taking all that time, energy and money and devoting it to their makeshift kids: their pets.
Pet portraits are not only a great way to bring in extra income, but they’re so much fun to do. Anyone who is paying to get portraits of their pets done is usually pretty fun and you get to hang out with cats and dogs all day.
Plus, unlike a lot of the other photography business ideas on this list, you really don’t need any additional equipment to transition to pet portraits (except maybe a few toys).
Where you advertise your pet portraits will change depending upon what city you live in, but you can always use your pre-existing social media accounts to market this new line of work first.
I’m all for photography business ideas that don’t require a lot from you and selling physical prints is one of these revenue streams.
You already have a ton of clients that you’ve previously worked with and each of these clients can potentially bring you more money if you offer them a high-quality print from their old shoot.
They can purchase prints for a loved ones birthday or traditional holidays like Christmas, or they can purchase a print from you to simply hang on their wall. They already spent so much money on getting you to take the pictures in the first place, they may as well spend a little more to get to display it.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of pretty terrible printing companies out there, so I recommend that you get your prints from CanvasHQ.
CanvasHQ only uses the highest-quality ingredients, like canvases that are designed for fine art reproduction and archival-grade inks. Additionally, they hand create each canvas. They build the frames by hand and stretch your print by hand so they will notice if anything goes wrong during the process and fix it.
And CanvasHQ isn’t expensive. Their canvases start at just $20, so you can be sure to easily upsell your old clients for another revenue stream. There’s a reason why they’ve won our canvas print shootout two years running!
If you want to attract more business and make more money, partnering with companies like CanvsHQ will certainly help you achieve those goals!