Make money online through photography

Okay guys, answering a bit of a google humdinger of a question here.

Yes, you can make money online through photography.

Bad news is, it’s rarely an instant you get money within a few days kinda deal. BUT it’s best to start now rather than never right?

When I googled the exact phrases a good few years back it was always in a desperate need for money, right there and then. It was always for short term problems. I never though long term and that was my issue.

I needed a stable, long term plan. I made one. It worked and now I solely make my income through photography alone.

Firstly decide what you WANT to do and decide what brings you in money AT THE MOMENT.

When I started I was making my money through stock photography but I wasn’t exactly enjoying it and it was very hit and miss. The highest royalty rate was 30% but that was rare and most of the time it was 20%. Then they went into micro-stock and I was barely scraping by, I panicked.

I tried:

  • Weddings

  • Headshots

  • Family portraits

Basically the usual stuff that photographers end up doing. I still pushed forward with stock but I wasn’t earning enough to live from. The issue was I wasn’t pursuing one thing I was just desperately trying everything to get more money, fast.

I WANTED to do fine art/conceptual photography and get paid for it. But my main money was coming in through stock photography.

I pushed the stock whilst creating my own conceptual stuff when I realised I wanted more than anything was to concentrate on book cover sales and my journey began there. I found a couple of agencies that give me 50% royalty rate and sell all images Right managed (ie. more money, yes please). Now it’s ALL I do and it means I get to do what I want, when I want and get paid well for it too. Which is awesome.


Book cover photography works for me.

It might not be your thing, your calling so to speak. Find that first.

But it does take time. It takes time, finding what you want to do and focusing on it. Example, if you want to do weddings, family portraits or headshots etc

  • Good website

  • Collaborate with local designers, make up artists, wedding locations.

  • Push on your instagram and social media.

  • Get in touch with local bridal magazines etc.

  • Take the time to do stylised wedding editorial shoots for publication, social media and such.

  • Business cards, advertising etc.

With the book cover photography I do, I don’t actually have to do ANY of the above. I don’t need any of those things, not even business cards and not even a website if I didn’t want. The agencies do all the work for you. I have these things as I do some commissions and underwater photography too. But if push came to shove I could delete it all and still continue on with my job as if nothing happened. Which is cool.

The other thing is, all the others are location based photography bar the headshots if you have a home studio. The rest you kind of have to get up and about to earn your money.

If you happen to have a ton of photos just lying around collecting virtual dust not earning you anything then book covers may indeed be for you. All you have to do is apply and upload. Also this is what I do. Yes I plan bigger shoots now but I also spend weeks at home, self portraits, still life work and can do both which suits me better than shooting non stop and marketing non stop to make ends meet.