Making money is hard; making money as a photographer is harder. Here are some great ways to earn cash while you chase that dream shot. We supply the steps, you supply the hustle.

  1. Head Shots– Actors aren’t the only ones looking to get a nice pic of their face. Think profiles–LinkedIn, eHarmony– even Tinder. If it helps em get that job, or meet that date, folks’ll be willing to pay.
  2. On-Site Family Portraits–   Live near a nice park or scenic destination? Offer family portraits on-site. By cutting down on lighting and studio costs, you can offer a much lower cost than those in the business full-time. Take advantage!
  3. Get to Know Your Local Clubs/Associations– Almost every group has some sort of yearly photo, as well as more frequent events that need documenting. Get to know their members and be the one they call when that day comes. Some suggestions: Chamber of Commerce, youth sports, Indivisible, gardening clubs.
  4. Food DeliveryGo on Seamless (or GrubHub, your choice) and look at the photos currently in use by your local establishments. For all of those that are horrendous (and many are sure to be) go to the owner and propose you fix that for them. Some sites–DoorDash, Amazon–even hire directly!
  5. Local Businesses– Many local businesses are run by uncouth individuals with little understanding of Instagram or social media in general. Offer to make them a profile, or perhaps update their existing one. Next, make the offer to continue “managing” that profile, and secure yourself a lasting stream of income!
  6. Passport PhotosWhen it comes time to renew their passport, most people head to the post office to get their photo taken; after all, certain specs need to be meet. You, however, can save them that dreary trip and instead learn those specs yourself! Once you’ve done that, they’re sure to recommend friends, as any right-minded individual avoids governmental offices at all costs.
  7. Graduations– Head to campus a week or so before graduation and handout business cards. Wait for the calls to roll in. Even if they don’t, show up at graduation with your camera visibly hanging from your neck; proud parents will flock. Most school-affiliated photographers are overpriced and only recommended out of inertia. Shake em up with some healthy competition and make some money doing it, too!
  8. Real EstateYou know All those glossy, eye-catching photos hanging outside your local real estate office which some young couple is looking at while counting up their life savings thus far in their heads? Someone took those! Be that person! The real estate market isn’t going anywhere, and most pros are too bored to do the job. Capitalize.
  9. Bands/Artists– Go to venues, use a low aperture (they’re usually dimly lit) and photo the good acts. Afterwards, show ’em to the band. They need evidence that they just brought a crowd, and you need the cash and exposure, it’s a win-win!
  10. Pet PhotosPets are Everyone wants their pet to be captured accurately, in all their cuteness, in photo. While this certainly won’t be the easiest group to work with, they probably have some extra cash to send your way, and most full-time photographers would rather save their pride. So don’t paws, go in there and get down and dirty!

And for being such a good reader and getting this far,


It just screams “buy me”

11. Car Photos– Everyone is either selling their car and moving to the city, or leaving the city and looking for a car to buy. With such hefty sums of money being exchanged, there will always be plenty to throw the way of the photographer who makes a car look its best, gaining that extra $100 on the asking price on And don’t forget bikes too!


We did our part, now get out there and hustle.