12 Ways to Make Cash Using Your Camera

January 10, 2019

When I first dabbled in photography as more of a hobby than career, I had no idea how it could really be used. Before then, I had only seen photography through the lens of creative and relaxing versus lucrative and useful.

But as I began taking sessions for pay, receiving inquiries for various needs and finding creative ways to pay our college bills, I soon saw another world of photography—a world that could provide financially for our needs at the time. And I saw that as exciting, a blessing and a reason to pursue it more.

In addition to, I quickly found and felt the fulfillment it holds, as well. While there are ways to make cash using your camera, there are many, many ways you can serve using your camera.

So many ways.

And I’m sharing SOME of them with you here:

1.    Photographing mini sessions back-to-back: this is how you can generate good income in a short amount of time by stacking short sessions back-to-back. You have the opportunity to serve many well (who can create more referrals for you if done well) while leaving your house once. If you don’t know where to start with mini sessions, I have an e-book + 16-min video tutorial explaining how I organize, plan and pose them. You can learn more about that here.

2.    Portrait photographer: you can photograph seniors, 1-year cake smashes for babies, anniversary photos, birthday photos, family photos, etc.

3.    Wedding photographer: you can make money on the weekends and add on engagement and bridal sessions, as well, if you want the additional.

4.    Photographing bloggers: when bloggers need outfits captured for their blogs, they need photographers who are skilled in just this area.

5.    Real estate photographer: if you’ve ever purchased a house or browsed Realtor.com, you know what I mean: you can photograph houses to post images online.

6.    Photograph styled images or products: if you’re particularly creative, you can style photos of specific objects and sell them to the niche market that needs it—food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, products for businesses, etc.

7.    Photograph events: there are so many different kinds of events you can photograph, but a few that come to mind are birthdays, family reunions, retirement parties, etc.

8.    Landscape photography: drive the country, explore on travels abroad and sell the images you capture on Etsy, to stores or online.

9.    Photographing young sports teams: the world is your oyster—think soccer, basketball, gymnastics, dance, you name the sport, you can photograph it.

10. Or hey, go big! Photograph the big guns: take your knowledge to the next level and photograph high school, college or professional teams.

11. Birth/fresh-48 photographer: capture the very moments families will cherish forever—the first moments in which they brought their littles into the world.

12. Interior photographers: similar to photographing homes for realtor.com, photograph interior designs for magazines, blogs or clients that need material such as this.

All of these areas are absolutely niche areas that all require learning all of their unique needs. For example, an interior design photographer would need a wider lens (35mm or even 24mm) so that they can capture rooms, whereas a sports photographer would want a telephoto lens (think 200mm) so that they can zoom in to capture action on football fields, etc.

BONUS: ways to serve

1.    Mission trips: how amazing is it to be able to photograph the people, places and things on mission trips so that people back home and be moved by not only the stories but the images?

2.    On summer camps: same as mentioned above, there are many summer camps around the country and world that you could volunteer your skills at for the kids and people to remember their time spent there.

3.    Local charities: most local charities don’t have the biggest fund for photography, so if you’re passionate about a particular organization, it’d be the coolest thing if you offered your skills to them.

4.    At church: there are so many different needs for photography at church, whether it’s for a directory, for families who may be struggling, or simply just capturing candids at events to post in the hallways, the church’s social media or their newsletter/blog. I got to take pictures of families who dedicated their babies, and it truly filled my heart, knowing this skill of mine could be used in a sweet, useful way for the families.

5.    Your friends & family: lastly, how precious is it that you can capture “firsts”, holidays and everything in between for the people you love the most. It’s up to you whether you want to charge or bless them—and yes, this can be tricky! Regardless what you decide, you can still choose to serve them well.

So now you have it: there are many, many ways you can apply this versatile, fruitful, flexible skill, so take it and RUN. Run fast and freely!

I’m cheering you on!

For more educational resources, check out my shop. 

  1. Alissa Alfaro

    February 5th, 2019 at 3:55 am

    I’ve thought about making my photography my side hustle for awhile just never knew where to start, thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Lindsay Davenport

    February 5th, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Ahhh this is encouraging! I’m so so glad Alissa!! You got this 🙂

  3. April Bowen

    February 16th, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    How do you charge getting started? I would like to do some spring mini sessions but I know I need to photograph a few families before. Maybe some of close family.

  4. Lindsay Davenport

    February 16th, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    If I were you, I would ask a few families or friends you feel would be good models and easy to work with! That’s how I got started and 1) it takes the pressure off of you 2) everybody is happy 3) you learn a LOT from each session! When you charge money, it puts pressure on you to deliver–which is fine. But if you’re JUST getting started, I would say to make it easy for yourself, because you will learn a LOT your first few sessions. If you’re really interested in mini sessions, I have an e-book in my shop that could help you a lot! And the “18-look fors” e-book is included within my Capture Course, which I think you have! Use code “LAUNCH20” for 20% off, and let me know if you have any questions!

  5. April Bowen

    February 16th, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Thank you so much. The ebook in your shop is in the capture course? I did get the capture course and I learned so much already.

  6. Lindsay Davenport

    February 18th, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Yes! In the course, it’s labeled the 15 things to look for, but in my shop it’s called the 18 “look-fors”, and it’s an e-book that’s ALSO included (with the video) in The Capture Course. So don’t purchase that–you have free access! 😉

  7. April

    February 16th, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    I see it now. It’s the 15 things to look for in the capture course right?

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Lindsay Davenport is a wedding photographer and industry educator based in Dallas and available for travel worldwide.

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