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Photo Contest Insider Blog

5 Fun Side Hustles Photographers Can Start Today for Extra Income

June 7, 2017

Whether your photography specializes in portraits, weddings, or fashion (just to name a few!), there’s certainly plenty of fun side hustles that you can utilize to begin earning extra cash.

Whether that ‘extra cash’ for you means an additional few dollars in your pocket each week, or even a full-time income to turn your passion into a living – the following 5 side hustle ideas have got you covered!

On a side note, I recently spent months researching over 23 proven methods for easily earning money from your photography services and developed this into an online course bundle. In this article, I’ll be sharing 5 of these wonderful methods with you to help you get started on the path to more income!

Selling your own Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets, or overlays

One revenue-increasing method that photographers have been embracing recently is selling their own professional Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets, or overlays.

Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets:

Some of you might already be making your own actions / presets to save time when you edit your images. For example, rather than repeating the exact same editing steps for each image you edit in a series, you apply just the one action (or series of steps) at the click of a button.

You can easily create these in Photoshop by manually performing a series of steps and then recording them in an ATN file. These steps then get replayed by hitting the ‘play’ button in the action dialog.

For more information as to how you can create your own Photoshop actions or Lightroom presets, please see the tutorials below:

How to Create Professional Photoshop Actions‘ by PHLEARN

How To Create Presets In Lightroom‘ by Photography Concentrate with Lauren & Rob


Overlays can add a whole new layer to your photos, whether that’s a texture or another visual element in your image, such as Autumn leaves, bokkeh, flowers etc. It is also possible to create and sell your own versions of these as other photographers will love the way that they dramatically improve their image and take it to a whole new level.

Here’s a tutorial from an industry expert to help you get started:

How To Create Photo Overlays and Patterns for Layer Styles in Photoshop‘ by MyDesignDeals

Create card packs or postcards of your images

Don’t underestimate the popularity of card packs and postcards displaying your work! These two mediums give customers an affordable way of owning a piece of your work, plus we often have a reason to gift someone a card or send a postcard. These also don’t cost very much to create, so your profit margin may be a little higher than other products.

You can either choose to use a print-on-demand service which will also handle fulfillment and shipping for you, or you can have more control over the process while printing / creating them yourself.

Online printing services that ship them to you:

  • Shutterfly
  • Tiny Prints

Alternatively, here are the most popular print-on-demand services which also handle your orders and shipping:

  • Society6 (cards only)
  • Red Bubble
  • Zazzle
  • Pixels

Create and sell digital prints featuring your photos

Printables have really taken off these past few years, mostly because they allow anyone with a printer (or access to a printing service) to easily obtain affordable art.

A printable or digital print is a digital file of something beautiful that can be printed and framed – or basically displayed in any way that the buyer sees fit!

Firstly, you’ll need a collection of photographs you’ve taken that provide the perfect background for text, or that will look stunning when displayed.

Secondly, you’ll need a means of selling the digital files once they’re ready – Etsy is a great place which allows you to do this, as is Creative Market.

You’ll also need at least one gorgeous and on-trend font if choosing to overlay your images with text. You can buy fonts from sites such as Etsy or Creative Market or download them for free at Find out how to install fonts on your computer here.

Additionally, you’ll need a program to create your digital prints. Most people probably use InDesign or Photoshop, but I’ll admit it – I’ve been creating mine in PowerPoint for years now and love the program’s ease of use.

Offer your photo editing services for a price

Don’t underestimate the skill of being able to expertly enhance photos in programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom etc. If you receive compliments about elements of your work relating to how you edited / enhanced it, then this is actually something you should try out.

How do you begin?

Firstly, take a look around platforms such as Fiverr and see what photo editing services are on offer. Can you do those things, or can you offer more than them? If so, this method is certainly worth pursuing.

Don’t forget to collect feedback / reviews / testimonials from your customers to boost your reputation and trust! Another word of advice: Don’t make any claims that are untrue, nor should you make any promises to clients that you can’t keep.

Utilize a large social media following if you have one

Do you have an impressive number of followers on a platform such as Instagram? Brands may be willing to pay you to feature their product in one or a few of your images, or even to share some of their content to your own audience.

This method certainly isn’t for everyone – it’s one of those things that comes down to your following, the niche you’re in, and even what kind of content you promote. There are photographers out there doing this though (and quite profitably too), so it’s still something worth considering.

Here are some of the well-known influencer networks that are on the lookout for new talent:

  • Tribe
  • ReadyPulse
  • Instabrand
  • Bloglovin’s Activate

Always be sure to read a network’s terms and conditions before you sign up and don’t be afraid to research other social media influencer networks out there – there are plenty of them!

Will you be pursuing any of these fun photography-related side hustles? For more information about the remaining 18 profitable methods, you can visit the Photography for Profit course page. Best of luck!

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