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Photo Contest Insider Blog

Tips for Increasing Your Profit as a Photographer

March 11, 2016

When photography is your business, it’s not enough just to enjoy it and produce great images. You also have to make sure that you are able to turn a profit. Without profit, you can’t live off your photography – and that means needing to get a day job. If you are in a position where you need to increase your earnings in order to live as a photographer, or just want to make more money so you can afford the finer things in life, then these tips might help you out. Give them a go and see what results you get – you may be surprised to find out just how much you can earn when you put your mind to it.

Raise Your Rates

This is the first step to a greater profit, and it’s a big one. Most photographers are scared to raise their rates if they are getting regular work, but the truth is that you could be working less and earning more money. If you are regularly getting fully booked, you should be increasing your rates for sure. In fact, even if you are getting by easily, you should raise your rates.

If you work five days a week earning £300 a day, then you are getting £1500 a week. But if you increase your rates to £400 and can only manage to book four days a week, you will be getting £1600. Less work, more money. Do you see how it works? Even if you lose some regular clients or start seeing gaps in your schedule, you could still be earning more. You can let some of your best clients know about the upcoming change in advance if you wish to, so that they are not surprised when it comes around – and so that they can book in one last shoot at the old price. This will increase your immediate bookings as well, so it’s a good tactic to fill up spaces when the time of year is quiet.

You may get some complaints, but so long as you also get bookings from other customers, you don’t need to worry about those that you lose. They may even come back later on once they have got used to the idea of the new price!

Actively Seek Work

This is a bit different to just having your website up and open for bookings. There are lots of opportunities for work out there that you may have missed. Start actively seeking out work and see what you can turn up. People tend to post all over the place for photographers because they don’t really know where to look: message boards, job listings, sites like Craigslist, Facebook and other social media sites, and so on.

Sign up to a few model/photographer sites as well. Examples like Model Mayhem, StarNow, and so on have lots of listings for photographers, and while not all of them are paid, some of them are great gigs. The more you apply to, the more chance you have of getting in.

Increase Your Skills

Training yourself in a new discipline can really increase your potential for earnings. For example, if you are a photojournalist, you can try shooting sport as an extra area of coverage. Portrait photographers should learn the guidelines for actor headshots or try out shooting stills on set for films. If you shoot live music, why not expand to studio photography so that you can create promo images for bands? Underwater photography is another really good example of a style which is in high demand but requires new skills to be learnt.

Sell Your Learning

When you are an expert in your field, how do you monetise that even further? One way is to help other people learn what you know. This can be done really easily with automated sales funnels on your website, that will run without need for your interference. For example, you could send out newsletters for free that give a few tips, and invite people to pay a small amount for your online course. Once they have paid, automated emails will go out to them once a week or whatever timeline you prefer containing the lessons you are providing. This or in-person coaching are good ways to earn extra cash by sharing your skills.