Are you a photographer and you are seeking ways to earn extra income with your shot taking skills? Then below are the top 20 small business ideas for photographers. The photography industry is a multi-billion dollar industry with a lot of new possibilities to explore and make profit. It doesn’t matter if you are a professionally trained photographer or someone who is just in love with taking pictures, there are so many things you can do to boost your income as a photographer.
However, you must understand that to survive the tough competition in the industry, you must be tech-savvy and be prepared to go with the flow. The photography industry is not for the laid back kind of person, it is mostly suitable for people who are willing to learn new methods and techniques, invest in new gadgets and have excellent customer service skills.
Here’s a sample photography business plan template you can use for FREE. This article is put together to show you several business opportunities you can explore in the industry and how you can survive the competition.
Top 20 Small Business ideas & Opportunities for Photographers
Table of Content
- 1. Stock Photography
- 2. Real Estate Photographer
- 3. Wedding Photographer
- 4. Photography Training
- 5. Fashion Photography
- 6. Studio Photography
- 7. Pet Photography
- 8. Magazine Photography
- 9. Photo-Journalist
- 10. Campus Photographer
- 11. Celebrity Photographer
- 12. Freelance Photographer
- 13. Under-Water Photography
- 14. Product Photography
- 15. Re-photography
- 16. Digital Printing service
- 17. Photograph Restoration Service
- 18. Portrait Photography
- 19. Astronomy Photographer
- 20. Sports Photography
1. Stock Photography
Stock photography involves taking random pictures and selling them to newspaper companies, magazine publishers, website designers, graphic designers or article writers who need images to make their write-ups or designs more descriptive and interesting. Most of the selling is done online, so you must make sure you have a very good website where you can display your stock photos for people to look through and purchase them.
2. Real Estate Photographer
Opportunities exist for photographers in the real estate industry too. Real estate agents most of the time, need to take pictures of buildings they want to market so that potential clients can see what the property looks like before scheduling inspection visits. They also use such pictures on property listing websites and magazines.
3. Wedding Photographer
Wedding photography is one of the photography niches that are in high demand. If you want a photography business with low-risks and more demand, you should think of becoming a wedding photographer. You must however note that you have to be very creative and smart because brides are usually very picky about whom they select to cover their weddings.
4. Photography Training
You could start a photography training school to teach aspiring photographers the skills and knowledge needed to run a successful photography business.
5. Fashion Photography
Another business idea you can consider in the photography industry is becoming a fashion photographer. A fashion photographer takes pictures of the latest style trends, covers red carpet events or photo shoots.
6. Studio Photography
A lot of photographers who do not have their own studio would be glad to rent your studio. You could also use your studio to serve your clients who would prefer to have their photos taken in a studio.
7. Pet Photography
Pets are like a member of the family in most people’s homes and a lot of people love to take pictures of their cute pets in order to show them off to their friends, family, pet exhibitions or on social network.
8. Magazine Photography
Magazine publishers also require the services of expert photographers to help them with photo shoots and magazine covers.
Photo-Journalists collaborate with journalists to create images used to support news stories. This particular field of photography is a very interesting one as you would get to cover a lot of interesting happenings daily but you must also be prepared for risky side of things.
10. Campus Photographer
When I was in boarding school, we took pictures almost every weekend. Even during my university days, people took pictures daily. Many campuses even have beautiful spots mapped out specifically for taking pictures with photographers coming to campus from all over the place to take photos and make money for themselves especially when there is a campus event. As a photographer, you could look for such opportunities in schools around you.
11. Celebrity Photographer
Ever heard of the Paparazzi? They make thousands of dollars just from following celebrities around, taking their pictures and selling to the media. However, you must be prepared to take a punch or two from celebrity bodyguards and security whenever they feel you’re crossing a line.
12. Freelance Photographer
You could decide to be a freelance photographer, taking pictures of random events or sights and selling to anyone who is interested in paying for them. As a freelance photographer, you could also offer your services to anyone who is willing to hire you to take pictures. It could be wedding pictures, fashion photography or any kind of photos. A freelance photographer is like a jack of all trades in the photography industry.
13. Under-Water Photography
To venture into this category of photography business, you will need scuba diving and swimming skills. Under-water photographers take pictures of fishes, marine animals, shipwrecks, seaweeds and other interesting under-water scenery. These could be used for documentaries, exploration or investigations especially when there has been an accident.
14. Product Photography
This is a business that caters to online stores. For online stores to make great sales, they need to find a way to present their products to customers in the most attractive way possible since the customers cannot see and feel what they want to buy so they have to rely on pictorial representations of the products. This is usually done by taking professional pictures of the items and uploading such pictures on their websites for customer assessment and scrutiny.
Re-photography involves taking pictures of a place that has been taken before after sometime. For instance, pictures of Paris in 1960 could be taken again in 2014 from the same angle it was taken back in 1960. Such photos are mainly used for survey and scientific studies.
16. Digital Printing service
Digital photographs have taken over from analogue photographs but some photographers, especially the newbies may not be able to afford equipment needed to print digital photos, so you could think of starting a digital photo printing service to cater to such people. You could do this along with other forms of photography business.
17. Photograph Restoration Service
A lot of us have pictures we love that were taken several years ago but are now damaged. It could even be pictures of our parents or grandparents. A digital restoration service involves fixing such pictures so that they can become visible again.
18. Portrait Photography
As a portrait photographer, your job would be to take pictures and make them into beautiful portraits for your clients. Portraits are usually more expensive than regular pictures.
19. Astronomy Photographer
This field of photography involves taking pictures of astronomical objects like the moon, stars, galaxies and other planets. Astronomical photographers usually work with scientists, researchers and astronauts.
20. Sports Photography
For this niche of photography, you would need a lot of speed and dexterity. Sports photographers cover interesting scenes from sporting events. These photos are mainly used for sports magazines and tabloids.
There are several other fields of photography that you can explore such as aerial photography, documentary photography, boudoir photography, interiors photographer and industrial photography.