How to make money off photography.

Day 298 of 365

Occasionally I get the random person that bags me for having so many branded products.
I don’t buy them so I don’t care. About 4 years ago when I started working as an in house photographer I realized brands would give me all the stuff I wanted to buy as long as I just took photos of their stuff and sent it back to them.
Often this would lead to more paid work, connections, or references to recommend me to their friends brands.
Clothing in the outdoor world is a small community.

Long story short if you love taking photos and want to get compensated via free stuff and money heres what I did to get started.

First shoot everyday. Watch youtube tutorials so you can learn to edit.
You do not need school to learn how to make lifestyle photos.
Develop taste, find a specific style of photography that draws you in.
Emulate that.

Second email, email, email all the brands you can and try to keep it specific to things you are already doing.
I wouldn’t ask for golf clubs to shoot because I don’t golf and I live in NYC.
So if you’re a mom/photographer email companies that sell really amazing and expensive mom products or baby products. EX. Strollers, and other mom things.
You can collaborate with these companies on shoots and ask them for a budget as well.
At first most of these shoots will be for trade but once you’re comfortable knowing you can give the client what they want they you should work on budget projects only. $$$

Lastly, there are millions of ways to make money in photography or any creative endeavor for that matter you just need to find your nitch and build your skills.
Wether it be weddings, family photography, commercial, travel, fashion, fuck you can probably make a living being a turtle photographer as long as you’re good.
You can make up your own genre thats the beauty of this.

Whatever you’re interested in a brand will pay you to do it and here’s how you start.

Dear _______,

I am a photographer based in ______ . I really love your _____ blank and think it would work really well in one of my personal projects.
I will link my website (or portfolio) below.
Please let me know if you are interested.

All the best,

Don’t be afraid to share what you know.
There are no secrets in any industry other than hard work.
Hope this helps some of you.