Who out there is a photographer struggling to make an income with their current business? It's likely that nearly everyone's hands were raised there.
Making a living running a photography business is HARD. It's a huge challenge, and we often make it harder on ourselves without even knowing. I know I did for a long time!
It might be time to diversify. No I'm not talking about your stock portfolio, although my husband is a financial advisor, I know jack shiz about that. BUT I do know that diversifying your income is a great way to make extra money without a ton of extra work. Here are 3 things you could start doing to bring in extra money each month.
Yes, that's right. Sell stock. No it's not selling out. It's not cheapening what you do. It's simply uploading photos to your agency portfolio and waiting for the money to come into your account. It's not tough. If you are a film photographer, use those extra shots at the end of a roll for some intentional shooting for stock. Look through your hard drive, what photos of your own kids or family or still life do you have just sitting there? Upload that! And then earn money each month in your pajamas. (Jonathan Canlas coined that phrase "pajama profits" and this is exactly that!) I use Stocksy and Offset personally, but there are a LOT of other agencies out there.
This image is one I had on my hard drive. I was taking photos of my kids, testing out a new camera and my youngest was. not. having it. And I took the shot. When uploading Stocksy, I figured why not. And it's sold several times. You never know what you might already have that you can turn into money.
REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY
Yes, it's boring as hell to most of us. But how hard would it be to reach out to a realtor (we ALL know one), and offer to shoot their next 2 listings for free? Learn how, use a very wide angle camera, and practice. Then do a kick ass job and set a price. An easy simple way to add a few additional shoots per month that cost you nothing but a little time but bring in good extra money.
CORPORATE HEAD SHOTS
Do you offer head shots? I know they aren't the most exciting thing in the world, but they are easy to do and only cost you a little time. Ask your friends and family if the places they work have corporate photos. Chances are someone works for a company that does them and it takes a phone call, note, or email to get started.
I promise you that if you do any or all of the above, this isn't going to make you any less of a fine art photographer, it won't devalue your wedding, family, or newborn business, it doesn't make you a sell out. It's just smart work. To help things be less tight financially. You don't have to show this work. You don't have to market, advertise, or blog it. It's just something to keep in your back pocket.