5 top tips for your photography side hustle

First published:
December 6, 2021
July 28, 2023

5 top tips for your photography side hustle

First published:
December 6, 2021
July 28, 2023

Cover image by Vandlis

Our favourite tips from across Focus in 2021 on how to get the most out of your photography side hustle business

1 Have a goal

You’ll have a greater chance of success selling your photos if you have a clear goal in mind.

Ask yourself, what is it you want to achieve from having a photography side hustle? Do you want to mainly sell your pictures as printed products, get exposure for commissions, have a place for friends and family to admire your work, or a combination of all these things?

Also, think about targeted goals, is there a specific amount of revenue you want to reach, or a particular number of images you want to sell? Use your goals as a source of encouragement for what you want to achieve.

From the Focus article: How to create an engaging photography website

2 Give your visitors and buyers a quality offering

With the specific goals you have in mind for your photography business, make sure you’re giving your buyers as broad an offering as possible in order to achieve these goals.

For example, if you’re looking at mainly selling prints, make sure that your store offers different options when it comes to the type of product available to buy from your store; i.e. in a range of sizes, framed and unframed prints, canvases, etc. Also, make sure the products themselves are of decent quality, and reliable when it comes to production and delivery too. It pays to do some research beforehand. You could even order some test prints to give them your personal seal of approval before making your store live.

And if you’re looking at offering images mainly as downloads, make sure to lay out the terms in the form of an image licence - an agreement that states how an image can (or cannot) be used. Not only will image licences offer you some protection when it comes to copyright, but they will also make you look much more professional and trustworthy to buyers.

From the Focus article: How to create an engaging photography website

3 Shoot for wall art

Many people buying photos are searching for stunning shots to hang on their wall, and with more of us staying at home, looking to re-decorate and improve home environments, this consumer trend will only continue. Therefore you should consider shooting images that are perfectly suited for wall art.

We’ve got a full guide on what makes a great photo for wall art with our dedicated guide: 5 tips for shooting images for wall art

4 Develop a unique style for your work

Many photographers devote a lot of time and energy into developing a unique style across their images. Giving your work a cohesive look, that is easily identifiable, will almost certainly help you to stand out in an ever-crowded marketplace.

As with pretty much everything in life, the best way to get good at something is to keep practicing. That also applies to your photography and the style you’re aiming to achieve. The more time you spend creating work that matches your personal style, the easier and more naturally it will come to you, and you won’t have to spend so much time thinking about it.

The more work you put out there that matches your style, the more you’ll become known for it. Soon you’ll be regularly attracting the right type of customers ideally suited to your work. Good photographers with a unique style will always bear in mind the latest tastes, opinions and styles, and evolve and adapt accordingly.

From the Focus article: How to develop a unique photographic style

5 Be active and cultivate an audience for your work

Creating great photos is just the beginning when it comes to running a successful photography business. You could be the best photographer in the world, but it’s still a tricky task to stand out from your competitors.

Luckily, there are simple steps you can take that should help you make that transition from one of the crowd to the one getting a sale. And to start with, almost every customer will head to an Instagram feed to find out what a photographer has been up to recently.

Much of getting noticed on social media channels is about how much effort you put in. See it as a job in itself that you dedicate a set amount of time to - perhaps an hour at the start of the day, for example. Comment on the work of others, create conversations, answer questions and be seen to be engaged within your professional community to help you stand out as someone who cares.

You don’t have to be the most active poster online, but updating your followers with new images at least a couple of times a week shows anybody who’s interested that you’re still working. And consistency is key here. Don’t post random images here that don’t align with your brand identity or style.

A sure-fire way to help you stand out from the sea of amateurs and hobbyists out there too is to create a branding identity that you use consistently throughout whatever platforms you’re promoting yourself on - whether that’s your own website, blog, or via social media.

Once you have a logo and branding identity, use it everywhere to reinforce your business. Use it on your Instagram page, Facebook page, your own website, Twitter, TikTok, business cards - pretty much anywhere where you might be promoting your business. Soon, customers won’t need to think twice when they see your branding, they’ll know it’s you.

Being a pleasure to work with and going out of your way to help customers is a key way to ensure you get recommendations and repeat business. In a world where people can be unreliable and flaky, being the complete opposite of that is what will truly make you stand out.

You may also want to consider aligning with a charity donating a percentage of your sales to them. Choose one that aligns with your personal values and gives context to your work.

From the Focus article: How to make your photography stand out from the crowd

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