8 reasons why photography is the best side-hustle

First published:
January 20, 2023
January 31, 2024

8 reasons why photography is the best side-hustle

First published:
January 20, 2023
January 31, 2024

There are so many people out there who are not only enjoying photography as a hobby but also use it as way to make some extra money. So here are a few reasons why photography could be the perfect side hustle for you

Photography is one of the easiest and best side hustles you can get involved in. While it won’t make you rich, you can make extra income from something you enjoy doing in your spare time. Still unsure if it’s right for you? Here are eight reasons to convince you otherwise.

Photographer with a camera at sunset
There are many reasons why photography makes a great side-hustle, from being your own boss to having a distraction from everyday life. See them below! Photo by Jaormir Chalabala

1 You can work in your own time

One of the biggest challenges with any sort of hobby or additional work is being able to find the time to do it so that it doesn’t interfere with your main job. Whatever genre of photography you specialise in, the great thing is that you can do it at any time that suits you. Whether it’s weekends, evenings, or even early mornings, this is a side hustle that you can fit around your everyday life. And unlike other work, with photography, you can dip and out as and when you want to or have time. In other words, you can put as much or as little work into it as you like.

Photographer at night
You can take photos whenever it suits you, whether that's around your job or other commitments, photography is accessible round the clock. Photo by Peter Carr

2 You don't need loads of equipment to start

One of the big myths about photography is that you need a load of equipment to be able to start or to take great photos. I have lost count of the number of times that I have heard someone say, “if only I had a better camera my photos would be better”. The advancement of smartphones means that these days you are more than capable of capturing stunning photos that might go on to sell taken with your mobile phone. So, in reality, to start this side hustle, you already own what you need.

Photographing Glencoe with a smartphone
If you're just delving into photography, start with the equipment you've got, and if that's just your smartphone right now - that's a great place to begin! Photo by Tom Eversley

3 It's creative and fun

For any side hustle, it’s always much easier and far more exciting if you are doing something that is fun and allows you to be creative. There are so many different genres of photography available to you that you are bound to find something that you are passionate about. This will make the whole process of learning, practising and taking photos much more enjoyable than if you were starting a side hustle that was a chore.

You can even set yourself personal projects or challenge yourself to take certain shots that you always wanted to capture to make things even more exciting but also to focus you in your work.

Photographing epic waves at the coast
Photography offers an abundance of opportunities to get creative with your work. Photo by Alexander Mathias

4 Learn for free

When I started learning photography at university in the days before YouTube and online digital content, if I didn’t know something I would have to go to a library or ask my tutor. And the limited online content that did exist wasn’t free and to be honest, not very good. These days, you can learn just about anything from a wealth of resources that there are available online. And photography is no exception. Whether you are a complete beginner or you want to learn how to photograph a certain scenario, you will be able to find a ton of information online (such as on this site, Focus!). From step-by-step blog posts to e-books and video tutorials, you will be able to find all the information that you need. In fact, there has never been an easier time to learn photography.

Person looking at a laptop screen
With the abundance of online resources available, you can literally learn photography from anywhere, and whenever it suits your schedule. Photo by Sirinarth Mekvorawuth

5 Be a part of a community

Photography is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. So there is a huge community that is there to offer support, advice or just fellow photographers in your area who share the same passion as you. There are also plenty of camera clubs which are again wonderful communities to be a part of not just to make new connections but also possibly lifelong friends. It’s incredible that for a hobby or profession that can be lonely at times, you very rarely actually feel alone. And if your everyday job is completely unrelated to photography, the people that you meet will be a completely different set of friends from what you probably already have.

Pair of photographers at sunset
The photography community is massive, and you could find yourself with new friends who share the passion for your hobby. Photo by Charlotte Smith

6 A nice distraction from everyday life

Over the years I have run lots of photography tours and workshops all around the world. I have had attendees from all walks of life and professions. From doctors and lawyers to accountants and even TV producers, they all cite the same reason as to why they started photography. “It’s a nice distraction from my everyday job” is a common reason for people who take up photography as a hobby.

I believe that photography is unlike any other hobby, in that you can do something completely different to your everyday life but actually have tangible results in the end (i.e. a photo). And when you immerse yourself in photography for a few hours or even days at a time, you often completely forget about everyday life.

Photographer with a tent at sunset
With photography you can push yourself away from your comfort zone, or simply just away from the banalities of everyday life. Photo by David Forster

7 A sense of pride

It doesn’t matter whether you are a seasoned pro or an amateur photographer, when you nail that perfect photo, the sense of satisfaction and pride can be overwhelming. And if one of your photos goes on to be sold and published somewhere, that will make you even more proud of your work. The reason for this is that capturing a great photo isn’t easy. It takes patience, hard work and often determination to be able to get those types of shots. This is why when you do snap that great photo, you'll still be proud of it many years later.

Photographer with a tripod looking at a starry sky
Nailing that incredible photo will give you the ultimate sense of pride - even more so if you go on to sell it or have it publishes somewhere. Photo by Vandlis

8 Make extra cash

Who doesn’t like to earn some extra income from doing something that they love? If your photos are good enough there is always a chance that they will go on to make sales for many years. I am still regularly selling photos that I took over a decade ago. But it’s important to know that even professional full-time photographers with thousands of images on sale cannot solely rely on selling stock photos as their income. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. So, always think of your photos as a way to earn extra cash. Of course, it’s not a guarantee, but if you have great work and a variety of themes, destinations or even genres of photos, you may earn a regular income from your side hustle.

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