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Submitted on
September 24, 2012
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As a photographer money is one of the most trickiest things to deal with. Competing in the local market not only for services but also in finding the cheapest but best quality way of providing albums and prints is a challenge. The difficult thing is knowing where to start with making a bit of money from your photography. Believing in yourself, whilst the corniest thing to say, is the trickiest for many.  But you can do it. Making money, getting clients and building your photography is never going to be possible if you don't first believe in the service that you offer and the capabilities that you have.

Approach a magazine

In most countries there are popular photography magazines that nearly always have a 'submit your work' to us page. Some people think this is egotistical and vain, but honestly it's not. If you're reading this, you more than likely have more than one deviation in your gallery here on deviantART. If you aren't submitting your work for someone else to see then what are you uploading it for? Whether or not you admit that you're submitting for the feedback as much as yourself is besides the point - you know your work is going to be seen. So why not showcase it one step further and reach out to the wider public? Sell yourself much in the same way that you might sell yourself at a job interview or on your CV (Curriculum vitae). Pick out your best work and perhaps even consider including a covering letter. Contact your local newspapers if you capture anything newsworthy in your local area too as they are likely to publish your work and give you credit - maybe even pay you!

Giuseppina Magazine by Miss-MischiefX

Enter a Competition

It sounds like the simplest thing on earth to do, but for many having the faith in themselves to put their work forward and enter a competition is really difficult to tackle. Find some local competitions but also aim big, Sony, Nikon and Canon host competitions all the time which you can enter. But also keep an eye out here on deviantART and find competitions that suit you. Photography Weekly includes a summary of the contests going on right now so keep an eye out for the editions each Friday. If you do nothing else this week, enter a contest!

Build a Calendar

I took a stall last year at a local craft fayre near Christmas and wanted to think of some products that would get me a bit of income and get my services around. I decided to bulk buy some calendars with a custom - made cover and an image to illustrate every month. There are plenty of calendar providers out there where you can buy a calendar of your work and sell it on for a small profit.

Calendar 2012 by xMEGALOPOLISx

Hire some floorspace

For very little, you can print, mount and even frame your work and then consider going into partnership (or going it alone) to hire a bit of floorspace somewhere and showcase your work. Find out what local galleries there are for upcoming artists and photographers and see if they will consider taking you. Additionally why not try a local pub, a village hall - even a care home or sheltered housing complex which may be looking for art to adorn their walls. As long as you include a plaque/card/inscription with your details on, there's no harm in doing it at all. Approach local garden centre cafes and offer to illustrate their walls for them for free - it's fantastically free publicity!

IN by gilad

Design a Gift Voucher

Christmas is coming and what better gift than an hour or two of a photographers time? Whether that's photographing someone's pet, their home, their children or other family - people love getting their memories captured and for as cheap a price as possible. Price up a couple of prints and cost up your time, stick it all together with terms and conditions on a voucher and there you have it. Be sure to check out the legalities and cover all the info that you need to within your terms and conditions. Make sure also that you're able to fulfill the conditions of the voucher and that you perhaps specify and expiry date so that you're not being called upon in a few years time when you're completely busy and famous!

Music Store Gift Voucher by Tim-Albert

Get to know your suppliers

Networking is key to getting a bit of a discount on prices and being able to offer your services cheaper than the market. Rather than rely completely on online printing find out if there's a small family run local business that would help you out. Printing companies nearly always get asked where they can find images or photographers so getting your name in there is really useful.

Get yourself a Business Card

Vistaprint - whilst the bane of many peoples lives, is actually quite awesome if you play it right. You can get yourself some free business cards, some that are completely your own design. Equally local printing companies can do great offers on business cards and they are really useful if you're out and about shooting and somebody asks you about your work. Additionally they are great if you're at an event taking photos, or just out on the street and you ask people if you can take their photo - you can give them a business card and direct them to your work.

Build a Portfolio

This isn't as hard as it sounds. Honest. And did you know that right here on deviantART is a completely FREE option to build a portfolio? Yup! Check it Out! You can build your portfolio, personalize it, add your images and then publish it using deviantART's free domains or even your own. It's a great place to start your own website from, and work up to eventually maintaining and running your own site.


Nearly all of the above involve networking in some way, shape or form. But do you really know how to network? You can download the Photographers Social Media Handbook at Photoshelter. These days the upcoming social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Linkedin to name but a few. But starting right here on deviantART is definitely advisable too. This way you build your base of friends and admirers and they will (not literally) follow you everywhere you go whether that's a blog, a facebook page or twitter e.t.c.

Wooden Social Networking Icons by demeters

This week, Photography Troubleshooting is focusing largely on how to make money from your photography, but more importantly how to get started with networking and making the most of your talent. Feel free to share your own tips and thoughts in the comments as well. And don't forget, if you have a question you'd like an answer to (photography related) then drop a comment or note to me! Please :+fav: if you enjoyed it. :)
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KIARAsART Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
This list of recommendations of the photography troubleshooting are all very cool! I'm glad I found them!
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
SoulofNovember Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Great info! :)
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
killythirsk Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
very encouraging and inspirational, and its not just photographer, i think visual artist can do it though :)
many thanks for sharing :)
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes indeed! :)
Slushy-Pye Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for sharing this, I'm going to keep it in my message inbox so I can refer back to it. :)
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
ravynsfaery Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Professional Photographer
Thank you very much for writing this.

Another tip might be to also check out the local camera shop. I know ours hosts most of the events that goes on here, so there might actually be a 'society' or group that you can join to promote yourself even further. They also host industry nights every few months to bring the entire crowd together for a night of meet'n greet-y goodness.
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Always welcome :)

That's a great tip! :heart:
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