Photography continues to fascinate me to date and even more after knowing one can get paid to take pictures. And so do cameras. As a teenager, I couldn’t afford expensive cameras. My budget allowed me to go for East European cameras, especially Praktica, which didn’t cost much or a Zenit.
Buying photographic film in those days was also a pricey affair, and so we're getting prints made. Nor were there any guarantees that my snaps would turn out well. Above all, there were few takers for pictures in those days.
The first time I sold a picture was to a tabloid. It was of some sort of an aerial phenomenon that appeared like a comet or a shooting star, but the tabloid wanted to use it as a picture of a UFO.
However, with the evolution in photography and sophisticated cameras being launched almost every week, there is a demand for superb quality pictures.
And there are as many as 13 different ways to get paid to take pictures, too.
13 Ways to Get Paid to Take Pictures
These 13 ways to make money by taking pictures are for professionals and amateurs. In some cases, your smartphone would be sufficient. Others may require sophisticated cameras. Nevertheless, you can try these.
Photojournalists are usually full-time employees of newspapers and magazines. They accompany reporters and correspondents to various events and take pictures that would be useful for the media outlet. This is a very prestigious profession.
In fact, news agencies such as the Associated Press have won dozens of Pulitzer prizes- the highest accolade- for pictures taken by their journalists. Often, photojournalists sometimes also double up as reporters.
2. Selling Stock Photos
Selling stock photos is something you can easily do. It doesn’t require a sophisticated camera if you have the creativity and can shoot amazing pictures with a simple one or even that on your smartphone. Shutterstock.com, 123RF and lots of other websites allow you to create your own free account and upload your pictures for sale. Read the terms and conditions of these websites.
Some of them charge a membership fee. Others take a direct commission from the money you make from selling pictures.
3. Events Photographer
Everyone likes to retain fond memories of various events. And they do so by keeping print or digital pictures. If you have a high-quality camera and the necessary equipment, work as an events photographer.
There are two ways to do so. One is by freelancing, and the other by working full-time with an events management company. Generally, freelance photographers are in high demand during festivals, wedding seasons and other popular fests and occasions.
4. Medical Photographer
Medical photography is a wonderful profession that can actually open doors for you in the field of medicine and healthcare.
However, you’ll need a very strong heart and the ability to deal with trauma because taking pictures of surgeries and human organs isn’t for weak-hearted folks. A medical photographer earns a lot of money because they have to take pictures that a lot of us might find shocking.
5. Aerial Photographer
A lot of us might have shot pictures when an aircraft is taking off or landing. But did you know that thousands of women and men worldwide get paid to take pictures from aircraft? They are known as aerial photographers.
They don’t take ordinary pictures. Instead, they take specific pictures of landscapes, rivers, oceans and other things that are necessary for private and government organizations to create maps, study ocean currents and lots of other things.
6. Celebrity Photographers
Celebrity photographers are sometimes known as Paparazzi. They follow celebrities and take candid and lovely shots that are often bought by newspapers and other publications. A single, rare picture of a celebrity can earn you thousands of Dollars.
Sometimes, publications and TV channels also hire celebrity photographers. Their job is to attend events where a celebrity is likely to be present. They compete with other photographers to get those fantastic rare pictures.
7. Wildlife Photographers
This can be a very dangerous way to get paid to take pictures. Of course, there’re organizations that will take every care to protect you from wild animals that could suddenly attack when you point a camera at them.
Wildlife photography is a very specialized art and requires a lot of training. Also, you’ll require very advanced skills and equipment to work as a wildlife photographer.
8. Archeological Photographers
Interested in visiting historical places and monuments to take photos? Then maybe you’re best bet to make money taking pictures is by working as an archaeological photographer.
As a rule, archaeological photographers work as a team with archaeologists and historians. They have an eye for every small detail that an artefact might have. Usually, your photos will be displayed at museums and exhibitions.
9. Model Photographers
Model photography is one of the highest-paying jobs if you find the right employer. That’s because people love to identify with models and will buy that brand of product. A classic example is the Marlboro man and the ad.
Another example is Rosalind Anne Rosemary Hanby, a flight stewardess of British Airways whose face featured in their ads for several years. These pictures were taken by model photographers.
10. Nude Photographers
Now don’t get me wrong here because nude photography has nothing to do with vulgarity or porn. Instead, it’s an art on its own. Several products use very decent pictures of nude models to emphasize their selling point.
These include liquor companies and cosmetic manufacturers. Nude photography involves taking very aesthetic and decent pictures of models. They never take pictures that people will find indecent or offensive in any manner.
11. Technical Photographers
As the term itself suggests, technical photographers are those who take pictures of machinery either finished products or during the manufacturing process. This helps companies to ensure there’re no glitches with the machinery or equipment they’re supplying to a client.
Such technical photographs also help them to improve their internal processes and reduce manufacturing costs. Companies that make expensive machinery, including aircraft and ships, use technical photographers for almost every process.
12. Travel Photographers
When we look at travel guidebooks or websites, we get tempted enough to visit the place. That’s because of a vast army of professional travel photographers. Some companies actually send their travel photographers to shoot pictures according to their specifications.
Others hire the best local talent to take such pictures that would entice us to visit the place. Travel photography is for those who enjoy visiting various places and have professional skills with a camera.
13. Forensic Photographers
Anyone who’s watched a crime movie will have surely noticed a photographer clicking away pictures at the crime scene. Because such pictures help police and law enforcers reconstruct the crime scene and find clues that ordinary eyesight often misses.
Forensic photographers are generally police officers who have this special albeit unpleasant task of visiting crime scenes to take photos.
Nowadays, we also have millions of women and men working as freelance photographers worldwide. They get paid to take pictures from various buyers who require photos of certain places, people, or things.
You, too, can join a freelancing platform and bid for jobs. Create an amazing portfolio of various pictures to display on your profile. If your works are attractive enough, you’ll find takers gradually.