Starting a side hustle as a photographer: Ways to monetize your skills

Love creating art through the lens of a camera? Then this article is for you!

Starting a side hustle as a photographer: Ways to monetize your skills

Photography as a side hustle, hobby, and even as a profession has always been in demand, due to its involvement in almost every aspect of our lives, especially marketing activities. With easy access to the internet, digitization of photography, and the terabytes of space that are available for free on the cloud, photography has become cheaper and more accessible than ever before. 

However, contrary to popular belief, in order to side hustle as a photographer, you do not have to be a professional photographer or someone with years of experience and certifications from art or design institutes. 

While qualifications and experience do help, there are plenty of online courses, programs, and online material that can guide you through the process of becoming a photographer, even if you are starting from scratch.  

However, what you would require is an honest and objective assessment of where you stand, whether photography truly interests you, and finally, what you need in order to become successful at it. 

This may include getting the right equipment, building the right setup, acquiring the requisite knowledge, or just marketing yourself correctly, whatever your need in order to make your side hustle as a photographer successful

Monetizing your side hustle: Essential guide for photographers

Once you believe that you have equipped yourself with the right knowledge, tools, and experience, the next step is to begin monetizing your side hustle. Although this may take some time and effort to materialize given the competitive nature of the market, if done correctly, there are plenty of ways in which you can hone your skills to start a successful side hustle as a photographer:

Stock Photography

  • Almost every image search you conduct has a collection of images that were uploaded by photographers. Since these photographs are the intellectual property and artistic work of the photographer, they earn a good amount of money for every sale the stock photography pages make. 
  • This is perhaps the easiest way to start your photography side hustle since there are no restrictions on what you can or cannot shoot. Any image ranging from food and nature photography to pictures of technology can be uploaded online. 
  • The only thing you should keep in mind is that you should be able to cater to the specifications and demands of popular stock photography websites such as Shutterstock, Pexels, and iStock. 

Business projects

  • Every marketing campaign needs photos—from multinationals across the globe to your local business. Regardless of the size of the campaign, every business has a constant need for capturing and showcasing key aspects of their business and organization. 
  • You would have to present your own unique styles and maximize your reach through local networks and digital platforms in order to create your own identity for your photography side hustle.
  • Through networking, you will be able to connect with a range of clients and adequately advertise your skills.


  • This is probably the most common way of honing your skills for your photography side hustle. 
  • Not only does freelancing through online platforms give you the opportunity to work with people across the globe and earn a regular income, but it also gives you the opportunity to learn about the latest in photography, stay updated with trends, keep up with your competition and enhance your skillset to stay ahead of the game. 

Monetizing your knowledge

  • If you are confident in your abilities as a photographer and have already completed certified courses and programs or have detailed experience with any aspect of photography, from equipment to capturing to editing, you can monetize your knowledge in a variety of ways. 
  • Creating personalized courses or hosting workshops on platforms, such as Udemy, are some of the common ways in which you can monetize your side hustle as a photographer, based on the knowledge and experience you have already gathered. 
  • Additionally, you could also take on some young mentees under your wing which can also serve as a healthy side income. 

Can you work as a freelance photographer in Dubai?

Yes, you can work as a freelance photographer in Dubai. However, you would require to have a freelance license and visa to work legally in the country. With the right license, you can offer your freelance services or run your business remotely and with great ease.

Where can I apply for a freelance license in Dubai?

You can apply for a freelance license in Dubai with Freedom2Work. We understand your needs and offer efficient customer service to help you get the ground running. You can simply get in touch with us through our toll-free hotline number: 800-FREEDOM or contact us via email at

Freelancing as a photographer is a great way to monetize your hobby and skills. With a good eye and an even better camera and editing skills, you can easily supplement your income by doing what you love.

Frequently asked questions

1. How can I make money on the side with photography?

Some easy ways to make money with a photography side hustle include:

  • Sell or license your photos 
  • Start a photography blog or YouTube channel
  • Sell your prints
  • Freelance for magazines or newspapers
  • Do photoshoots for clients

2. What is the most profitable type of photography?

Some types of photography are more profitable than others; they include

  • Commercial photography
  • Fashion photography
  • Wedding photography
  • Portrait photography
  • Film set photography

3. What should I charge as a beginner photographer?

  • As a beginner photographer, you can charge anywhere from $25 to $150 depending on your quality and creativity.

4. How much do photographers make as a side hustle?

  • For around 1,000 high-quality photos, you can earn around $100-$150 per month. This could also go up to around $500 for 5,000-6,000 stock images. However, if you sell your photos from your own site, you keep 100% of your earnings.

5. How much should I charge for a photograph?

  • Photographers can charge between $25 and $500 per hour on average. The prices would largely depend on your skill level and what type of event you are shooting.

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