Believe it or not, it is possible to make money with landscape photography. So, if you love to photograph beautiful scenery and want to monetize your passion, this article is for you.
Landscape photography is a popular yet complex field of work. On one side, it is amazing to be in touch with nature and have more freedom when working. However, when you do landscapes, it’s harder to make money because you can’t offer a service like in wedding or portrait photography.
But, hey, don’t worry! You can still get revenue for doing what you love.
Whether you want to turn your hobby into a full-time career or you’re just looking for a way to earn a little extra cash, here you’ll learn how to make money with landscape photography.
Let’s start with some general tips for photographers:
How to monetize photography – 5 ways to start
Trying to make a living out of photography can be challenging at the beginning. So, let’s talk about five effective ways to generate income with (almost) any genre of photography:
- Offering your services to local clients. Depending on the kind of photographer you are, you can start doing projects for friends or small businesses near you. Don’t forget to make contracts! That way, you will set clear terms from the beginning and look more professional.
- Selling stock photos on sites like Adobe Stock and Shutterstock.
- Selling online services. You can make packages offering photography services for clients online, or maybe build a career as a photo editor. For that, you can try platforms like Fiverr.
- Selling prints.
You can also check out our post here on How to Become a Photo Editor.
Besides these five options, we also recommend creating a Patreon or something similar if you have an active community of followers on the internet.
The important thing here is that you know that you can make money with different alternatives as long as you focus on your work. Keep in mind that you must invest time and resources to grow and become a prosperous freelance photographer. That said, always make a business plan, set professional goals, and do some networking.
Oh, and remember: these are just some ideas. Depending on how far you want to scale your business, you can find more creative ways to generate income. And of course, that will also depend on the kind of photography you do.
All that leads us to the following question:
Is there a market for landscape photography?
Yes, of course there is! Making money with landscape photography might be more challenging than with other photography genres, but it’s not impossible. There will always be buyers interested in what you do.
You will have more limited options, though. After all, landscape photographers can’t offer their work as a service to reach more customers.
In general, the most common way of earning money with landscape photography is selling photos. There are many methods to do it and markets to target. Even so, there are other ways to get a reliable source of income— and no, you don’t have to work for National Geographic to be successful.
How to make money with landscape photography
Since things work a little differently in this industry, sometimes general tips for monetizing photography fall short. For that reason, here are 13 great ideas for making money as a landscape photographer.
PS: bear in mind that you should invest in the proper equipment and training to start earning good pay for your photography. If you are not sure what lens you should buy first, you could rent a lens to try it out before making a decision. Plus, this option is perfect if you need to use a specific gear for just one photo project.
1. Sell your photos online on stock photography websites
If you want to make money online, you can try selling landscape photos on stock photography sites. Shutterstock is one of the best places to sell photos, but there are many more options:
This idea applies to every photography genre. But, when it comes to landscapes, there are a few aspects you should consider.
Stock photography can be a good way to get some extra cash on the side, but it doesn’t always work. These websites are full of hundreds of similar pictures, and since you can’t stage any landscape image, you have to be more creative to stand out. Stock photography websites are also a good place to sell nature photos.
Besides, although you will get paid for every sale, contributors don’t receive that much money for their images. So, you can’t blindly rely on stock photos to have a profitable career as a landscape photographer.
To increase your chances of earning money with Shutterstock or other websites, you should create original and high-quality content. Seek new places and perspectives that can attract potential buyers around the world. Also, take a look at your competitors to see what different things you can bring to the table to get sales.
On top of that, use keywords effectively to ensure your images are easy to find. In other words, don’t add too general tags and try to target specific niches.
2. Connect with tourism promotion organizations
If you want a more traditional job, you can connect with tourism companies to work with them. Some tourism boards and travel agencies need valuable content for advertisements. Also, it is always beneficial to have these connections in this industry because you might find new opportunities for future projects.
That said, if you know any company that organizes tours to natural destinations, you could do professional landscape photography for them. And, if you have experience in videography, that would be a plus.
3. Sell your landscape photos to websites, magazines, and galleries
There are many publications and galleries constantly looking for new contributors. So, if you have a strong landscape portfolio or a photography project that you would like to sell, pitch your photos to a gallery, magazine, or website.
Here are a few tips to help you get your first sale:
- Before submitting your work, do thorough research to make sure you offer them material that could really interest them. Target a publication that fits the kind of photographer you are.
- Don’t try to approach any gallery without knowing who is behind it. If you want to know how to sell photos to a local gallery, Expert Photography has an interesting article about it.
- If you want to collaborate with a magazine, pitch an idea for an article in which you can use your photos.
- Email the editors instead of the general contact address. You can use LinkedIn to increase your chances of making connections. Include a brief bio of yourself, a link to your portfolio, and any other relevant info.
- Sometimes, contributors post their photos for free in exchange for exposure. If you are a new photographer, you can consider that possibility.
If you want to know more about exposures, see our post here on What is Exposure Triangle.
4. Offer online courses and tutorials
Nowadays, there are a lot of alternatives for online classes. If you like teaching, you can offer courses or tutorships and promote them on your social media platforms. Alternatively, you can also sell courses on a site like Udemy or Skillshare. It can be anything from composition to post-processing topics.
5. Sell prints
There are countless options to sell canvas prints on demand. FineArt America, Darkroom, Sellfy, SmugMug, and Zenfolio are some of the best sites for that.
And, if you want to have more control over the print quality, you can sell your images to people near you and print them yourself. You would have to invest some extra money and effort, but it is an effective way to get sales in a familiar environment.
To get customers, go to art fairs, flea markets, or festivals. Those are the perfect places to gain local exposure and make contacts. Additionally, you could offer your landscape photos to small businesses in your city so they can decorate their establishments. Think restaurants, stores, or offices, for example.
6. Start a blog
This is another great way to make money with landscape photography. There are plenty of opportunities to get income with your own website:
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored posts
- Google Adsense
- Private advertisers
- Paid subscriptions to access exclusive content
Moreover, when you reach a large audience on the Internet, you open the door to more alternatives to make money, such as selling products or launching a course.
7. Create a YouTube channel
Apart from blogging, becoming a YouTuber is another way to build an online community and make money with your passion. You can talk about landscape photography, photo editing tricks, places to go, recommended gear, and pretty much everything you want. With this method, you have absolute control of your content and can generate income with views and sponsorships.
As you might know, growing a new YouTube channel is quite challenging at first. But, if you are constant and upload valuable content, you will gradually get organic subscribers— and more revenue.
8. Create partnership content
Sometimes, to diversify your sources of income, you can associate with businesses to promote their products and services. This idea works for bloggers and YouTubers.
Many content creators comment on a product, do reviews or produce original videos and photos for other brands. There are many things you can do when you partner with a company. It’s all about finding the right deal for you and your content.
9. Sell products with your photos
Besides traditional canvas or framed prints, you can sell your photos printed on other products.
Can you imagine seeing your landscape photos on phone cases, mugs, and other stuff? Well, here are some popular websites to do so:
10. Publish an eBook
Today, anyone can make an eBook with almost no effort. You just need to have something to say to the world.
If you already have a well-known website or an active community of followers, it is your time to publish your own eBook. It would be a great way to teach other people everything you know while earning money for it. Besides, an eBook can be convenient to promote your landscape photos or online store to get more sales.
Need some help to get started? Blurb is a good platform for self-publishing that provides everything you need to design your first publication. There you can make eBooks, photo books, wall art, and more.
11. Organize workshops and tours
When you do landscapes, you have to travel constantly, and that implies an investment. If you know breathtaking locations for landscape photographers, you can organize photo tours and workshops. That is a wonderful way to expand your business as a freelance photographer, and it’s also an opportunity to make contacts and friends.
Try to partner with a travel agency, photography school, or even another photographer. Remember that in this industry, you need to build strong professional relationships to grow.
12. Enter photo contests
Photo contests are not a foolproof way to earn money, but there is always a chance to win a cash prize. Sometimes, depending on the contest, you could win new equipment, a publication, or an exhibition too.
There are infinite competitions to try your luck, either with a single image or a series. If you’re interested, you can check out Photo Contest Guru to see what contests are open and how to submit your work.
Note that not all contests are free to enter, so you should evaluate the costs.
13. Have a marketing strategy to get exposure and customers
When you are a photographer, your job goes far beyond taking good pictures. You have to invest some time getting clients and learning to manage your finances like an enterprise. So, if you want to be a successful landscape photographer, you must have a solid marketing strategy to promote your business.
In short, this is what you should contemplate to boost your career:
- Create a professional website to show your portfolio and contact information.
- Have business cards on hand every time you go to an event where you can get potential buyers.
- Learn to use social media platforms to share your work and reach a broader market.
- Define your niche and ideal clients. For example, do you want to sell your landscape photos to galleries and magazines or individuals? Consider the most profitable options according to the style of photography and products you would like to sell.
- Learn about SEO and keep your site updated to rank higher in search engines.
- Get to meet new people and use word of mouth to gain recognition.
- Team up with other photographers or institutions to make your way in the industry.
See also our post here on How To Make Money with Photography.
There are many paths to building a solid career in landscape photography. But, the most important thing is to keep yourself learning and up to date with trends.
Be consistent and work hard! Your first steps will be the hardest, but everything will get better in time.
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