Professional wildlife photographer Will Nicholls has put together a great article over at Digital Photography School.
He is giving us valuable tips and information on how you can turn your nature photography into an extra income. And who wouldn’t like a few extra bucks in the pocket – after all, photography is not the most inexpensive hobby or line of work!
Prints and Other Products
The first print I ever sold was in 2008. That’s eight years ago now, and I’ve been doing it ever since. To the surprise of some, people do buy photographs to hang on their walls. This isn’t a space reserved solely for paintings.
Zenfolio is a popular choice amongst photographers for a website, and they offer the ability to have orders automatically fulfilled by printing labs. This means you can sit back and relax, selling prints from your website.
What sells best? Well, I find the more traditional wildlife photography like; clean bokeh shots, cute animals, or dramatic scenes. You’re looking for something that someone will want to look at over and over again. After all, when was the last time you moved a framed picture in your house? They stay up for a long time.
If you really know your way around your camera and can take a decent photograph, then this is something you could consider. Day workshops offer clients tuition in photography, let them know your secrets and just help them to take a better photo and understand their equipment. It’s a popular move amongst photographers nowadays, and almost everyone trying to make a living out of nature photography is offering workshops.
Sell Stock Images
The stock photography industry is depleting day by day, unfortunately. It used to be the case that you could make a five-figure salary, or more, from stock photography alone. Maybe not just as a nature photographer, but you could definitely make big bucks in comparison to nowadays.
Despite that bleak picture, there are specialist nature photography stock agencies you can submit to. The likes of Nature Picture Library still sell well, at least in the UK, and photographers are able to make a decent income from them. However, they are very selective about who they work with – you need something unique in your portfolio to be accepted.
Selling to Publications
Working with a press agency to get your photos syndicated and in front of the right people is the best way to go about it. While you can contact publications yourself, you’re likely to be ignored and if your photos are used you may have to spend months chasing them for payment. Press agents take the stress out of it. There are plenty around the world, and they’ll take a commission (usually 40-50%) of the sale price for their services.
Source: Digital Photography School