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How to get paid more for your photography

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You want to be a full-time professional photographer, but the problem is you’re not quite sure how to actually make a living doing what you love.

In 2013, I was in your shoes. I worked at a major corporation doing derivative accounting, but I knew there was more. 

I knew I wanted to be a photographer. 

I knew I wanted more flexibility and time with my kids. 

I knew there was more I was supposed to be doing in this world.

Slowly over the course of a few years, I figured out a way to say adios to my corporate career and leave it behind forever to help companies and brands tell their story through commercial and brand photography.

Top 5 Ways to Get Paid More for Your Photography

image of keyboard, computer mouse, and light brown leather change purse with money spilling out
Get paid more as a commercial photographer or brand photographer with these tips

The scary thing about making this jump is wondering if you can make enough doing what you love to support your family. Here are 5 ways I’ve found helpful for getting paid more for my photography. I hope they give you some inspiration as a new photographer.

1. Photograph Small Businesses

Small businesses are where it’s at. I love working with small businesses because I can work during business hours, it’s not personal, I can find who I want to work with and work with them on a retainer/recurring basis. 

The business world is changing, people want to buy from small businesses rather than big corporations. There are 30.7 million small businesses in the US, that is 99.9% of all businesses in the US. 

Every one of those businesses needs content now more than ever and they are a huge opportunity for us as brand, product, or food photographers. 

2. Create Styled Shoots to Build Your Portfolio and Target Your Ideal Client

Styled shoots are a huge opportunity that many photographers don’t take enough advantage of. 

First of all, they are a great way to create portfolio images. You can’t attract the type of clients you want until you have a portfolio of images that will appeal to them. It’s unlikely you’ll get those images without doing a styled shoot.

You also learn a ton about photographing the particular style that you’re working on and get to collaborate with other photographers and industry experts. As with any industry, networking is important.

3. Define Your Offerings and Stick to Them

Pick out a few services you want to offer and stick with them. This helps you in two ways.

First, you won’t overwhelm your customers with too many choices. People tend to freeze up and be unable to make a decision if they have too much to pick from.

Second, it’s easier to become an expert in just a handful of services. Offering too much can pull you in too many different directions.

Curious to see a carefully curated offering of services? Check out mine here.

4. When Your Book Is Full, Raise Your Prices

Here’s the good stuff. At some point, if you play your cards right, your book will be full. You’ll have to start turning people away because you just don’t have enough time in a day to complete it all. 

Many photographers, instead of realizing this for the opportunity it is, start working more and more hours. They’re spending more time away from their families instead of taking the opportunity in front of them.

There is demand for your work, there are only so many hours in a day.

It’s time to raise your prices. Isn’t that a fantastic feeling?

5. Sell Printed Copies of Your Work

Though you see a lot of digital stuff online and on social media — print is not dead yet! 

Offices, restaurants, and other types of businesses can still benefit from hanging your images in their space. A great way to upsell with current clients is to offer printed copies of your work for them to display in their business.

Plus, you can sell separately on sites like Etsy, Shutterstock, Creative Market, Flickr, Getty Images, and more. You can even sell in galleries with the right tenacity!

So many aspiring photographers wonder if they can make good money as a photographer. I’m here to tell you that you can, and I’m excited to offer three ways to help you on your journey.

Kassady Gibson

Focus Creative is Here to Help

There are many ways that Focus Creative can help support you in your endeavors to become a commercial photographer. 

Explore Free Content

First, check out our free content! We’ve got tons of resources and information available to aspiring brand photographers designed to help you succeed. 

Get On The Course Waitlist

Get on the waitlist for our in-depth course that will give you all the information you need to confidently land recurring ideal clients. 

Become a Part of the Focus Creative Family

Join our network of commercial, food, and product photographers all across the U.S.. You can become the photographer you want to be and work the hours you want to work, you just need to learn how to make it happen.

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