Getting Started in the Industry

Selling your finest work on stock photo sites is one way to make a name for yourself in the photo industry. However, there are dozens of other ways you can make money from your photo skills in this highly competitive industry. Here are just a few:


Apply for a photo studio job. Kmart, Sears and the Picture People are always looking to hire new staff photographers. You can earn a decent paycheck taking portraits and add fresh images to your portfolio at the same time. As a studio photographer you will need to know the basics of lighting and be able to employ as many photo tools as possible. It also pays to have good people skills, as you will be meeting and working with a cross section of photo subjects each day. If you are lucky you might land a gig with a smaller photo studio. This could be advantageous as smaller companies tend to promote from within and allow staff members to participate in larger jobs that may take you out of the studio and into the great outdoors to shoot weddings, sports or other events.


If you can’t land a job as a full-time photographer, then consider applying to be an assistant for a well-respected professional in your area. As an assistant you will get unprecedented hands-on learning, plus you can test the waters of the industry to see if being a pro shooter is really what you want to do for the rest of your life. Never underestimate the value of a good assistant. When applying for the job you will still need to show off your portfolio and provide details of your past experiences as a photographer.


Freelance gigs are perfect for hobby photographers who can’t afford to ditch their day jobs. If you are interested in being a freelance photographer be prepared to be flexible with your schedule. Most freelance photographers are hired for individual jobs, and get paid a set price for services rendered. The upside to freelancing is that you earn money honing your craft without jeopardizing the job that helps pay for rent and food.

Related Articles:

Telling A Story With Your Shots

Natural Framing

Snapping Frameworthy Shots Of Your Kids

Spicing Up Your Shots

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.