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The Best Guides to Making Money with Photography

My favourite books on how to sell your digital photos

making money with photography - Guides

Making money with photography can seem like a tough challenge. But whatever your experience level - amateur, enthusiast or professional - there are diverse opportunities for cashing in on your images and your skill as a photographer.

The 3 books below have drawn my attention to loads of opportunities that would have completely passed me by! They have given me loads of ideas as well as the information I need to put them into practice.

I especially like them because they both explain things from the beginning - without assuming anything - and go into lots of depth with practical tips. They describe both where to sell your photos and how to sell your photos for a good profit.

So, here a 3 quick reviews of my favourite guides on how to make money with photography.


The Photographer's Survival Guide, Amanda Sosa Stone and Suzanne Sease


A practical guide for photographers on a range of points you need to get right in order to really thrive in a competitive market. 7 sections: Establishing Your Style, Presenting Yourself, Marketing, Bidding the Job, Doing the Job, Keep Marketing Yourself, Stock Photography and Creative Outlets.


My Thoughts

This guide is full of invaluable, actionable tips on how to go about being a successful photographer. I really appreciated the fact that, although it deals with certain areas - like personal style - that aren't clear cut, the advice is never vague and overly theoretical. Everything is focused around how to do things well.

The authors look at all areas of a photographer's job and provide advice that is based on common sense, business principles and experience of the industry.

Every aspect of being a photographer is dealt with from a business perspective, resulting in an invaluable guide for anyone who is a photographer first and a businessperson second!


Best Thing
This book is an action guide, not just vague reflections on the industry. Everything is rooted in what you need to do.

You can even look over the bills from actual photo shoots that are included, study real budgets or check out a photography business plan or two. There is also a free CD with business forms ready for use!


Worst Thing
I'm a big believer in the power of the internet, especially for photographers. It really is one of the best ways of making money with photography.

There is good advice on how to sell your digital photos as stock, but not enough on the other ways that the web can be used for profit. A more complete guide would have offered information on how and where to sell photos online successfully.


Quotable Quote:

Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.

Matt Hardy


The Freelance Photographer's Handbook, John Tracy

An extremely comprehensive guide on where to sell your photos. Listings of hundreds of companies who accept submissions, from magazines, poster publishers and picture agencies to card companies and national organizations.


My Thoughts

This is clearly not bed time reading, but it is a tremendously useful resource. I would have had to research for ever to find all of the opportunities that this directory has shown me.

It usually takes a lot of time to work out, for instance, which magazines might be interested in paying for some of my photos. But even then I have to find out what sort of images they are interested in and how much commission I can expect.

With this handbook I can instantly access all the vital information for hundreds of potential buyers. It is a great resource for anyone with an interest in making money with photography.


Best Thing
Ostensibly a directory for where to sell your photos, this guide goes the extra mile in helping you do so successfully by recommending the best kinds of photos to submit.


Worst Thing
The book is laid out in the same way as a normal directory. The lack of example images has sometimes necessitated a bit of extra research in finding out what kind of photos a given business tends to publish.


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Vision Mongers: Making a Life and Living in Photography, by David DuChemin

A guide to living and working as a photographer from a personal perspective, with practical tips on all the challenges that must be met. 5 sections: Foundations. Work, Work, Work.


My Thoughts

This is really enjoyable to read. It's a well laid out book, with lots of cool photos, and is accessibly written. The author is a former comedian who has a theology degree, so he makes an amusing and interesting guide!

It's a thorough look at the challenges of making money with photography, packed with real examples from DuChemin's own experiences. The tone is passionate and optimistic whilst the advice is detailed and pragmatic.

I found Vision Mongers especially helpful because the author ties in lots of his own experiences and anxieties about the prospect self-employment through photography. There is good advice on how to deal with financial matters and make money with photography successfully.


Best Thing
The author continually works in his own real experiences and draws from those of several other photographers too. This is reassuring because it both grounds the advice in real life and demonstrates that there's no 1-size-fits-all approach to making money with photography.


Worst Thing
Sometimes the explanations can be a tad long winded, but that's chiefly down to the author's friendly and amusing style - which I like!


These are all great guides on making money with photography and have really helped me to make sense of all the opportunities.

I'm a big believer that photographers of all experience levels stand to gain an awful lot by capitalizing on the potential of the web. Here are my thoughts on the service I've used to help me create Photography Art Cafe.


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