How To Start A Photography Side Hustle: The Ultimate Guide


Start your photography business side hustle and turn your passion for photography into a profitable venture. With a camera in hand, you have the power to capture moments and create lasting memories for others. Launching your photography business allows you to offer your skills and services to clients, whether it’s portrait photography, event coverage, or product shoots. With dedication, creativity, and a solid marketing strategy, you can build a thriving side hustle that brings in extra income while doing what you love. Take the leap, embrace your entrepreneurial spirit, and start your photography business side hustle today.

Photo by Rene Asmussen

Everyone starts somewhere, and by working it part-time, you may do it without leaving your day job.

When starting your side business, there are a few items you’ll need, but there are other ways to work from home without offering photography services.

What you’ll need to start your photography side hustle

Even if this side business is profitable, you will need to make an investment before you begin. However, once you’ve done that, it will immediately pay off.

Here are some items and abilities to pick up and hone as you begin your side business:

Your level of photography skills

Although this level is not entirely conclusive, it is crucial to be able to see circumstances as images and pay attention to details if you want to take photos that are well-composed. This is something that you won’t have right away, but it will unavoidably develop as you proceed.

It suffices to have a fundamental understanding of lighting and subject/object composition. On YouTube, you may find excellent resources to get you started.

Camera equipment

Invest in a less expensive camera, like the Canon Rebel T7, before you start charging your clients because you won’t have the income from your photography for the first year. This will allow you to study photography without going into debt.

You’ll be able to make better equipment purchases and generate premium photos as you gain more knowledge about your practise and the areas on which you’ll concentrate.

Canon Powershot or perhaps a Sony Cyber-shot would make wonderful first cameras.

For your first camera, you may get a secondhand one for anywhere from $500 to $1000.

READ ALSO:  Best Place to Buy Used Cameras


An online portfolio

An online portfolio would be very helpful in helping you advertise your skills. It might be a social media platform like Instagram or a website like Because once you are with a client prospect and are certain that they are interested in working with you, you will want to demonstrate something.

Before publishing your series anywhere, make sure to edit them. This will show your clients that the quality of your photographs is great overall. Including all of your photographs will only create a muddle and give the impression that you are unable to tell which of your works is the best.

The next list is more about things that will be useful for you, but not necessary in the starting of your journey:


Photography studio space

Photo by Brett Sayles


You will benefit greatly from having a separate area where you can make your photographs, both when you first start and when your skills as a photographer advance. A studio space will either be required or not, depending on how you choose to grow your firm. For example, a studio facility won’t be very useful if you plan to shoot mostly weddings.

Start started in a room you already have access to and are aware of good natural light rather than a large place for which you will have to pay rent. This way, if it’s required, you won’t have to go bankrupt to transfer your photography indoors.

Investing in a nice portable photographic lighting equipment will give you the same value in the beginning if you don’t feel ready to buy a studio space.

Other photography equipment

You can get by in the beginning with nothing more than a camera and your abilities.

To provide your customers with better service, though, you will eventually require an external hard drive, lighting equipment, and more lenses. You will also need to increase your prices to reflect this.

You’ll need an editing programme if you choose to start filming digitally, which is initially the most affordable alternative.

Adobe Creative Cloud is a fantastic alternative for many professional and amateur photographers; you can choose to have simply one editing software out of what they have, or you can pick and select many softwares for your needs.

I primarily use Bridge to sort and mark the photographs that I’ll send to clients, Indesign for creating my layouts and PDFs, and Photoshop when altering images.

Once more, this depends on the course that your side business in photography will follow.


The direction of your photography side hustle



Working with clients

You might start by contacting family friends and friends of family to spread the word that you are interested in taking pictures of individuals and events. You’d be amazed that it’s actually more profitable than it seems! For portraits and significant moments in their lives, people are constantly looking for photographers.

It’s important to keep in mind that before dealing with clients, you should be prepared to give them some thorough details.

Even if it is your first photo shoot, pose the following queries to your subjects:

How many photos are necessary for How To Start A Photography Side Hustle? By doing this, you can estimate how many you will need to supply and, eventually, how long it will take.

What is the price range for the photo shoot? When a client presents you with their budget, you have two options: accept it or explain what you will provide for that price.

What is the shooting concept/location? If the client asks you to go somewhere in particular, this could increase your costs.

Make sure your client doesn’t have a strict deadline for receiving the photos; doing so will increase the cost of the project.

Working with clients

  • Wedding Photography
  • Portrait Photography
  • Newborn Photography
  • Event Photography
  • Real Estate Photography
  • Pet Photography

Working on your own

  • Product Photography
  • Landscape Photography
  • Travel Photography
  • Street Photography
  • Stock Photography

Register your business– Photography License Cost

There are some legal considerations depending on how much money you anticipate producing with your side business. Get in touch with a reputable accountant to assist you through the complexities of taxes because they can be challenging to understand on your own.

You should first choose a name for your company and search for trademarks. Visit and do a TESS trademark search for the quickest approach to look for trademarks.

Finding nothing is a positive indication. You should now run a few Google searches to be sure no one else is using a name that is identical to or similar to yours. If they are, picking a different name might be the simplest solution.

There are a few methods for registering your name that you might look into. You can register your company as a legal entity, your trade name, or your business name (LLC).

The simplest sort of business structure, the sole proprietorship, is used by many new and small companies. A sole proprietorship, according to, is essentially an unincorporated business owned and operated by one person (there are no partners), with no distinction made between the business and its owner.

Having insurance is a smart idea so that you are covered for any equipment problems or damage.

Photographers seek between $100 and $500 each image licensed in periodicals. The typical going pricing for licensing to higher-tier magazines is $300+ per image.


Selling stock photos-stock photography side hustle

You may create your side business around whatever it is you enjoy photographing once you have a clear goal in mind. For product photography, you’ll need studio lighting and a dedicated workspace.

If you have a website or blog, you can sell your photos there as well as on other sites. One of the well-known sites is DepositPhotos, where you may make between $50 and $250 each month.

Stock photographs are obviously not manufactured to order, so the price is much lower than for photographic projects you complete for clients. The good news is that stock images are in high demand and are regularly sold online, even during unexpected changes in your life.

A stock photo typically brings in money each time someone downloads it or purchases a licence to use it.

If you choose to sell your images online, the following are some of the top stock photo marketplaces:


  1. Adobe Stock
  2. iStock
  3. Shutterstock
  4. Depositphotos
  5. Alamy

On a stock photography website, one stock image can be sold for anywhere from a few cents and a few dollars.

You may make up to $120 from Shutterstock for each image you download. You can make between 15 and 45% of any sales on iStock.


How much can you make with stock photos?

While you don’t have to buy every piece of equipment and sign up for every service all at once, many expert photographers recommend budgeting between $10,000 and $15,000 to start a photography business.

Professional photographer Austen Diamond recommends “building slow and smart” to stay nimble. Allow your company’s organic development to pay gear upgrades and, if possible, avoid debt.

As a professional photographer, you’ll most certainly require at least two cameras, each of which can cost up to $2,000 depending on the model. If you need to start on a tight budget, you can probably get away with only using one camera for your first few jobs to help fund the purchase of the second camera.

You’ll also probably need many lenses and flashes, which may cost up to $1,000 each. As with the camera, begin with the most basic, fundamental lenses you’ll need to accomplish earning tasks. When the money from these projects comes in, you can utilize it to buy new equipment and advance your career.

Another significant cost is a computer or laptop with sufficient memory and processing capability, especially if you intend to film and edit video content. A appropriate device can cost up to $2,000 USD.

Aside from these primary costs, you’ll need to account for equipment such as memory cards and external hard drives. There are additional business fees to consider, such as obtaining a business license, insurance, and hiring specialists such as accountants and lawyers. You’ll also need a website, software such as Lightroom and Photoshop, business cards, and money to attend networking events and join trade organisations to help you create contacts and expand your business.


Photographing events-landscape photography side hustle

Wedding photography is a great opportunity to make a lot of money off of your side business. The best part is that, as we all know, wedding photographers aren’t cheap, so you can put together photos bundles for different price points.

wedding photography side hustle

Weddings are ideal for this, in particular if you’re trying to find ways to work only part-time; working primarily during the summer, and then taking more time off during the winter season. When compared to other photographers, you can charge a fair price and still be an excellent value.

You’ll be able to charge extra because the workdays are longer than usual (8 to 12 hours). Also, in addition to the event photos, the customer typically wants individual photographs.

Also, you may design packages with extras like engagement photo shoots, save-the-date cards, unique invitations, picture albums, and more. With these choices, you can increase the amount of money you receive from each client.

Even if you decide to pursue wedding photography, you should keep the following in mind. These occasions are among the most significant for your client, therefore there will be pressure on you to fulfill your promises.

You only get one chance to take the perfect shots, therefore you need to be skilled. Yet, once you’re confident in what you’re doing, you know what you can offer your customers.

what lenses does a beginner photographer need

You’ve made the decision to invest in photography. Amazing! But, you quickly find that putting together a proper configuration is not straightforward. While selecting a camera is simple, selecting the first few lenses can be daunting.

There are practically hundreds of lenses available, making it difficult to choose the appropriate one. How do you know which lenses are best for a beginner?

Don’t be concerned! I’ve been in this situation before, and I’ve put together a basic plan to help. In this essay, I address the critical question: What lenses should a beginner photographer own? I explain why you should think about four different types of lenses and provide some inexpensive examples.

you can visit BESTOFLENS.COM for finding best lense suitable for you

Important tips before you start

  1. Choosing a speciality can assist you concentrate on a subject you can advance yourself in. You can hone your knowledge further as you become more specialized.
  2. Start with the cheapest option; all you need to sell stock photos is a camera and a laptop to submit the pictures.
  3. You will be exposed to similar offers more frequently the more you promote a particular niche. Even if you are interested in product photography because it is more lucrative, trying to be the best at both at the same time can confuse your audience.

The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see results

It can appear challenging at first, but anything worthwhile does. You are moving in the right direction if you begin uploading photos or looking for the appropriate gear to begin snapping photographs. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so keep moving forward even if you don’t notice any progress.

Trust your abilities and maintain the will to grow both your company and yourself.

Register your Business Related Informations

do i need to register my photography business

Even if you are a one-person photography business, you should apply to the IRS for an employer identification number, or EIN. Your EIN is the company counterpart of an individual’s social security number, and you must include it when paying your business taxes with the IRS.

photography business license

What kind of business license do I need to start a photography business?
Purchase a Sales Tax License
While most photographers consider their job to be a service, most states consider it to be a product whether you supply physical images or digital data. Most states require a sales tax license, often known as a sales tax certificate, in order to collect sales tax.

do you need a business license for photography in california

The city can confirm that you are following local regulations. Any city in which you operate requires a business license. If you want to work as a photographer, you may need to obtain multiple business licenses. For example, if you live in one place but serve customers in another.

how to register a company in usa online

How to Register Your Company in the United States in 6 Simple Steps
Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure.
Step 2: Register Your Company Name.
Step 3: Think about taxes and other costs.
Step 4: Register for and obtain licenses and permits.
Step 5: Establish a Business Bank Account.
Step 6. Safeguard Your Intellectual Property

Benefits of an LLC for photography

Now that we understand the rationale behind forming an LLC and what to consider as a photographer, there are several advantages that may persuade you that becoming an LLC is a good business move.

  1. Liability Protection
    As previously said, the key advantage of this structure is that it only exposes your firm assets to liability if they need to be taken for whatever reason. If you owe money to someone else, your own assets and money will not be utilized to pay off the debt. Only the company’s money and assets will be used to pay off these debts.

Bankruptcy is the most common source of financial difficulty for photographers. If you must declare bankruptcy, your personal money will not be included in the debts owed by the business.

Photographers are not as frequently sued as other professions, but they do face the following types of lawsuits:

Contract Breach: This happens when the photographer and the client have conflicting interpretations of the agreement they made. This frequently comes down to subjective work-related difficulties, and it is easiest to be safeguarded. This can be especially costly in commercial photography where large sums of money are at stake.
Photographers may be sued for misrepresenting the work they have done for clients or claiming to have worked with clients they have not.
Copyright disputes can arise between businesses and photographers.
People in photographs may claim that they did not give their agreement to be photographed, especially if the images are exploited commercially.
These elements are significantly more expensive than the costs of forming an LLC. Choose an LLC as your photography business form for maximum security and safety.

Because of these safeguards, the photographer is allowed to make riskier decisions that may lead to greater financial success. Risky but considered business actions may fail, but they also have a better chance of succeeding. An LLC is more inclined to accept these risks if the businessperson is not held liable for anything other than the business’s money.

  1. Tax Versatility
    Unlike a sole proprietorship, an LLC can pick from a variety of tax structures. This is advantageous for businesses based on their revenues and the structure of their balance sheet and income statement. Your photography business can register as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation as an LLC.

Depending on the size and financials of the organization, each of these tax arrangements provides various benefits. Smaller businesses should file as sole proprietorships for ease and more tax constraints than corporations (including double taxation).

  1. Broad Ownership
    If your photography firm has numerous proprietors, an LLC is especially beneficial. An LLC will safeguard businesses with a variety of partnerships, original members, and business owners. An LLC can help a photography firm run by numerous photographers because no one photographer is personally liable for business expenses.
  2. Individual Entities
    An LLC operates independently of the individual business owner, making it simple to separate from oneself for any reason. Being a separate entity from your business can be advantageous for several reasons:

Death: Unlike a sole proprietorship, which is attached to your name, a separate LLC can exist after the owner’s death. When a solitary proprietor dies, their company dies with them. This reduces future earning potential for people involved in the business and results in the termination of contracts with existing clients. An LLC will allow this company to carry on after the proprietor has passed away. If you have several photographers working for you, they can still run the firm.
Selling the Business: Because the company is not linked to your name, you can easily sell it to another person. Because the company is its own “person,” it is considerably easier to distribute or give off. If you decide you no longer want to be a photographer or a business owner, you can sell your identity and worth to another party.

  1. Loan and Credit Options
    Because an LLC is a more official corporate organization, banks and lenders are more confident that you will be able to repay loans and credit cards. This makes it considerably easier for an LLC to obtain a bank loan than it is for a solo proprietor.

A loan may be required if your photography firm intends to make big investments in equipment or a physical facility. This will be considerably easier to accomplish if you operate as an LLC, which has the same advantages as a corporation. If these loans are not repaid, the banks know they can confiscate any corporate assets.


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