At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Earning money as a professional photographer takes talent, patience, and determination. Creative individuals will find the rewards to be well worth the effort, however. There are many markets for landscape photography that can help you turn your passion for capturing breathtaking images into a new career.
To earn some extra cash as you build your portfolio, begin posting your favorite images on some of the many online stock photography Web sites. These sites offer low-priced image downloads for people to use on their Web sites or printed publications. You won't make much money for each sale, but images can be sold multiple times. Since the stock photo service will handle all the billing and downloading for you, this is a great source of passive income for your photography business.
Newspapers, magazines, and Web sites often have opportunities available for freelance photographers with an interest in landscape and nature photography. While you're unlikely to break into National Geographic on your first try, smaller publications can give you a chance to earn extra money while polishing your photo skills. Most publications won't be looking for random images, however. Instead, you'll be expected to shoot pictures that appropriately illustrate a particular story.
Contacting your local Chamber of Commerce may be useful in your search for landscape photography markets. If your images feature prominent local landmarks, the group may want to use them on their Web site or in newsletters, brochures, promotional calendars, and other marketing materials. Since photographers are traditionally paid according to how their images are used, make a contract describing what rights you are planning to sell for each photo.
If you enjoy entrepreneurship in addition to photography, you may want to create your own products featuring your images. Calendars, posters, mouse pads, note cards, and t-shirts are just some of the many items you can make featuring your favorite landscape photos. Sell them online or sell them via a cooperative arrangement with a store in your community. Even though this approach will take more time than other ways of finding a market for landscape photography, you'll have a much greater earning potential.
Contests, while not a traditional market for landscape photography, can be a good way to earn cash and camera equipment. Contest winners often have their work published, which can be a helpful addition to your resume as you seek out other photography opportunities. Just keep in mind that contests are highly competitive; failing to win one particular contest should not be taken as a sign your career is doomed.