I have a day-job that I don't intend to leave to pursue photography professionally, but I would like to be able to earn some money from my photography.

I've already invested in equipment, so I'm really looking to earn money in exchange for time spent and "expertise" (I still feel a bit awkward saying that as am amateur). I'm just a bit put off going the whole-hog and setting up a business and incurring more time investment on pure admin and tax returns etc.

My tax rate is quite high given my other earnings, so really I'm looking to earn a small sum once out-of-pocket expenses and tax is taken care of.

Has anyone else found themselves in this niche where they're earning from their photography, but not quite to the extent where it's their living?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Which do you want to do, earn a little money, or earn enough to make it worthwhile once you've paid the tax? Doesn't sound like the two are compatible to me. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2011 at 15:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well you're not earning money until after you've paid the tax... I'd like to have earned a little money once expenses (e.g. time and out-of-pocket, investing in equipment doesn't count) and tax are accounted for. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2011 at 15:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of How can I make extra money with photography? \$\endgroup\$
    – Imre
    Oct 10, 2011 at 16:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can we adjust the title so this doesn't read like spam? \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Oct 10, 2011 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ This sounds like a purely financial question. Actually, it's hard to tell even what the question is. Voting to close. \$\endgroup\$
    – whuber
    Jan 13, 2012 at 2:05

2 Answers 2


I'd suggest:

  • Stock photography: take a photo, put it online, and forget about it, until the cash comes in. Then simply fill in your tax return at the end of year with the total amount you've made. The problem is that the stock photo market is saturated these days, so your photos will need to be exceptional. However, it's probably the simplest way to make money from your photos.

  • Selling to local buyers: such as coffee shops and restaurants. Just print a few of your best shots, preferably of the local area, frame them nicely, and drop them off in coffee shops etc, offering them a cut of any photos sold.

  • Selling direct to publishers: such as postcard and calendar publishers. A similar market to stock photography, but you cut out the middle man.


basically, you can't. If you could, so could all of us, and then we'd all be doing it.


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