I have a entry level full-frame DSLR with a 50mm f/1.8 lens, the end goal is that I want to generate some cash for buying my next lens/equipment.

I have the following problems:

  • Portfolio: I am a self-taught photographer, I don't have connections in this industry. That means I don't have access to models to create my portfolio.
  • Time: Since I have a full-time job, my time is limited to weekends and evenings. What can I do with only so much time?

Quick background: I already know how to use Lightroom but not much about Photoshop. I used Photoshop a lot for other purposes (web assets processing) but not for creative photo editing.

If there are ways that would work, I can probably spend a maximum of $500 on equipment. I feel that I don't know how to make my next move here.


IMO, The fastest way to earn cash in photography is to shoot portraiture, this will also help you in building your profile, if you have $500 to spend there are lots of strobe kits that will be in this budget and will serve you great. It may be hard to get your first clients to pay you money so what you can do is you offer for free at the beginning till you get couple of photos on your profile.

Also try to search for another already professional photographer in your area and offer him to work for low salary or for free at the beginning.


There are lots of sites where aspiring and professional models, photographers and make-up artists can find each other and arrange shoots. You'll almost certainly be able to find someone who is willing to work for free and in the evenings or at weekends because they're in the same boat as you - in full time work and wanting to put a portfolio together.

Have a look at Purestorm and Modelmayhem for starters...

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