How to make money on instagram as a photographer

Photography is not a cheap career option or hobby. From cameras costs and equipment expenses up to the print publication, photography is not simply accessible to the average person. However smartphones and social media, especially with the photo-sharing social network Instagram, photographic work can now reach a much larger audience.

How to make money on instagram as a photographer

how to make money on instagram by selling photos

With a user base reaching 1 billion active users (as of June 2018), Instagram is a huge platform for professional photographers where they can showcase their work to the world. Even amateurs and photography enthusiasts are taking advantage of this free photo exhibit. With this in mind, lots of Instagram users (also known as Instagrammers) are also using this platform to make money .

How to make money on instagram as a photographer

You might ask, is it really possible to make money on Instagram? Kim Kardashian had charged $500,000 off only one Instagram post in 2015, which is 10 times the annual average income of a fellow american.

One might think, “I’m not Kim Kardashian! I’m not popular nor a celebrity ! I’m just an ordinary guy who loves shooting photos and posting them on Instagram. How can I make money ?”

It is true that you won’t make $500,000 off one Instagram post immediately like Kim. It takes hard work if you want to be successful in anything. Same goes for making money from Instagram photos.

According to Business Insider, depending on the number of followers and their engagement, a single sponsored Instagram post can net between $500 to $1500 for an account with a little over 100,000 followers.

For accounts with over 1 million followers, anyone can make 6 figure incomes and as much as $9000 per post.

So whether you’re a experienced professional photographer or an enthusiast who does photography as a hobby and wants to make a living out the photos and selfies that you shoot from your smartphone.

In this post we are going to tell you the ways you can make money as a photographer in Instagram and how you can attract more followers.

Best ways to make money on instagram as photographer

Selling Your Photographs

This can work for Instagram because your photos are limited to 1080px by 1080px on the social media platform. And if your photos are truly attractive and inspirational, people might want high-resolution versions of them.

You can post your photos on Instagram and use mediums in which you can upload and sell your stock photos like Twenty20,500px and Foap. Depending on platform, you may sell each photo for $5 to $10. The people buying your photographs are not buying the rights to your photos so one can sell the same photo many times.

You can also sell your photos as prints on another product using services such as Printful and Teelaunch which lets you put your photos on phone cases, posters, pillows, and more.

Another method you might try is to post some of your photos on Instagram to captivateyour followers and put a link to your Patreon account where they can pay a fee to become a “patron” in order to view your entire collection.

The fee for being a patron starts at $5 and will vary depending on the levels of membership and the amount of gated content that you’ll provide.

Offer a Paid Service

Are you a professional photographer offering services on special occasions like
weddings, birthdays or anniversaries?

Instagram is one of the better platform for boosting your photography business. Getting prospective clients is not that easy but you can leverage Instagram to promote your business and spread the word to your local area.

Post your best shots that you got from covering events and make sure to use the right hashtags and geotags (more on that later) so clients in your local area or the vicinity where you do your photo coverage will definitely notice you and will consider booking with you.

Once you’ve built a good amount of followers, it’s time for the next step

Be an Influencer

This is the next step and the most important one in making six-figure income through the social media platform. With the staggering amount of users browsing Instagram every day, it isno wonder that brands are seeing Instagram as a powerful advertising tool.

make money online on instagram by selling photos

Investing in Instagram marketing actually assures more sales compared to traditional advertising on TV or in print. That’s where you come in.

An influencer is anyone who have built a large following and an online reputation by creating great content and sharing them on different social networking mediums like Youtube and Instagram. Influncers have the reach and influence.

Brands are struggling to do this so they partner with influencers instead to spread awareness about their products. You don’t need to have a massive amount of followers in order to land sponsorship from a brand and become an influencer.

Remember, having hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers doesn’t always equate to more money from being an influencer . It’s your followers’ loyalty and engagement (the number of likes, comments, and shares) to your content that counts.

According to Business Insider, the influencer industry could be set to explode. It was worth $1 billion in 2017 but was projected to soar to $10 billion by 2020. 80% of influencers prefer Instagram for brand collaboration. There are 8 million business profiles on the social media platform.

As you can see, the influencer industry is a billion-dollar business. If you have a modest following of a few thousand (coined as a micro-influencer), small startup brands will enlist you to advertise their products usually for between $5 and $20 a post.

However, once you acquire a large number of engaged followers, the amount that you can earn can rack up real quick. Top influencers can actually charge brands $500 to $30,000 per post.

Once your reputation as a photographer on Instagram has grown big enough, the bigger and more popular brands will likely find you.

But you can also reach out to them directly by enlisting yourself on influencer market places like Shoutcart, Tribe, Fohr Card, or Grapevine.

However, as a photographer, you need to be careful of finding the balance between posting your content and sponsored posts. People follow you because they are interested and want to keep seeing your quality content. You’ll most likely turn off prospective followers if they only get to see sponsored posts.

Affiliate Marketing of photos on Instagram


This is very similar to being an influencer but the an instagram guy is more focused on making sales for the brands in exchange for a commission rather than only spreading awareness for the brand. This can be done by adding a tracked link to the bio section of your profile or in the caption of each post.

There are marketplaces that offer affiliate programs like Amazon and ClickBank, so please visit these sites if you’re interested. All of these money making methods on Instagram are good but they might fail if you don’t have a good photo-shooting device and a good amount of followers.

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