How to Start a Landscape Photography Business
Landscape photography is an enjoyable pastime, and if you can make that your job then you’re onto a real winner. After all, it doesn’t feel like work if you truly enjoy it! When you first start wondering how to start a landscape photography business, things can be a little overwhelming. Being a professional photographer is not an easy ride, but if you take the time and effort to make it work the rewards can be great.
The secret to being a successful photographer is to not put all your eggs in one basket. That is to say, you should be monetising a number of different revenue streams and not relying on one aspect of your photography business to make all of your income. For example, stock photographers were, at one time, making 5-figure salaries each year by just uploading images to stock websites.
But since micro stock websites came onto the scene, that part of the industry has all but collapsed. You’ll rarely find a photographer, let alone a nature photographer, making such a large amount of money from just stock images. With that in mind, you’ll need to take all of the things I talk about in this article and try to dive into most of them.
Kick-start your business: Breaking Into Business – a nature photographer’s guide
How to make money as a landscape photographer
So, let’s look at a number of ways that you can get rewarded for your hard work as a photographer now that you are going to start a landscape photography business.
1. Sell at craft fairs and markets
Something that surprisingly few photographers do, printing your photos and selling them as cards, mounted prints, and framed prints is a great way to make money as a professional landscape photographer. The strange thing is, so many people ignore this! I think it is because it requires time and hard work. You need to go to markets, set up your stall early in the morning, and stand around all day talking to customers.
But I have done it for many years, and I love it. It’s fantastic being able to talk to customers face-to-face, and showing them my work. By being there and engaging with them, they are much more likely to buy an image than they would be seeing it on a website with just a caption and a “buy now” button.
2. Run workshops and tours
This won’t be a surprise to you. The industry is moving heavily towards workshops, what with so many amateur photographers looking for guidance and relatively accessible photo opportunities that can fit around their normal work schedule.
If you believe that you have the relevant experience to be able to effectively tutor people, consider setting up guided walks and landscape photography workshops. This is a good way to make some serious money, and quickly too.
An important takeaway here, though, is to make sure you have the relevant insurance for the country you are operating in. If you’re staying local, you’ll need some kind of public liability insurance as a basic cover. If you’re going abroad, things get more complicated and you should look up the relevant legislation to ensure you are doing everything above board.
3. Give talks to local photo groups and nature clubs
You’ve spent all this time taking photos, so you should be showing them off – and getting paid for it! Photography clubs and nature groups are constantly looking for speakers. Many of them meet once a month, with some being more regular than that, and will happily book you to give a talk.
In the UK, I have found £100 for a one hour talk to be a comfortable figure for groups of around 10-30 people. Beyond that, you can perhaps start increasing your fee. Remember, these are local community initiatives and they are not rolling in cash to book speakers.
However, if you bring along some prints and cards for sale afterwards, you can often double your money by selling to your audience.
4. Sell to newspapers
Something I have found to be rather successful is to photograph weather phenomenons that hit particular areas. If there’s a big storm coming, try and capture some stunning images of it. If you do that, you can then submit them to a press agent and they’ll syndicate them to newspapers for you.
Typically you’ll split the sale price 50:50 with your agent, and it can be quite lucrative if you get something unique.
However, this is not an avenue you’ll likely be able to exploit regularly, as it requires newsworthy images to get published. That doesn’t always happen, but when it does you should be jumping on the opportunity.
Want to learn more?
Excited? I bet. I remember that feeling of leaping into the unknown when I first took the plunge to start a landscape photography business. I have written an in-depth eBook that looks at everything you need to know to make money from your nature photos, and I thoroughly recommend checking it out – it is our most popular download for a reason!
It’s called Breaking Into Business, and you can see everything inside here:
Hopefully you’ve now got some ideas of how to get started, and I wish you good luck with this exciting adventure!