Believe me, it is not easy to generate income from wildlife photography. But, there are many ways you can generate revenue from a wildlife image. The business side of wildlife is hampered by people contributing images for free. Nowadays, anyone who has an Interchangeable lens camera and a telephoto lens considers himself a wildlife photographer. In this article, I will share 10 ways to generate income from nature and wildlife Photography. These are the methods that I use to generate income from my wildlife pictures.
1. Sell Photo Prints Online
Photo prints are one of the significant sources of income for a wildlife photographer. There are many ways you can sell photo prints.
The first option is to sell photo prints directly through your website. For this, you need to set up a web store on your site.
The other option is to use the service of stock photography sites like 500px, Getsy images, and Shutterstock. For this, you need to create an account on these websites and upload your pictures. Some of these sites have restrictions on the number of image uploads. After that, you need to go for their premium paid services if you are interested.
2. License Your Images
There are publishing companies who look for images for a year’s use or for a few years. So, they will be asking for a short-term license of your images. During this period, they will have the right to use your image according to the agreement.
For this to happen, you should showcase your image in someplace. The best place to do it is your portfolio website.
3. Photography Exhibitions
Photography Exhibition is an excellent place to showcase and sell your images. You will get good exposure also. But, it will require some initial investment. You need to pay for the exhibition hall, photo printing, framing, and marketing.
You cannot pick any hall and conduct exhibitions. It should be a popular area where people of similar interest visit, only then the sales will happen. You will need a good collection of images also to exhibit.
4. Photo Tours
Photo Tours is one of the best ways to earn income from Wildlife photography. One main advantage is that your trip expenses will be covered and you will get the profit also.
During the tour, you can teach the camera and photography basics. You can share your photography techniques in the field. It is good to do a daily review of the participant’s images. It will help them to understand their photography mistakes and correct them.
Maintain a good rapport with your participants. It will help you get the same clients for your upcoming trips to other different locations. You will also get more clients through their referrals.
5. Selling Photos to Magazines and Newspapers
Magazines and Newspapers are a great source of income for Nature and Wildlife photographers. You can sell your images to them, which will be used for commercial purposes.
But it will not be that easy. You need to do proper research to see what images get accepted. You will have to contact the magazine guys through email or phone. Don’t expect everyone to give a positive response. From my experience, one out of ten is the usual success ratio.
If your images get featured as the cover picture, then you will get more exposure too. Photograph captured in Portrait orientation has more chances to make it to the cover than a Landscape one. So, choose wisely when it comes to image orientation.
6. Calendar Images
The calendar industry is enormous. There are many companies that use Nature and Wildlife images for their calendar. But, the problem is that you should be able to match the image quality.
Each publisher has got its own guidelines for image quality. So, you need to check their websites to understand these details. You can also contact them via email for any clarification.
Check out their last year’s Calendars to see what kinds of images get selected. It will help you to improve your chances. Most of the high-end Calendar publishing companies will start the design 4 months before. So, they will be looking for images every mid-year. So, it is the best time for you to pitch in with your pictures.
7. Photo Editing Workshops
Most Amateur photographers find it difficult to do image processing. So, you can conduct photo editing workshops to share your photo editing workflow, techniques, and tips.
Lightroom and Photoshop are the two most popular photo editing software. So, it would be good if your classes are based on these image editing platforms. You can also take one-to-one classes online if the students are from afar of location.
8. Brand Endorsement/ Sponsorship
If you are a popular photography figure, then Brand endorsement is a good option. It will also allow you to get hands-on with the new camera equipment of that brand. You can also get the camera gear at a discounted rate.
You will also get paid to post opportunities on your website and social media sites. Your images will be used to promote the brand. So, you will get paid for this usage.
9. Through Social Media
Social media sites like Instagram and Facebook are the best places to showcase your images.
If your images are famous, then you will get a good fan following base. This is an excellent opportunity for you to sell your images. You will also get sponsored post opportunities.
10. Convert your Photos to NFTs
Now, you can also convert your wildlife photos to NFTs. NFT stands for “Non Fungible Token”.You can consider the following NFT platforms to sell your photo NFTs- Rarible, Makers Place, Super Rare, OpenSea, etc.
You will need to make some initial investment to transform your digital image into NFT and make it a part of the blockchain. After that, you need to market your photo NFT through different techniques to accelerate the selling process. There is no guarantee that your NFT will get sold. But, if you make a sale, you can get very good profits.
As you all know, good wildlife camera gear doesn’t come cheap. So, it is good to look for some revenue sources. Thus, you get the chance to capture better images and make more photography trips. You can find photography vacancies on a website like Jooble. Such sites may have a listing for the requirement of wildlife photographers and wildlife images.
I don’t recommend to rely on a single source for income as a wildlife photographer. It would be good if you try all these methods. Whatever method works for one may not work for the other.
Read 📖: 101 Wildlife Photography Tips