Smart Ways to Earn Passive Income for Photographers

Smart Ways to Earn Passive Income for Photographers | Mastin Labs

Opportunities that bring passive income for photographers can be life changing and lucrative. By utilizing different methods of earning extra money on the side of your regular business practices, you no longer have to worry about exchanging all your time for money. You can watch extra money roll in with less hands-on effort. 

It’s important to note that passive income does take a bit of initial work. You will have to invest your time into learning about the best passive income methods for photographers and how to use them. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll see it’s totally worth it. 

If you’ve been considering generating some easy extra income for your photography business and haven’t taken the leap yet, you’re in the right place. We’re sharing the smartest ways you can go about earning some easy extra money for your photography biz. 

bride and groom jump off a boat into the ocean celebrating all the smart passive income they’re making as photographers

Photo Credit: Topher DeLancy | Preset: Fuji 800Z

Why is Passive Income Important for Photographers?

Passive income is an opportunity to make more money, and...well, who wouldn’t want that? As a photographer, it’s possible that you haven’t yet explored the idea of creating a higher income by taking advantage of other money-making opportunities. You may not even be aware of what those opportunities are.

You can think of this effortless extra income as a complimentary side hustle for photographers. These opportunities for earning extra moula are like branches growing off your already-existing business tree, so you don’t need to go learn a bunch of new skills to start making more money. 

Additional income sounds amazing, but you might be wondering what you’re supposed to do with it. The answer? Whatever you want. 

Putting in the effort to get a side hustle going that will bring your photography business extra earnings might allow you to scale back your working hours, or it might mean you can invest in more equipment or upgraded equipment sooner. You could reinvest it back into your photography business or use the money to treat yourself. The choice is yours, and it could open up some really exciting possibilities. 

But passive income does more than just put extra money in your pocket. It also frees up your time and provides you with more options for reducing how often you exchange your time for money. 

That means you can focus on doing more of what you love, whether that’s a work-related project you’re passionate about or an activity you love outside of photography. 

How cool is that?

two black teenage sisters smile while taking a selfie in their dining room 

Photo Credit: Gabi Bucataru | Preset: Superia 400

Best Ways to Generate Passive Income for Photographers

Want to learn the smartest ways you can generate passive income as a  photographer? We’ve got six amazing money-earning ideas to share, all of which can help you increase your income. 

You don’t need to jump into all of these to be successful. Choose the ones that feel right for you and also make sense for your business. 

Earn extra money selling stock photography

We photographers are driven to create, often on subjects and themes that may not be applicable to our businesses. If you have pictures of food, nature, or travel piling up on your hard drive, you might want to learn more about stock photos.

There are quite a few platforms willing to pay a pretty penny for your images. Plus, there are so many different types of images that can be used as stock photos. If it’s well done and waiting to be seen, consider submitting it to one of the following stock photography companies:

Guest portraits as a wedding or event side hustle!

Taking portraits for party guests is an easy way to increase your income. Plus, your clients will thank you for capturing the best party details of all: the guests. Consider using cocktail hour as an opportunity to shoot as many guest portraits as possible. 

They’re already dressed and looking their best, so it’s a perfect time to capture a portrait that you can sell to them later on. This is even easier when you use a platform that can be used to store and sell the photos like Instaproofs or Pic-Time. It can also lead to booking these guests as clients down the road. 

Earn extra money by offering education to other photographers. 

Are you eager to share your photography knowledge with others? You may have insight into a particular niche or aspect of photography that people are dying to learn about. Providing educational resources like workshops, courses, or digital guides is a great way to boost your passive income. 

The key is in laying the groundwork so it can function almost entirely hands-off. For example, you could create a pre-recorded workshop or webinar and then sell it photographers. Another option would be creating a course that’s easy for you to run repeatedly over and over again. 

Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas on how you can offer education for photographers or creative business owners:


Portrait of a springer spaniel against an blue green background showing as a passive income idea for photographers who photograph pets on the side

Photo Credit: Catherine West | Preset: Ektar 100

Automated email marketing can be smart passive income for Photographers

If you haven’t set up an automated email marketing campaign for your photography business, you should definitely make it a priority. You might be surprised at what a big impact email marketing can have on your business.

First, it keeps you top-of-mind with your clients, which is always a good thing. It also gives you an opportunity to promote sales that you have on products and prints, which translates to selling more without investing more hours with your clients.

It’s especially important to capitalize on this during holidays because it’s the perfect time to promote greeting cards and gifts, like albums and wall art. 

Sell prints and accessories created with your photographs

If you aren’t yet selling prints and accessories, you totally should be. You will need to set up a shop, but once that is complete, the upkeep is minimal. Using online image platforms like Pixieset and Pic-Time are perfect for this, and each allows you to build in and promote discounts whenever you want to. 

Here are the types of tangible goods you can sell through Pic-Time:

  • Calendars
  • Albums
  • Prints
  • Wall Frames
  • Greeting Cards
  • Print Boxes

You can also sell prints through Etsy, but it will take a little more work on your end to account for the base cost of goods and shipping costs.

Don’t underestimate the power of providing easy-to-order gifts and momentos. It’s a great way to increase your income as a photographer with minimal effort while providing an efficient, streamlined service to your clients. 

two kids sit on a mini motorcycle together as the young boy in front smiles the little girl behind him creates makeshift glasses with her fingers

Photo Credit: Tess Lucas | Preset: Fuji 400H

Earn extra $$ with affiliate marketing for photographers.

Starting your own photography business comes with a learning curve, and there are probably lots of products and platforms you’ve appreciated along the way. You already speak to the benefit of these resources openly, so why not monetize it? 

You can get an affiliate code or link and use it to promote the businesses you love. Then you will receive a commission for every person that signs up using your link. You can promote your affiliate links through blogs, newsletters, and social media.

Here are some popular photography businesses that have an affiliate or partnership program:


Affiliate Protip: Only share affiliate links or codes for businesses you actually love. You want to make sure you are sharing a business whose service you truly stand behind so you can maintain the valuable trust you’ve cultivated with your audience. 

Blogging can earn photographers extra cash!

Have you been blogging? There are so many ways you can use your own blog to generate passive income. First, it’s a great place to share your affiliate links so you can generate a commission. You can sprinkle these links as you mention the products and services throughout your posts.

But the possibilities don’t stop there! You can use your blog posts to promote your own business, sell your own digital products, or shuttle your audience towards your educational products. You can also utilize blog posts to promote and sell your own prints. 

If you’re dipping your toes into influencer marketing, you can also use your blog for sponsored posts. This is where a company pays you to create a post that promotes their services or products. 

Lastly, it’s not an option that feels right for everyone, but you can also run advertisements on your blog. ​​​​You start this process by signing up with an ad network such as Google Adsense or Infolinks.​​ It’s a simple blog monetization method that works really well, especially if your blog gets consistently good traffic. 

woman dances and moves her arms while sitting in a car in the back seat in traffic

Photo Credit: Simon Becchetti | Preset: Superia 400

Take Advantage of Passive Earning Possibilities

Don’t leave money on the table—get it in your pocket by taking advantage of passive earning possibilities. By capitalizing on just one of these opportunities, you’re increasing your income potential. 

You can start incorporating any of these options into your business, so long as they feel like a good fit. Have fun with it, and then stand back and watch your account balance grow. 

Have you tapped into any passive income opportunities yet? Which ones stand out to you? Let us know in the comments. 

Curious to learn more about the value of email marketing? Read our post all about Automated Email Marketing for Photographers.

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Fuji Everyday Lightroom Desktop Presets

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Mastin Labs Fuji Everyday Presets for Lightroom are ideal for those everyday moments that mean the most. The Fuji Everyday Pack was created for both personal and professional photography.

With the streamlined Mastin 3-Step Workflow™ and end-to-end support from our team, you can finally ditch hours of editing and get back to the moments you live for.

An Adobe Creative Cloud account is required to use our products. The minimum software versions below are required to use this preset pack.

Minimum software version: Lightroom Classic 8.0, Lightroom CC 3.0, Adobe Camera RAW 10.3

Minimum OS version: MacOS 10.11 (El Capitan), Windows 8.1 (64-bit) or Windows 10 version 1511 (64-bit)

Cameras and files: Mastin Labs presets and styles are compatible with all camera brands and raw formats.