Photography used to be an almost magical art form.
To produce an amazing image, a photographer needed expert knowledge of light, film, shutter speed, aperture and ISO, plus an array of expensive equipment.
But these days, almost everyone has an incredibly high-quality instant camera in their pocket at all times, which begs the question, is being a photographer still a viable career option?
Here are a few ways to make a buck behind the lens in the digital age.
Going pro is where most of the money is, but requires dedication and a better than average eye for a shot.
Shooting weddings, real estate listings, venues and profiles are all attainable income streams, and the beauty of today’s photography industry is, the entry costs are relatively low.
In most cases you’ll need a decent SLR camera and a couple of lenses to shoot a portfolio of work.
Then it’s all about selling your wares with a pretty website and recommendations through family, friends and Google, if you’re serious.
There is also money in selling your pics on stock image sites, where people pay for your work on a per pic basis. This avenue is as simple as registering an account and uploading your images.
They’ll need to be high res images with good definition and lighting, the sort of sophisticated look that corporate types lap up. If they’re not up to scratch, there’s a good chance your pics will be rejected, so spend some type looking at the level of imagery stock photo site require and register with a few different outlets to increase your odds of a sale.
The pay is likely to be poor and infrequent, but it’s a passive income once the photos are uploaded.
Photo centric social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have millions of eyeballs looking for funny or pretty pics of other people’s lives, so if you have something interesting to say in pictures, you can build a following here.
While the course to cash is a little murkier than the other channels, there’s certainly money to be made endorsing other people’s products once you do have the crowd interested in your pics.
Then there’s the dream job of travel photography.
While this is an increasingly crowded field, and hence difficult to make a buck, there are a string of success stories of digital nomads making money shooting fantastic sights around the world.
Thirty-year-old Brendan van Son is one of those, and recently broke down his $2000 a month income for wannabe travel photogs to learn from.