It has never been easier to make money with landscape photography. There are so many options and opportunities, but there is also lots of competition.
This means you have to work harder and be a lot more organised and creative. Both in the way you take your pictures and also the way you sell your landscape photography.
This article is all about how to make money from landscape photography, from selling prints to stock.
6. A Long-Term Business Plan Will Help You Focus Your Efforts
Photography is like any other business. You need to create a long-term plan to be able to achieve your goals. This might include deciding where and how to sell photos.
For example, are you going to be selling stock shots? Or are you going to sell your great landscape picture as a print?
The more comprehensive your plan is the more likely you are to see it through and make money from your photos.
5. What Are Your Options for Selling Photos
Once you have your plan, begin to research the various elements within it. For example, how to sell photos online? Or how to sell them in exhibitions and galleries?
This part of the process is important as it will impact the type of photos that you might take. If you are planning on selling your photos to magazines you may need to produce photos that show an experience.
This might mean including a hiker walking in your landscape image. Whereas for a print you may need clean images that would look good when hung on a wall.
Generally, there are 3 common ways to make money with landscape photography:
- Sell them as stock shots through online websites such as Alamy or Getty. Or even directly to clients such as magazines and newspapers
- Produce prints from your landscape images to sell to consumers
- Get commissioned by a client for an assignment
Each one of these will need a different approach and slightly different types of images.
4. Gear Can Impact the Value of Your Photos
Whilst it is wise not to overspend when it comes to photography equipment when you are starting out, you still need to buy the right equipment.
There is no point purchasing a mirrorless camera if the stock agency you are planning to supply images to only accepts images from full frame cameras.
As a rough guide, for landscape photography you will need:
- Camera and a good quality lens (something like a 24-70mm)
- A sturdy and good quality lightweight tripod
- Neutral density filters
- Graduated neutral density filters
- A polarizing filter
- Comfortable and shower proof camera bag
Over time you may extend your set of equipment with things like a remote release and more lenses. But to start with these should be enough.
3. Which Settings Will Help You Get the Best Landscape Images
It might seem like an obvious thing to point out, but the most important part of making money with landscape photography is to take great photos. This is the main factor that determines how well you can sell your photos.
A great landscape picture will stand out and will be more likely to sell than a poor one. So, try to learn how to take great landscape images and spend time practising and perfecting your art.
Here are some quick tips on landscape photography settings to help you capture great landscape photos.
- Landscape photography is as much about the conditions as it is about location. The time of day and year makes a huge difference to a photo. Early morning and late afternoon light often give the most pleasing result. Sunrise and sunsets are also good options if the conditions are right and you get a dramatic sky.
- Unlike portraits, for a landscape photo, you will usually want to keep the whole the scene sharp. That means you need to have a small aperture to give you a greater depth of field. Start at around f-8 and adjust accordingly.
- Low light and a small aperture will mean that often you will end up with a slow shutter speed. This means you will not be able to handhold a camera steady enough to avoid camera shake unless you raise your ISO. But this will mean more noise in your image which can make it look soft. So, the best way to capture great landscape photos is to use a tripod.
- Try to compose your shots using the rule of thirds to help you create a pleasing composition. Put points of interest on the intersections of the lines and try to create balance within the image. This includes your horizon line which shouldn’t be right in the middle of the image.
- Tweak your photo in post-production by boosting vibrancy, contrast and anything else that enhances the image. Don’t forget to also spot remove any dust particles that appear on the image.
2. Keep Up to Date With Landscape Photography Trends
If you are struggling to take great landscape photos, there is nothing wrong with looking at other photographers whose work you admire. In fact, you should spend time exploring the work of famous landscape photographers.
Try to read their stories, advice and even what others have written about their work. Why do their images get such plaudits? What is it that you admire about their work?
The point of this process is getting inspiration to help you find your own way. So, don’t try to copy their work, create your own.
1. Improve Your Marketing Strategy for More Exposure
One of the hardest parts of being a freelance photographer is having to do everything by yourself. You will have to respond to customers.
You will have to invoice people and you will have to promote yourself and your work. So even if marketing and promotion isn’t your strength, you will need to learn the basics.
Learn how to use social media. Utilise email capture forms to send newsletters and updates. Or even hire a stand at a local trade show to promote your photos.
As great as your work might be, if no one sees it, then you will not make any money from your photos.
How Much Does a Photographer Make?
This is often the most common question people ask when deciding to pursue this profession. The simple answer is that there is no limit. There are photographers who earn a lot of money from their photos. But these are few and far between.
Most people who venture into this profession soon find out that making money from photography is tough. Unfortunately, we live in a digital age where there is far more supply than demand when it comes to photos.
With the right approach and long-term thinking most professional photographers can earn a decent income.
A great landscape photograph can look stunning anywhere. Whether it is in a magazine, hung on a wall at home, or even plastered across a billboard.
If you set yourself a clear long-term goal, you’ll be able to make money with landscape photography.
Want More? Try Our Landscape Photography Course
Do you want to capture stunning landscapes every time you shoot?
I’ve developed a five-step process to capture stunning landscapes. It covers location scouting, weather, time of day, composition and camera settings.
I’ve outlined my process in this course.