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How do you earn money as a Landscape Photographer?

Man looks over misty lake at sunrise with a camera in his hand

This is a question I am frequently asked. In recent years photography has become a very accessible career. Anyone can buy a camera and you can pick up great quality equipment for very reasonable prices. But travel and landscape photography is still often seen as the holy grail and there’s a huge amount of competition for the work. It’s hard to earn a full living from just landscape photography, so it is important to diversify. So in this blog I am going to discuss all my income sources and how you can earn money as a landscape photographer.

1 Direct Commission

This is where a brand/hotel/tourist board approaches you directly to commission you to take photos for them. I would usually work on a day rate but it really depends on the client, the work, and where the images are being used. Sometimes they will offer a free trip with all expenses paid, other times they will offer pay. A good day rate would be £500 and over plus expenses.

2 Licensing/usage

This is where a brand approaches you and asks to license one or more of your images to use. This can also apply to direct commissions. Often photographers will charge a day rate to take the photos and then a licensing fee for each image used by the client. This is dependent again on the size of the client and where the photo is being used. If they are just using it on social media accounts, the fee will be much smaller than if it is used in an international advertising campaign. Money for this can range anywhere from 10 pounds in to thousands.

3 Stock libraries

This also ties into the above point. Stock libraries are a little over subscribed with landscape imagery nowadays. But it is easy to get your images on them and you are likely to earn a small amount from it if you take good work. Stock libraries often give you around 50% of the fee to a customer, and this is often low. The trick is to take original shots in different places. Things like time lapses and 360 images do better as there are less of them around. I don’t have many images on stock libraries but I sell a few, even though the fees are low they can build up over the course of a year and make for some nice pocket money. Many photographers still earn a full living from stock libraries but if you are only uploading landscape photos then this is unlikely.

4 Sell prints

A nice way to make some money from landscape photography is to sell your prints. A lot of photographers sell them in galleries but to do this you have to upfront the cost of buying the prints. A much better way to do it is online. I have a gallery built into my website for this. There are lots of companies that provide and easy way to do this, I personally use – https://pixieset.com/

5 Workshops & Teaching

I offer a lot of free tutorials through my Youtube Channel, but I am also leading workshops abroad starting this year (if you are interested and would like to know more then just click the workshops tab at the top of this page). A lot of well known photographers also offer paid tutorial videos that give some insight into their techniques of shooting and editing.

6 Affiliate advertising

This is very common amongst bloggers and Youtubers, especially if you have a large following on social media. You offer links to a website like amazon for your followers and if they buy the product you have linked within a time frame then you get a small kickback from the website. It’s usually a very small amount but it depends on the product, the key to earning good money through affiliate programmes is to have large amounts of traffic. It’s very important to me to only advertise products that I am passionate about and that I have bought myself. Amazon has one of the best affiliate programmes out of the big sites I know.

7 Influencer Work

I earn small amounts of my income through commissions and advertising linked to my social media accounts. As I have a large following on Instagram (check out my work below), clients will pay me a fee to tag them in posts or to take photos for them to use on social media. Influencer work can be very highly paid if you have a very large following and I really enjoy the work. But again it is very important for me to only advertise products that are relevant and that I believe in. So for this reason I only accept the occasional job that fits well with my brand.

I hope you guys found this insightful and useful. I know when I started out I would have loved for someone to tell me all these things so I could have made a start early. As always, please feel free to ask if you have any questions. Thanks for reading!

Want to learn more about utilising your Instagram account? Check out my blog post on how to grow your following.