Teaching Photography: Top 8 Tips for Making Money with Photography
Top 8 Ways to Make Money Teaching Photography.
You can charge anywhere from $75-$150 and sometimes even more per student… depending on your area and the market, whether you are giving a lecture or including a shooting session with models, backdrop etc… The more elaborate you get the more you can charge. You could charge one price for the “lecture only” session and then let them “add on” for a lab session on a separate day where you go out and give them more hands on experience. You’d want to charge a bit more for this so the number of students can be limited and you’ll be able to give enough attention to each student to make it worth their time and money.
2) Teach private lessons.
With private lessons you will make more per student per hour. You can start at $150 per lesson (1.5-3 hours – depending on the students needs). If you decide to mentor other photographers in the business aspect of photography you could make even more. But make sure you’re not teaching your competition. If you're mentoring other photographers try offering a workshop that is outside your target area and market people outside of the area you service. Another option is to teach a photography class to people who shoot different subjects/genres than you do. For example if you shoot weddings, maybe you can target people who like to shoot travel or landscape photos. Even if the students you mentor do decide to go into business take it as a compliment and add them to your list of clients you’ve helped learn how start a photography business… you may even be able to charge a premium as a result. And keep in mind… there are plenty of clients out there for everyone. As a business you will have a USP (unique selling proposition) that makes you stand out from other photography businesses in your area.
3) Offer a gift certificate for your class.
People can give gift certificates for a private lesson or a gift certificate to one of your classes. Maybe you even have a buy one get one free so a student can bring their friend. Make sure you price in such a way that the bogof offer includes the cost for both students. These are also great for marketing during the holidays. And a great thing for a boss to give to their employees. So think of marketing these to corporate offices during the holidays.
If you’re a maternity photographer, newborn photographer or even a wedding photographer, chances are your clients are going to have kids and want to learn how to take great photos of their kids. Why not teach a moms photography class? Now just because you’re teaching them how to take photos of their kids doesn’t mean you will lose clients. It’s not going to take the place of your professional or studio sessions.
5) Make sales on affiliates.
Students will be looking to you as the expert and they will likely take your recommendations on whatever you say to purchase (especially if you’re mentoring new and unseasoned photographers). So consider setting up you set up a page on your site for affiliates… this could be called resources for photographers and you could recommend lenses, equipment and any other tools a photographer may need when they are learning how to start a photography business including educational resources and website templates.
6) Market to your prior students
Maintain an ongoing relationship with your previous students. Perhaps you set up a photography club you meet monthly or quarterly and shoot together. There could be a membership fee or you could just keep it as a volunteer thing you do to keep top of mind with your students and grow your relationship with them. Whenever they or anyone else needs a photographer you will be the first one they think of!
7) Have a photo walk
This would be a good idea if you're teaching landscape photography or nature photography… if you live in an area with a lot of scenery or maybe you live near a national park, etc… You could even take a group to the local zoo and teach on animal photography or the local plant park. Don’t forget to include the cost of admission in the class price. You may even take advantage of group discounts. Or take a day trip to somewhere scenic early in the morning and then make the afternoon a lab session where you teach them how to edit the photos using different filters, etc… If you’re taking people on a chartered bus though you will probably want to check into insurance to make sure you have the proper insurance.
You could opt for teaching an after school program at a local charter school. Charge “x” per child. And don’t forget about teaching photography to homeschool kids. Reach out to the local homeschool groups and communities. They are always looking for field trips to take the kids on. Offer to teach a class for free or offer to have a “field trip” to your studio. You might not necessarily make make money on the front end but think of all the parents and family photography business you could get as a result. Because when you teach you area establishing yourself as the expert in your area. If you want to teach a kids photography camp, you could charge an even higher fee than teaching an after school club. You could teach a kids photography camp either during the summer camp, spring break or winter break. For this you’d want to keep the students to a minimum and make the prices higher… perhaps no more than 10 kids and charge $150-$200 for the week – remember, parents are used to camps being priced a little higher. You’d want to make the lessons longer, perhaps include the time over lunch and have the students eat lunch together so you can get to know them and add extra time at the end for guest speakers and to practice shooting.