Let’s dive deep into a talk about passive income ideas for photographers! If you’re wondering how to create multiple income streams as a photographer, kick your shoes off and pour a cup of tea (or a glass of wine) because you clicked on the right link!
Passive income helped us transition from wedding photography to travel-and-work-from-anywhere photography and we hope these examples can bless you with ideas to generate the same leverage in your business!
According to Wikipedia, “Passive income is income that requires minimal labor to earn and maintain. It is called progressive passive income when the earner expends little effort to grow the income. Examples of passive income include rental income and any business activities in which the earner does not materially participate”.
Photographers are used to active income (how we used to be), but let’s define the difference between passive income and active income:
Passive Income: According to BeTheBudget.com, “Passive income is money earned on an investment, or work completed in the past, that continues to make money without any additional effort.”
Active Income: According to BeTheBudget.com, “Active income, on the other hand, is money earned in exchange for performing a service. For example, hourly wages, salaries, commissions and tips, are all examples of active income.”
Photographers fall into the treadmill trap of active income: photo gigs, album designs, emailing back and forth to fulfill print sales, family photos, etc – these are examples of active income (trading your time for money) We are so passionate about teaching how to create multiple income streams that are passive income because they eliminate your time from the equation!
Now I’m guessing for some of you this is your first time making passive income with your photography! First thing I want to mention is that if you’ve tried and failed at this in the past, it is NOT your fault! There’s so much misinformation (trust me, I drank the wrong Koolaid sometimes) out there and it can be overwhelming to get started! That might keep you from even starting which is totally okay!
If you’re concerned that you can’t succeed with passive income as a photographer, I want to put those fears to rest right now! You might even have 2-3+ products already made!! For example, one product example that we sold was photography email templates! This was NOT a product we had to create – it was already made in the email correspondence of our top 10 successful wedding bookings! All we had to do was copy and paste those emails into a PDF, delete the personal info from our clients and replace those names with generic names for their privacy, and share this PDF on Etsy to help other photographers book via emails!
Are you an awesome writer? Share your email templates! Are you a better phone talker or in-person communicator? Share your template or script! Maybe clients compliment you on the design for your website and marketing materials? You already did the work for these assets, you could export the template and share it available for sale to help service other photographers!
The point is that you already have passive income, the world is simply waiting for you to share your tools to success! Don’t worry because this article will help you learn how to create multiple income streams as a photographer!
Passive income doesn’t text you asking to edit their flaws or show up late to their session, I remember waiting for 2 hours for a $150 session because someone was late!! How rude! Passive income, on the other hand, won’t put you through that uneccesary stress!
If you’ve ever thought that a photography career feels like a dead-end-job, you might be right! You wouldn’t want to be 65 years old still being a wedding photographer…trying to gather all the drunk family members for portraits! The difference is, you don’t have to take that route with your photography career! That’s why we’re having this conversation! You should pat yourself on the back for even reading this and imagining the products you could serve the world with!
As a photographer, what we really want to do is create art, get paid a fair amount, and travel wherever we want WHENEVER we want with the people we love!!
My favorite quote when it comes to passive income is by Dave Ramsey — ‘If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.'” Dave Ramsey’s quote has obsessed with asking the question: how to create multiple income streams as a photographer?!
Let us tell you a story about when we sold our first passive income product, even though we were only 3 weeks into our career…charging $150 per photography session…but then we made $500 overnight!!
As you know, we started our career as photographers for couples, weddings, and elopements! What helped us stand apart in San Diego’s competitive landscape was our candid posing – we got messages and Instagram DMs every day asking “which pose was this, how do we get a candid image like that?”
So we gave the people what they wanted – an instantly downloadable posing guide! What started as a list of 10 screenshots [10 candid posing prompts that help get couples fired up about their photo shoot] turned into a 20 page PDF!
We didn’t know how to get sales on this new product, but we knew there were hundreds (or even thousands) of other photographers just like us who want candid posing in their pics, so we posted about the product in a FaceBook group!
The product was listed for $27, but we offered it for only $4 if people purchased within the first 24 hours and left an honest review so we could improve this new product! We thought we would sell 5-10 units and make enough coffee money for the week, but we woke up to a life changing realization – you can make $500+ in a night by helping people just like you with a downloadable PDF [or any source of passive income]!
We realized we could either going back to trading our time for money with photoshoots – waiting on late clients, and sympathizing with people’s insecurities in pictures….OR….we could monetize our photography from our laptops with passive income!
What we do NOT want to do is trade our time for money for the next 3+ decades, trying to save a portion for retirement, and hoping to live off that! Instead, we adopted a new mindset: build assets that generate passive income equal to or more than our monthly expenses! At the end of the day, what’s the difference between living off a giant savings later in life or living off your passive income today? We choose to retire TODAY!
There’s 2 types of people – people whoa are willing to pivot when markets change (like the pandemic and working from home), and those who are going to come up with excuses!! If you are willing to put in the work, then here’s 10 passive income ideas for photographers:
Lightroom Presets are a popular way to share your talented eye of photography with other creatives! When we developed our warm and crips style, other photographers wanted to experiment with their images to see if they liked the vibe! We made over $7000 which was the cost of 2 wedding photoshoots at the time!
2. Instagram Captions for Wedding Photographers
This one is low hanging fruit because Instagram Analytics will filter your posts by the top engagement in the past 2 years – so all you have to do is pick your top 5-10 best performing IG captions and turn them into a fill-in-the-blank format similar to MadLibs!
3. Wedding Photography Pricing Guide
Did you spend hours on Canva or Photoshop to create a pricing list that aesthetically fits your brand and images? Other photographers would love to pay you to use that template with their own images!! It saves them time and it can make you money!
4. Business Card Template for Wedding Photographers
Let’s be real for a second: physical business cards are outdated! You hand them over and the person most likely shoves it in their pocket or in their bag and forgets about it (or worse, they end up throwing it away).
Put yourself in this scenario– you meet someone who’s interested in doing business with you and they ask for a business card. Instead of doing the typical “here’s my business card”, say “what’s your phone number? I’ll text you or airdrop my digital business card so we don’t need to waste any paper!”
BOOM! Now you’re creating less trash in the environment AND connecting via phone number with a potential client! You can help other photographers do the same by sharing the Canva or Photoshop template to your business card design!
5. Instagram Story Templates for Wedding Photographers
Are you making a statement with your Instagram stories? Is it because you are an awesome Canva or Photoshop designer? Share the love with other photographers by creating an Instagram Story template pack!
Instagram had hundreds of millions of users who engage on the platform religiously, so you are already putting in your share of work to help your content stand out from the rest – so reap extra benefits from that hard design work by generating passive income from your IG story template designs!!
6. Pinterest Pin Post Templates for Wedding Photographers
Similarly to Instagram, Pinterest pins need to stand out in a sea of other content! If you already leveled up your Pinterest game by designing your own Pinterest templates, then share your easy to use Canva templates or Photoshop Templates for other photographers to purchase and customize to their fonts, colors, and more!
7. Print on Demand Landscape Wall Art – Drop Shipping on Printful
Ever wanted to share your images as wall art without having to deal with printing and shipping? Now you can with print on demand services like Printful! Printful allows you to automate your wall art print sales with their plug-and-chug platform! Photographers can set their own prices to ensure a profitable margin!
8. A List of Content Ideas for Photographers in Your Niche
Maybe you got to the top of page ONE of Google with your thumb stopping headlines for your photography blog articles? Or maybe you went from 0-10k+ on TikTok in less than 12 months and you have a long list of TikTok ideas to share? Help other photographers out by sharing your list of content ideas so they can plug and chug into their own business! It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, a long list of ideas in numbered or bulleted format will do!
9. Photography Resources Page on Your Website
You can create a custom Page Template Design for content creators, bloggers, YouTubers, and other online businesses who want to share their favorite tools, resources, and affiliate links! Affiliate marketing is a way to generate passive income in your business by sharing links that convert into sales. When a percentage of your clicks turn into sales for a strategic partner, you get a kickback, or a percentage of the sale!
A lot of the top software for photographers (HoneyBook, Pixieset, PicTime, etc) has an affiliate program you can sign up for to start sharing your affiliate links!
10. Amazon Influencer or Amazon Associates – Share Links for Photography Gear!
Now that you know about affiliate marketing, you might already be thinking about Amazon Associates or Amazon Influencer! We especially love Amazon Influencer because you get an online storefront on the Amazon website (and we love the SEO that comes with that!)
Amazon Influencer lets you organize your purchase recommendations so we organize them by photo gear, video gear, home decor, and dog toys!
11. Photoshop Actions
Are you a photographer who gets asked how your images achieve a look with beautifully smooth skin that retains texture? You can help other photographers with your photoshop actions! Photoshop Action into your editing workflow to give your subjects’ skin the look you desire without the lengthy process of frequency separation. This is the exact process Holly Lund uses to crush it with her images!
12. An Outfit Guide Template
Are you constantly recommending outfits to your clients? Maybe you have a pretty PDF with all your outfit recommendations? You can sell this template to other photographers just like Samantha Burke Photography does in her Etsy listing!
If you need more than 10 passive income ideas, download this list of 90 passive income ideas for photographers!
Thanks for enjoing this article on how to create multiple income streams! Bree + Stephen are adventurous entrepreneurs based in Salt Lake City, Utah! They’re pioneers of the NO BS Podcast and hosts of their YouTube channel where they share travel videos, business tutorials, and lifestyle content! They live with their German Shepherd, Sequoia and are usually chugging coffee while on their way to a hike! Please contact for business inquiries or questions about the content on our website!