11 Passive Income Ideas for Photographers

So, you are a photographer looking to make some extra cash. What if I told you there are many ways you can make passive income by doing what you do best (taking photos)?

How can you make money passively as a photographer? There are many passive income ideas you can consider as a photographer. Some popular passive income ideas for photographers include selling stock photos and videos, creating a monetized blog, selling digital goods such as presets, renting your camera gear, and affiliate marketing for your favourite photography tools.

In this guide, we walk through 9 Passive Income Ideas for photographers that are beginner-friendly, and flexible enough to allow you to participate in other activities. If you are looking for some ideas to earn extra income passively as a photographer, this guide is for you. For more details about each specific idea, learn more by clicking on the orange button or the adjacent image. Let’s dive right in!

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1. Blogging

You have heard this before but wait! We are not talking about blogging or vlogging about your day. We’re talking about blogging to get traffic to your website by answering people’s specific questions. You can then monetize that traffic in a variety of ways. Jim Harmer from Income School did exactly that on his website Improve Photography. This is one of the first blogs that he created, and it is still making an excellent income today.

In the video above, Jim demonstrates that his passive income from Improve Photography comes from the following:

  • 2% App
  • 18% Affiliate
  • 25% Memberships
  • 26% Ads
  • 30% Info products / Digital Tools

Blogging can be an excellent way to build an audience interested in your products or services, that you can then monetize in a variety of ways. Learn more about blogging to make passive income online from Rick and Jim in their passive income blogging course Project 24. Click on the guide below to learn more.

Learn More About Making Passive Income Blogging

2. Sell Lightroom Presets & Other Digital Goods

One way Jim monetized his photography site audience (learn more in part 1, blogging) was by selling Lightroom presets. These photo filters can be made in Adobe Lightroom and are used by photographers like yourself. You can easily sell digital goods like Lightroom presets online using Ecwid eCommerce. This solution can be added to any website builder like WordPress or Wix. You could also sell other digital goods that photographers need to embellish their work like Photoshop Filters.

Learn More About Selling Online with Ecwid

How passive is selling digital goods as a photographer? If you have built up an online audience that is interested in your offering, this can be fairly passive. The heavy lifting will consist in creating your Lightroom presets, Photoshop filters, and other digital goods. However if your photographer who already uses these things, and it will be fairly easy to set them up for sale if you use Ecwid eCommerce. Learn more in our Ecwid guide.

3. Rent Your Gear (Camera / Lenses)


Photographers who have some extra cameras can rent them out to make some passive income. You can rent out your personal items including cameras online through companies such as stashii, neighbor, and Kostok. You can also rent them in person, though this is much riskier. You can worry less about your camera getting stolen on these sites since most offer insurance. It is possible to earn extra money with very little effort since the company will do most of the work for you, including promoting your offer to collecting payments. It can be a fairly passive way to make money will only a little investment. Renting your older or extra camera can earn you hundreds of monthly weekly depending on the number of clients you have.

Learn More in Our Rent Your Gear Guide

How passive is renting your camera as a means of making income? This is a very passive way of earning money. You will require to invest very little time and resources to list your camera. The camera can continuously be available for renting to give you returns for a considerable time. Photographers looking to invest in this should consider having more than one camera available to rent. It is also possible to rent out your camera for long periods of time like a month or so.

4. Print on Demand


If you are a photographer who wants to earn some extra income, you should consider offering print on demand services. You can upload high quality photos and images to clothing and other items quickly and easily. Some of your clients may want your photos printed on their shirts, blouses or as art. Some sites like Printful make it easy for you to earn passively through Print on Demand. They can handle the printing, packaging, and shipment for you allowing you to earn money even more passively. Different customers can repeatedly buy a similar design and help you earn even more. You can earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars monthly depending on your work and clientele.

Learn More in Our Print on Demand Guide

How Passive is print on demand as a way of earning passive income? Print on demand is an extremely passive way of earning some income. For most photographers it will require very little time to capture and upload their photos to a Print on Demand service like Printful. Print on demand is also a good way of promoting your original work on physical objects.

5. Sell Stock Photos & Videos

This is a classic. If you are a photographer, you probably have many photos and videos on your devices that you don’t intend to use. Of course, you can sell them and earn money passively. Selling your stock photos and videos might sound like a difficult job but it is a good way of earning some passive income. Websites like ShutterStock will pay good money for high quality photos. You can sell some of your best photos to different photography sites and earn some income passively. You can also make quality videos and sell them on the internet. Here you can choose your favorite topics ranging from nature, architecture, or people. If you want to make even more money, you can consider selling them on different websites, but some sites offer more for exclusive content. Selling your content may start by earning you $30-50 a month but with time you can make even more.

How passive is selling stock photos online as a means of generating income? Selling stock photos and videos is a very passive way of earning extra money. If you want to succeed at this, you will need to be patient since your products will take some time before they begin making you money. The more quality photos and videos that you upload, the more chances of making good money you can have.

6. Selling Tangible Goods


Another way of earning passive income from photography is by selling products online. It is easy to sell products on the internet and as a photographer you have an added advantage because you can take the best photos for your tangibles. All you need is a good camera and some good photography skills. You can simply take the photos of some of the products that you want to sell, upload them online, and just wait for a buyer. Buyers will look for the products that have the best photos so make sure to upload the best high quality pics! Depending on what you sell, you can make hundreds of extra dollars monthly.

Learn More About Flipping Items Online in our Guide

How passive is selling tangible products as a means of making income? Selling tangible products online is not a highly passive means of generating some extra income. You will have to interact a lot with your buyers and may even meet with some of them as you drop off your products. You will also have to look constantly for new products to flip. Make sure to look for products that have a high demand and sell quickly. Once you get the hang of things, you can make it more passive by dropshipping your most popular products.

7. Royalties

Royalties are a good way of earning income passively. Professional companies will pay out good royalties for quality photos that they can use to run their advertisements and displays. Most companies will prefer paying photographers to take good photos to promote their services. You can enjoy your royalties for as long as the company uses your photos and videos as part of its marketing and customer relations process.

How passive are royalties as a means of earning income? Royalties are a very passive means of earning income. You require very little effort and time. You will also be able to earn over a long time from a few photos. Companies will also give you a good rate from your photos. The royalties will give you a steady stream of income on a regular basis. You can take different photos from different companies and earn royalties from each. This can earn you more money passively and increase your chances of success.

8. Affiliate Marketing


An affiliate is a good way to make some passive income online as a photographer. You can help others sell their products and get some extra cash in return. Affiliate marketing can give you a consistent stream of income and it is very reliable for the long term and allows you to promote your favourite procuts. Whatever choice you make be sure that it is something you are passionate about. Have a look at Jim’s Recommended Gear page for example, he is an Amazon affiliate recommending his favourite photography gear on these pages. Not only is he helping his audience by providing quality reviews, he also gets an affiliate commission every time someone makes a purchase after clicking on his links.

Learn More in our Affiliate Marketing Guide

How passive is affiliate marketing as a means of generating income passively? Affiliate marketing is highly passive in the long term. Becoming an affiliate marketer can earn you good amounts of passive income over time, it might require a lot of your effort in the beginning but it can be worthwhile depending on your niche and the products you recommend.

9. Video Editing

The demand for videos has risen over the past few years. A photographer looking to earn some extra income passively can decide to venture into photo and video editing. You can make and edit videos for different clients depending on their interests. Some clients will pay good money to have their videos edited by another person. One quick and easy way to get started is with your own clients. If you don’t yet have a client base, you can look into using Fiverr (learn more on our site). Fiverr is a platform where you can offer services such as video or photo editing to people around the world. As a video editor, you can eventually outsource some of your work to make it more passive. Editing videos can earn you hundreds of dollars monthly and more as you get better.

How passive is video editing as a means of generating income? Video editing is moderately passive. If you are actively involved in the editing process, your work will be at a very low level of passiveness. Outsourcing or automating the work would make this income stream more passive.

Having a passive income is a good way to grow your passion and earn some extra cash. If you are a photographer who wants to work and make more money, some of the ideas here may inspire you to try new things. Passive income takes a lot of work and skill to build up, but once it is rolling, it should not require you to work on it continuously. Following through on a few good projects can give you a sustainable stream of income for a long time.

How passive is video editing as a means of generating income? Video editing is moderately passive. If you are actively involved in the editing process, your work will be at a very low level of passiveness. Outsourcing or automating the work would make this income stream more passive.

Related Questions

Is it possible for a beginner to make passive income? A beginner can make passive income. Beginners can focus on some beginner friendly passive income ideas such as blogging, renting things (bike, camera, sports gear), placing ads on their car and more.

Can you live off passive income? When built up to cover your expenses and provide extra income, you can live off of passive income. Beginners can build passive income in a variety of ways. Certain passive income streams such as blogging is beginner friendly and can provide excellent passive income when done correctly.

Can I make passive income with no money? Yes, it is possible to generate passive income without using a lot of money. You can decide to rent your car parking space, rent your bike or camera, place ads on your car and more. There are many different ways to earn money passively, not all of them require a financial investment.