Eventually, all photographers have to choose a niche. From real estate photography to newborn photography, you have lots of options. But which niche makes the most money?
Whether you’re an aspiring photographer or looking to switch niches to earn more cash, this guide will help.
7 Photography Niches That Make Money
You might think choosing a niche will put you in a box or slow down your business. But a niche makes it easier to build your brand and get more clients. Your expertise will be obvious from your portfolio. So, clients won’t have to think twice about booking you.
Here are seven popular photography niches.
#1 Portrait Photography
Portrait photographers use lighting, poses, and props to capture the identity of their clients. And you don’t have to stick to the standard headshot. The trick is to make the photos feel natural despite being staged.
It’s not hard to get started in portrait photography. The market is large, so you’re sure to find paying clients. and you don’t need state-of-the-art equipment. It’s a good way to get some professional experience under your belt.
There’s lots of competition in portrait photography. To charge higher rates, you will need to create a unique aesthetic or visual brand people want and can’t get anywhere else. A strong reputation for quality can also help distinguish your photography brand.
Most portrait photographers might earn anywhere from $25 to $150 an hour. Many portrait photographers offer other photography services. However the sky’s the limit if you have a unique visual brand.
#2 Real Estate Photography
Real estate photographers capture commercial and residential properties to help them get sold. They work with realtors to make the property look move-in ready. You might photograph anything from a luxury mountain home to retail shops in a city.
For the most part, the photos will be used on listing sites. But you may be hired to take pre-renovation photos so that interior decorators or architects can do their jobs. Real Estate Photographers might also stage the property, reposition lighting in the home, and edit the photographs.
To find real estate photography gigs, you can network with realtors, interior designers, or even Airbnb owners. Either way, find referral partners that handle your preferred property type. You’ll likely make more money shooting high-end homes than single-family apartments.
As a real estate photographer, you may have to invest more in photography equipment than in other niches. But real estate photography gigs are often more consistent because there’ll always be homes to sell.
Real estate photographers earn anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 per year.
#3 Wedding Photography
Wedding photographers create memories. As a wedding photographer, your job is to capture a couple’s story in a collection of images. Weddings are often a once-in-a-lifetime event, and clients want their big day to be perfect (no pressure). So, they’re willing to pay a premium for a stellar photographer. It’s a demanding gig, but it pays off.
Wedding photographers demand high rates because they need to excel under pressure. They only have one chance to capture the first kiss, first dance, and so many other wedding moments that will never come again.
Wedding photography rates depend on the type of wedding. A luxury, three-day destination wedding will pay more than a one-day local event. Typically, a wedding photographer earns anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 per event. But the cost can go up significantly depending on the size of the wedding, the number of photographers, video services, etc.
You can also offer engagement photography services. If they like your shots, you’re more likely to be booked for the big day.
#4 Family and Newborn Photography
Family photographers capture the dynamics and love within a family. So, you may have to get to know the family quite a bit. Unlike portraits, these clients are often looking for lifestyle photographs, i.e., walks on a beach or children playing in a garden.
An increasingly popular subset of family photography is newborn photography. Your job is to capture the newest family member, typically within the first month of their lives. With newborn photography, you might photograph the baby alone or with their parents and siblings.
Pro tip: It’s easier to photograph newborn babies in the first two weeks when they’re very sleepy. After that, it can get complicated as they become aware of their surroundings.
To become a newborn photographer, you complete special training to ensure the babies are safe and comfortable as you pose them or adjust your equipment. You also learn to soothe the newborns if they get fussy.
It can be a challenging gig. But, on the plus side, your clients are super cute and mostly quiet.
#5 Product Photography
Businesses need high-quality images to sell their products and fill their marketing campaigns across social media, display ads, and billboards. That’s where a product photographer comes in handy.
Commercial and product photography is all about the details, so the shoots can get complicated. You’ll likely be working in a controlled environment and come up with unique ways to capture the vibe of feeling or brand, like using mirrors to make a perfume bottle look like it’s floating in the sky.
Product photographers can earn a lot of money because companies have more disposable income than typical clients. Larger, established companies can pay more than small businesses or startups.
#6 Nature and Wildlife
Are you ready to be featured on National Geographic? Then you should consider becoming a wildlife photographer. You may have trouble finding clients in this niche. But photographs of animals and nature pay off in resale. People will be using your shots as stock images for years to come.
Nature photographers might earn anywhere from $200 to $500 per session. Plus, you get to be one with the outdoors and do a fair bit of traveling.
#7 Fashion Photography
Fashion photographers shoot clothing models for magazines, websites, and advertising. They often command a high salary, but this is the most difficult niche to get started in.
The fashion industry is small and highly competitive. To get your foot in the door, you’ll have to network your butt off to make connections with fashion brands. Start by looking for gigs with clothing retailers and boutiques in your area. You should also keep up with clothing trends and editorial styles to succeed. Expect to experiment with lighting, color, and models.
Social media can play a huge role in kickstarting your fashion photography career. It’s your opportunity to showcase your creativity and let potential clients know that you understand trends and can build a following from your work.
A fashion photographer might earn $500 to $1,500 per day, but it depends on the brand and the photographer.
Are You Camera-Ready?
From portraits to weddings to real estate, photographers have lots of choices. So you can follow your passion and earn a sustainable income. Whatever your niche, you can master your craft and build a six-figure photography business.
PocketSuite can help you out. We have intuitive tools to help you run a successful photography business. You can schedule clients, send contracts and receive payments in one app.