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It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here, and I’m excited for the Making Money with Your Photography conference that starts today! I’ll be talking about how to make money with your travel photography in the conference, but I also have a class all about making money as a side hustle over on KelbyOne. Side hustling is exactly what I want to talk to you about today. Let’s do it.

It’s becoming increasingly more common to see people talking about having a side hustle on social media posts. The methods range from real estate and crypto, all the way down to paid surveys and affiliate marketing. As photographers we have the ability to create amazing content, telling stories through our images. Having this skill makes us valuable and it means we can cash in on our photography. Here are some ideas for side hustles in photography.

Social Media Influencer

Focusing our attention on social media to build and sustain an engaged following makes us valuable as an influencer in the world of marketing. My new book, The Eiffel Tower Effect, (register for release information here) is all about how to make photos that stand out and details how the algorithm works. We can all, with a distinct, consistent style and quality content, can convert our engagement into revenue. Social media posts on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube can easily make us a side hustle income with a little work in our free time.


Every photo we see out in the wild, such as those on news websites, magazines, advertising and in books, comes from somewhere. More often than not these images come from stock libraries, such as Adobe Stock or Getty Images. We can make a side hustle income with only a little work by shooting specifically for stock, or by submitting our ‘spare’ images the didn’t quite make the cut for the intended shoot. We all have lots of photos on our hard drive, and while they stay there they aren’t doing anything for us. All the images in our library that didn’t make the cut for the portfolio or the original client can be making us money.

Studio Sessions

Having a back for portraiture and building up a portfolio can make us side hustle money. Renting studio space and booking time slots for individuals or groups that cover the cost of the rent and add a little profit is a win-win for us and the client. Lots of people are looking for up-to-date headshots and portraits, and a few hours back-to-back shooting using a replicated lighting set-up not only makes us some money, but it also builds our brand through testimonials and referrals.

With these ideas to work from and plenty of other options out there, I’d love to see you all monetise your skill and talent as a photographer. Learn more at the conference or class I’ve linked above, and have a great rest of the week!

Much love

Here’s the scenario: You get back from a gig, download the images, go through the take, mark the selects, do your editing, and deliver the photos. The client loves them… But you don’t. Sure, they’re okay, but… They don’t quite inspire you.

Sound familiar? If it does, I have some good news for you… You’re not alone.

Is there anything wrong with this image? Not technically, but it’s not winning any awards.

I would guess that most photographers go through this, even the best ones. No matter how much we try to make the best possible images we can, not every production is going to result in a new portfolio image. You can plan all you want, put together your image list, research the location, research your subject, make inspiration/mood boards, clean your lenses and sensor, and carry your lucky rabbits foot; but when you do the job, the photos are decent but not great. The client is happy, so you’re happy that you’re getting paid, but you wanted to come away with better images.

Arrive at the venue only to find out there’s no photo pit, and you weren’t there early enough to stake out a spot up front? Better hope you brought a telephoto lens.

Sometimes your subject just isn’t great. Or the location you picked days ahead of time fell through on the day of the gig and you had to quickly find something else that worked. Or you were unexpectedly battling the harsh sun on what was supposed to be a cloudy day. Or you just flat out had an off day and don’t know why.

Right place, right time? Not this time. When the singer takes off down the other end of the stage and you can’t get there in time, this is the result.

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always. Today I’m in rural England putting together the final pieces of a few projects before I head over the channel to mainland Europe again in a couple of weeks. One of the project is a new book all about shooting differently, so keep an eye on my socials for news about that.

Today I want to talk a little about how we can grow by forcing ourselves to be limited, and it’s all about using our phone.

When we’re working on improving composition it can be incredibly helpful to pick up our phone and challenge ourselves with it. The key is to not use the zoom feature but to move and walk around, employing the prime lens technique of ‘zoom with your feet.’

Having this easy method to experiment which test our capabilities and offers us a large image preview give us the opportunity to really open our eyes whilst having the limits we’re putting on ourselves. Being a great photographer relies so much on a combination of elements, including light, depth and composition, and it enables us to think differently and develop skills in the areas that are important to standing out and shooting differently.

When we have these skills that we acquire from pushing ourselves to think differently, thereby shooting differently, we can quite easily transpose these skills to apply to our regular photography. Standing our from the crowd is a huge factor for our growth and, if it’s the direction we want to go, in monetizing our photography. There’s also a lot of opportunity to grow in mobile photography that’s certainly worth exploring!

Give it a go – go set yourself a target and shoot some images exclusively with your phone that push your limits of creativity. And with that….

Much love

Well, not nobody…but just about nobody. If you haven’t seen them or seen them and didn’t know what they do, don’t feel bad — it’s not the least bit obvious. Here’s an example of what they do and how to use them. 

STEP ONE: Here’s a behind-the-scenes image of me shooting open in Lightroom Classic’s Library module. Go to the Metadata panel (as seen here) because that’s where the arrows are (this is better than it sounds — stick with me here). 

STEP TWO: In the Metadata panel, if you look to the right of many (most) of these metadata fields, you’ll see a square icon with a right-facing arrow (shown circled here in red). These arrows are actually buttons that are so much more powerful than they look. For example, when I scrolled down near the bottom of the Metadata panel, I could see that this image had GPS location data embedded into the image. If you click on that arrow button to the right of the GPS data field…..

STEP THREE: …it takes you to the Map module and shows you a satellite picture of where you were standing when you took the shot, and it marks your exact location with a yellow tag (in this case, I was in Venice, Italy, in a ballroom at the beautiful Ca’ Sagredo Hotel). 

STEP FOUR: If, instead, I had clicked on the arrow in the field above, the one called “Cropped,” it would…

STEP FIVE: …take me directly to Lightroom’s Develop Module and automatically activates the Crop tool so I can crop the image. If I had clicked the Capture Date arrow instead, it would have immediately displayed all the other photos I took on that same date. See, these arrows are pretty awesome! 

Above: FYI: here’s the final shot that was taken at that location using a super wide-angle lens, where I got down low to give the shot a more epic feel. Pretty incredible ballroom, and our model, dressed in a rented Carnivale gown (it was not Carnivale time), was very patient. 

I hope you’ll give those powerful little arrows a look next time you’re in the Metadata panel. :)

Have a fun weekend, everybody!


P.S. I’ll be teaching at B&H Photo’s OPTIC 2022 Outdoor, travel, and wildlife photography conference this weekend in New York City. You can still sign up and either go in person, or you can watch virtually online, and the amazing thing is – whichever you choose, they’re both absolutely free! Why not register right now (it’s free, did I mention the free part?) over at – I’m teaching classes on travel photography (Monday) and how to post-process your travel images (Sunday). Hope I see you there (or online). 

White Reaper perform at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 11, 2017.

My final day at Bonnaroo began back at What Stage once again with White Reaper.

White Reaper perform at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 11, 2017.

Their backdrop was up in support of their new album, The World’s Best American Band.

White Reaper perform at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 11, 2017.

Ryan Hater, aka MVP, was the most fun to photograph as he was the most energetic of the group. Plus long hair and rock music always make for a fun combination. I liked this moment where his hair was just out in front of his face enough to be clear of his eyes.

Red Bull TV Live Stream Trailer at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 11, 2017.

My next assignment was an unexpected one, but a cool peek behind the curtain at how things work for the Red Bull TV live stream from the festival. I got to go inside the broadcast truck and see what it takes for it all to run, switching from stage to stage and streaming past performances.

Red Bull TV Live Stream Trailer at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 11, 2017.

Above is a closer look from over the shoulder of the director.

After doing a quick edit back at the production trailer, I made my way back to The Other for the duration of my stay at Bonnaroo. Since I was staying here the rest of the day, I brought my laptop with me to download and edit between sets.

Skepta performs at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 11, 2017.

First up was Skepta, who is a British rapper and producer.

Attendees watch from backstage as Skepta performs at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 11, 2017.

Hello all! It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always to bring you something interesting from the world photography. This week is no different and I want to explore an idea I’ve been mulling over a lot lately, and it’s this: –

Instagram hates photographers

Yep. There it is. We’ve all noticed changes in Instagram and the algorithm and all that ‘good stuff’ that’s come with Reels, which is clearly a way to compete with TikTok, but it’s come at the cost of engagement to us photographers. The majority of us want to share our photos and Instagram was the place to do it, but Instagram is now a place to share video. I’ll be talking a little about influencer marketing at the upcoming KelbyOne ‘Making Money’ Conference, but let me very quickly touch on it here. I used to partake in the odd bit of micro influencing work on Instagram through an agency, but since it’s now all about video content and I can’t share my photos because the algorithm doesn’t give them anywhere near as much traction as videos, I don’t use that agency often. I am still involved in influencer marketing, however it’s now direct with suppliers and brands. I often wonder what the state of Instagram would be if there was more of a focus on photos, and whether I’d be more involved in influencer marketing again.

Anyway, the point has been made there – it’s all about video. I’ve asked several people in several formats, including an open question to my followers, and the answer always provided in the question of ‘would you like to see more photo or video?’ is photo. The thing is, people are voting with their feet and watching video after video, almost binge watching at times, and this is telling Instagram quite clearly that we want video.

In terms of metrics, a good level of engagement on Instagram is 5% or above. This level of engagement is far below what mine used to be in the days of the chronological feeds and before the emergence of video on the platform, but things are changing and if we want tot keep up we need to adapt and make those changes, too. If video is the way forward, we have to get on board with it and create Reels that educate, entertain and inspire.

The three words I chose there were deliberate… There’s evidence to suggest videos that meet these criteria are the ones likely to keep people engaged and on the app, and that’s exactly what Instagram (Meta) wants. The algorithm that drives the app and decides what to show us is ultimately rooted in one thing, and one thing only – revenue. The way Instagram generates revenue is through ads, so the more ads they can show, the more revenue they make. The way they show users more ads is by keeping them engaged, and that engagement can come from your content if you play the game right. Videos are more likely to get engagement now and unfortunately for photographers that’s just a cold, hard truth. Instagram hates photographers because we no longer provide the engagement levels they want.

Think that over….

Much love