Very similar to the event photographer job idea I posted a while back, here is a slight (and possibly more profitable) variation of that. Athletes are some of the most narcissistic people on plant Earth (I know this for a fact as I am a sports and fitness geek myself), and there are very few who wouldn’t want nice photos of themselves in action. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who’s halfway serious about fitness and they’ll tell you the same.
Candidly photograph athletes as they run or cycle by. Upload those photos to your own photo store. Market your photos so word spreads around the local athletic community that photos are available. Traffic will build, athletes will purchase photos of themselves, and you will profit. It’s really that simple.
Still skeptical? Here’s how to become a freelance local sport photographer:
- Pick a well lit and open public spot where there is a lot of cyclist and runner activity. It is super important to stay in the open and not hide what you are doing! The last thing you want is somebody calling the police to report you as a pervert hiding in the bushes taking picture of people’s butts.
- If someone approaches you and asks what you are doing, be proudly honest. Tell them about your business, give them a business card with your contact information on it, and be as open as possible.
- Organize and upload the photos to your online store. I recommend using Photostore from Ktools.net, which is a pre-built and ready to run online store script that will make selling your photos easy.
- Advertise your services through social media and word of mouth. Note that you don’t have to spend a dime on advertising costs if you don’t want to. Simply build a relationship with the athletic community, and over time, you’ll have a loyal fan base.
This is a proven business model, made popular by successful automotive automative photographers Darryl Canon and Victory Jon. Check out some of the work they are doing to get some ideas about the kinds of photography you can do in your local community.
A decent camera, an online store (easy to set up with Ktools.net PhotoStore), and a place to photograph the athletes as they run and cycle by.
Start up costs
If you’ve already got a good camera, then all you’ll need is a website. Check with Ktools first – they can set you up with everything you need (online store, web hosting, and support). Advertising costs can be negligible if you choose to market yourself through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Darryl and Jon (mentioned above) are just two examples of photographers who make a living doing this sort of thing. It’s really up to you how much you want to make. Doing it full time is possible, but you’ll likely have no problems doing this part time as well.
In areas with a large populations of runners and cyclists, there is a huge untapped opportunity for photographers who want to want to make extra money in their spare time. It’s slightly beyond what I would consider as an online part time job, as it does involve some time spent outdoors taking photos. But the most important part of this business is the e-commerce store where you sell your product.