8 Ways to Know You’re Ready to Make Money in Photography

Check out our giveaway at the end of the
video. This is a great one. ♪[music]♪ Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The
Slanted Lens I’m going to answer a question that was posted to one of our
blog posts. The person asked, “How do I know when I’m ready to make money in
photography or video?” I’m going to answer that question with just one word. A person
has to have a certain level of confidence before they’re ever going to be able to
ask people to pay them to take images. So, if you’re going to have confidence, you’ve
got to do something to be able to gain confidence in your life,
in your photographic life, in your video life.
There a lot of things you can do. You can go to an art school. You
can take classes or seminars. You can go to WPPI or NAB. You can do the things
necessary to be around the industry, to get taught classes and things that will
help you gain confidence. But I know from personal experience. I went to Art Center
College of Design, one of the greatest art schools in the United States. I
graduated with people who had gone through four years of art school, who had had
photography training every single day, and they still didn’t have the confidence that
they could make money in this industry. So here are eight ways that you can gain the
confidence so you can start shooting in the industry. It’s not as difficult as
you think. Eight ways to gain confidence so you can start shooting
and making a living. Number one. You’re going to need a certain
amount of equipment. You’re going to need a camera and a lens. That’s it. You’re
going to need a camera and a lens. You now should have enough confidence that with
this camera and this lens, I can take a picture and I can get someone to pay me
for it. That is all the equipment that you really need. You need a camera and a lens.
I have a daughter-in-law who’s made money, people have paid her to take images using
her camera, her Rebel and a kit lens. It’s really helpful if you have either a laptop
or a computer that you can load your images to, sort them, and post them
online. So, with your camera and a lens, you’ll probably need some kind of computer
that you can be able to work on. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t
have to be a Mac. You have to have some way to get your images online to be able
to deliver them to the client. Now you are going to want to add equipment to that
like a great reflector in order to augment the light when you start to work. Or
strobes, or a slider, or things that you can grow and grow and grow. But you don’t
have a certain level of equipment you have to achieve before you actually can start
to charge money from people. You will start to make money when you are confident
that with your camera and your lens you can now start taking pictures. Number two.
You’ve got your camera and your lens and you’re now going to start to
shoot. If you want to photograph children and do portraits then you start taking
pictures of your kids, your friends’ kids, your relatives, as many kids as you
possibly can. As you start to do this, you’re going to get a body of work. Now
remember, this is a journey, it’s not a destination. You want to take as many
pictures as you can and each time you do more and more pictures, they’re going to
get better and better. You’re going to shoot on a entry level for people around
you. Your friends, your family, a guy you met at work, somebody who’s at church.
You’re going to take these people around you, you’re going to start to photograph
the things they need photographed. You’re going to do it for free in the beginning
and you’re going to move that into getting them to pay you. That’s an entry level
point in the market. You’re not going to call art directors with a portfolio of
eight images you just scraped up over the weekend and get a job. You’re going have
to to go after people that are on your level. For me, I started taking pictures
for a guy who had a small design business that he ran out of his house. I took
pictures of mufflers on white seamless for years, but I had to pay the bills. And so
that was my beginning place. I had the confidence, I could shoot these small
little images for him, that gave me more confidence to take larger images, bigger
setups, people and cars, and eventually that just grew. You’ve got to start with
people you know, so introduce yourself around. Number three is you need a portfolio. Take these images you’ve been doing of your
children and your friends’ kids, and put them all into one body of work online. Go
to Squarespace and start a template portfolio that is very simple but looks
really effective. Get a nice logo for yourself on there and your images and
you’ve got a portfolio now with the images you’ve been taking. Number four.
Don’t turn anything down. Don’t get this prima donna sense that I
can only shoot certain things. A famous comedian that I photographed time and time
again through the 80’s and 90’s, had many Showtime specials, told me that the
biggest mistake she ever made was that every sitcom she was ever offered she
turned down because she didn’t think it was good enough. In the end, she never did
a sitcom. And If I told you her name, you’d probably wouldn’t know who she is.
Don’t turn anything down. Shoot everything. It grows from there. Number five.
Aspire to move up. I did not want to shoot car parts for the rest of my
life, so I had a portfolio of car parts and then I had a portfolio of my large set
production work. I never showed the two to the same people, ever. Car people got the
car portfolio and art directors and the people I really wanted to do this large
set production work with saw my other portfolio. Today, that translates into two
websites. One for the work that you want to do to make money, and you call that
“Lightning Photography.” The other is a portfolio of the work that you want to do
and you call that, Jay P. Morgan Pictures. Put your name on the one that you want
to aspire to and use a name that is just a generic name for the one that is going to
help you make money on your journey. There’s nothing wrong with two different
faces of a company. You can be a high-end commercial shooter and have a wedding
photography business that is very, very active and makes a lot of money. There’s
no reason you can’t have those two things. Two different names, two different places,
the two worlds never meet. Number six. Spend fifty percent of your
time getting work. You know, if you’re going to dedicate a few hours a week to
this or full time to this you’ve got to spend half of your time trying to get
work. You know, after you check your email, work on your portfolio, clean your
cameras, look at the new lenses, check Fstoppers, check The Slanted Lens, you
think you’re working on your business but you’re not. So start making calls.
Confidence goes up as you start calling people and talking to them because you’ll
find out, you’ll get a good response in that process. On August 21st we have a
free call where you can call in. We’re going to give you a daily routine for
success. It will keep you disciplined so you can start making those calls and
getting a return and grow your business. Number seven. Keep shooting and help the clients that you’ve gained start to grow
with you. In the beginning you may not charge them very much but as you continue
to shoot for them, you want them to start to grow with you. You want them to start
to pay you more and more. As your confidence grows you want to charge them
more for the work you’re doing. So they’ve got to grow with you. Some clients are
going to need to be left behind. You’re going to
have to say, “You know what? It’s not worth the time
time I spend on this client anymore. I’m going to go out and get more
clients, better clients that’ll pay me more money.” But know that your clients
need to grow with you. You can’t leave them in the same place or you’re
going to leave them behind. Number eight. Find a mentor. Somebody who
is further along in this process that will help you to stay on track and to know the
things you need to do to grow your business. Join a video or photo club,
introduce yourself to people there, find a person that you connect with that will
help you grow your business. The person that when you get a call saying, “I
need to shoot 50 people out on the beach with 100 helicopters.” You go, “No
problem, we’ll be right there.” And you call your mentor going, “I have no idea
what I’m going to do.” Someone who will help you get out of binds when you get
into those binds. I’ve had those times, where I’m going, “I have no clue.” But I
have people I can call and say, “Hey, what can I do? How do I make this happen?” So
get a mentor, someone you can talk to about the things you do. I know people who
have mentors that they share notes once a week going, “This is where I’m at. This is
what I’m charging. This is what I did this week. What did you do?” and they hold
themselves accountable to one another. So find a mentor that will help you stay
busy, stay focused, and continue to grow. The bottom line is you’ve just got to get
started. You start shooting for people at an entry level, your confidence will
grow, your work will grow, and your clientele will grow. Don’t wait. So in
answer to the question, “How do I know when I’m ready to make a living in
photography or video?” You’re ready. Start today. Do not wait. I promise you, you
have the ability to do this. You have learned enough, you have enough
experience, you’ve got enough equipment, it’s just time to start doing it. So get
out there and get started. On September 3rd, we’re going to start The
Slanted Lens Coaching Class. You know, we truly are going to give you in a 16-week
course where you call in once a week, we’re going to give you all of the things
that you need to set up your business, to know the things you need to do to grow
your business, to understand social media, to understand marketing, to understand the
daily routine to be able to make your business grow. I promise you, join our
Business Coaching Class and by January 1 you will be making a living
in this industry. ♪ [music] ♪ This is not a light blaster. This is a 70
to 200mm Tamron 2.8 vibration control lens. Go to theslantedlens.com. Don’t miss
out, this is a great giveaway. You’ve got until August 31st. ♪ [music] ♪


  1. Captain Monse September 16, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    There are ways to become a paid photographer without having to take the time to advertise and establish a client base. Now days we can do so many jobs online, why not sell your photos online? If you are interested in online photography jobs, follow my page. You can sign up for a 7 day free trial and learn how to submit photos on the internet and get paid per download. And no…it's not a scam, it's an actual system to get you on your feet. All great artists need to start somewhere, why not give it a try? Free for 7 days.

  2. Durp Durp September 17, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Can I still enter the giveaway tho?

  3. Jon Warr September 17, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Best photography channel on YouTube

  4. Salman Sheikh September 22, 2017 at 3:17 pm


  5. Vanna It September 25, 2017 at 3:01 am

    thank you so much!! love it

  6. ZJFilms September 29, 2017 at 3:19 am

    Very motivating. Thank you.

  7. Nikhil Gavit October 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    i dont know her….. who is she at 4:32 he is talking about?

  8. Magical Horse October 5, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    I do photography for a hobby and turned two people down because I do everything with a phone. In my career, I have a photography class so I started to learn how to use my camera, I had feared before that I wouldn't be enough. Now I'm just gonna keep practicing and see if the people are still up for it. Yeah, that's the story.

  9. Laura Dee October 10, 2017 at 7:32 am

    No one else curious about who the female comedian is who he didn't mention by name?

  10. Emmanuel Yaw Opoku October 19, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Thanks for your advice…I will surely follow what you said and I no that I will be the best photographer in the world

  11. Alias Cash October 23, 2017 at 12:52 am

    I also learn here to http://bit.ly/2xYsCDI

  12. Sniper Photography November 1, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Great video.Thank you for the information.Have subscribed.

  13. Evad82Arr6 _ November 3, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    I think I'm ready to go out and incorporate my a6000 skills. Thanks for the tips and motivation ??

  14. Narender Rawat November 4, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Howz the 700d cannon camera??

  15. Roberto Valle November 9, 2017 at 2:53 am

    You are awesome, sir. 🙂

  16. Travel Goer November 9, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Great video, to get to this stage in a photography career requires a platform to begin with though. Check out @travel_goer on Instagram for free landscape photography advertisement!

  17. sweetyonee November 10, 2017 at 2:42 am

    This is a great video!!!

  18. Nolwazi Sihlongonyane November 15, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Wow helpful indeed thank you sir

  19. mieam Fan November 23, 2017 at 6:07 am

    This is very motivating.

  20. kalina November 23, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    oh well my "confidence" may not be as good as some other persons "confidence", like they have a 200mm lens and I am using my 50mm for 5 years…. :o)

  21. Unesh Kumar November 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Thank you sir!

  22. mrblablablabla November 29, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Awesome! This is one of the best practical advice videos on photography I've seen, and I've seen A LOT!

  23. Valentin Zamora BULL November 30, 2017 at 9:54 am

    This is so powerful!! thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  24. AR FILMS December 5, 2017 at 1:49 am

    I saw this video and found it inspiring! I then found myself as the official sports photographer for a pee wee football team and made 250$!

  25. Vesta December 8, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Now You Can Get AUTOPILOT Traffic and Revenue Whenever You Want! http://www.seanpatel.com/socialboost

  26. Spencer Grundy December 10, 2017 at 8:38 am

    I'm getting into photography but I take photos with My iPhone 4s of landscapes, and HotWheels cars but there's those days I wish I had a better camera because when I see a shot my phone doesn't take the best photo of what I'm taking a picture of. If you'll like to check out my photography out on Instagram @grundography also @little_cars_big_world

  27. Md Robel ahmed December 17, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Clipping Path, Photo Editing, Graphic Design & Logo Design Service Company. https://www.shahininternational.com/profile.pdf

  28. Alianay Ibarra December 19, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    So inspiring! Always motivates me to be better and gives me new ideas ❤️

  29. ኢየሱስ ያድናል December 20, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Is it a worthy upgrade to a 5D Mark IV?

  30. mitra mohammadi January 1, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    It was soooo good… thank you

  31. ኢየሱስ ያድናል January 12, 2018 at 1:15 am


  32. cunekvideo99 January 14, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    Get Paid to Sell Photo click here => https://tinyurl.com/gpfoto

  33. ኢየሱስ ያድናል January 17, 2018 at 5:16 am

    Hey Jay P., you should upgrade your 5D Mark III to the 5D Mark IV

  34. Matt Ooi February 10, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Only thing to add to the "gear in important" argument: Found that my ILC with slow AF was prohibitive to charging for work. I found it worthwhile to upgrade to a camera with a more reliable AF system to compete with other photog's in my area.

  35. Dan Schmidt February 19, 2018 at 2:14 am

    Great stuff!

  36. Tatjana Dimitrijevic March 3, 2018 at 11:58 am

    I've been spending time with the help of my son studying earn money with your camera and found an awesome resource at Hartlyn photo pro (check it out on google)

  37. Clarence Newby March 11, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    I watch this video often, you are so inspiring.

  38. Nomadic Soul March 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Thanks for motivating …I m starting it now

  39. Kyle Devy March 18, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Jesus Christ barley any advice here just stupid motivational crap.

  40. James James March 19, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    1. be sure you love photography and you want to do it because it's your passion and not for the money
    2. Find a good cheap DSLR
    2. Find a 50mm 1.8 lens (if you want to make portraits)
    3. Find a computer with Lightroom or any software to edit photo
    4. work for free the first 3 months, improve your craft
    5, ask 1000+ people to pay you for your pictures
    6. repeat step 5. 1000 times
    7. improve your gear
    8. repeat step 6 twice​

  41. Cynthia Diaz March 23, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Great video! Thank you

  42. ALL IN ONE -AIO March 25, 2018 at 4:29 am

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  43. Sherie Schaefner April 2, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    they are money management, market analysis, and entry/exit rules. to me money management is important in trading. i opened another account and start to trade profitably after i learnt from my past mistake. i don't trade emotionally anymore. I have personally used this before. But i loose my money trading on this. Now i'm satisfied with *FIRST MILLION ROAD*.

  44. dominic watson April 3, 2018 at 8:33 am

    3:12 "I need to shoot 15 people on the beach, get a helicopter "

  45. Veronica Hernandez April 7, 2018 at 4:45 am

    Start your photography business today —-> https://bit.ly/2qc90W0

  46. PolyMono - Keys April 8, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    I have a question, would I be able to make money as a kid from photography?

  47. Shutter bug April 13, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    This is my favorite channel. Practical advice, good instructions, well done every time. 🙂

  48. entity81 April 19, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Hi there, I have a question about different types of photography. My main interest is in alternative, abstract, experimental photography/video. I have done this as a hobby for many years and was wondering as it's such a niche area – is there money in it?

  49. José Crisalide April 30, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    I'm not sure but ,if anyone else is searching for earn cash make how to make money with your camera ebook try Niposcu Photo Cash Adviser (Have a quick look on google cant remember the place now ) ? Ive heard some great things about it and my m8 got amazing success with it.

  50. Megan May 8, 2018 at 4:35 am

    I’m gonna answer this in one word…

    4 sentences later

  51. evelasq1 May 8, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Right now I am trying to make a business for myself in photography and I am using a book that have listings of companies that would buy my work. Peace, Flood!

  52. MST.0356.2016 May 9, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    practice make perfect

  53. Brandon Lemonds May 10, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    Hey! You are the guy that keeps my money and does my transactions. Thanks man.

  54. Eunice Quilla May 13, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Thank you so much, very informative. If you want to be a freelance photographer, or make money in the comfort of your own home with just your CAMERA AND LAPTOP, you may wanna check out their website => http://www.photography-jobs.net/?hop=eumapa
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  55. Viranimedia Kenya May 20, 2018 at 3:16 am

    very good advice

  56. Halil Gunesli May 29, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Sir I just ordered a camera from amazon after watching this video .

  57. Jillian Torrence June 1, 2018 at 12:23 am

    Christ… I've been shooting for 5 years and I haven't made a cent. I'm too worried about interacting with potential clients (social anxiety issues, not solely a confidence issue). I've done free shoots for friends/family in the past, but nothing outside of that. :/

    Would it be bad for me to take online "photographer wanted" jobs? Like simple gigs to start out?

  58. brooksysdead June 9, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    I found the most defining factor in deciding if you can charge is to let people shit allover your work.. Get as many critiques as possible and take the criticism seriously. Eventually people will find less and less to shit on. Its at that point you are ready to start making many from your photos..

  59. Isaac Moscovich June 22, 2018 at 3:46 am

    Nice video, thanks!

  60. Luna Valentina July 13, 2018 at 12:08 pm


  61. Default Name July 25, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    How much should i pay my side photographer

  62. Craig Wooldridge July 29, 2018 at 1:03 am

    @ 1:47 "That's all you need is a camera and a lens" and in the very next image it shows him using a tripod! ~ LMAO!!!

  63. Laz Walah August 21, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Where did you get that shirt?!

  64. BianJH August 21, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    I would love to start selling my photos but I'm a broke ass college student who shoots on their phone who can't afford a "real" camera. Because my phone has limitations compared to an actual camera, I shoot lots of macro photos. I have not had the confidence to move onto people photos. Can anyone recommend what i should do?

  65. dump guy September 15, 2018 at 3:55 am

    How much u earn …

  66. Brave Knight Media September 16, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    Really good advice – thank you

  67. Prateek Pandey September 23, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    That's amazing knowledge video for making money with photos.
    Well guys if you are looking for more genuine and fast ways to make money from photos
    Photography Jobs | Submit Your Photos Online and Get Paid!. http:// bit. ly/Photography_skills_getPaidBigMoney

  68. peter parker October 5, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    I watched this video a month ago, started a photography business and now I'm homeless and I'm smoking crack. I won't talk about the things I'm now doing to get money for the crack. I traded my camera for a tent and my wife left me for a guy with a bigger dong. Just wanted to say thanks for the motivational video. It changed my life. I would write more about my success but my dog just died.

  69. Lintang Hutama October 11, 2018 at 5:21 am

    You are a man with a fully positive energy Jay. I appreciate and respect your spirit!

  70. lonniethaking October 21, 2018 at 11:50 am

    This was great!!!

  71. InItForTheParking November 2, 2018 at 11:17 am

    I wouldn't say it is just confidence. There is such thing as being over confident. Your one about shooting your friends kids though, don't stop at their kids. Ask to do them as well, or their kids parties, or whatever subject you like. After hitting your friends up for ask them if they think you could get paid. If your honest friends tell you yes, then you are ready start charging.

  72. RTO41 November 5, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Thank you for your kind advice Mr. Michael Douglas

  73. XxlildramaxX November 20, 2018 at 3:45 am

    877 cash now?

  74. Jenn Dorsey December 5, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    This was a hard kick to my ass that i needed. Thank you!!

  75. Sasha Cunningham January 7, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    I think all your comments here are important and should be taken on board when we decide to peruse this craft as a career.

  76. CPH Graphics January 22, 2019 at 4:04 am

    Really nice creative & informative video you made for. It's really amazing.

    Anyone can visit my adobe Photoshop tutorial based video channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCafUTJBtvA4iopRQy9gxW2A/videos?view_as=subscriber

    Hope you will like our unique #Photoshop_tutorial and subscribe for regular update. Thanks.

  77. Czyrus Zamora January 22, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    Is photographer needs license?

  78. JACOB JOEL February 12, 2019 at 12:02 am

    Damn his name is JP Morgan, real badass

  79. Kelly Turner March 5, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Funny that this video happened to be suggested in my feed… my husband just told me 3 nights ago “you’re more ready than you think you are.” Guess I got my sign ☺️

  80. Kallol Halder March 23, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Thank you very much….. ??

  81. Chris Foote March 26, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    you can watch inspirational videos like this

  82. Judah Brewster March 30, 2019 at 12:24 am

    Am I too late for the giveaway? I’m only 5 years late. ??‍♂️

  83. Daryl Richardson April 1, 2019 at 12:54 am

    THANK YOU?????? I've been had equipment, but thought I needed certain things, in order to LOOK PROFESSIONAL!!! Great advice

  84. John Dray April 2, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Wow – this made so much sense. Not just in my photography business, but also in my other business.

  85. Ahmed Sa3eed April 9, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    I still use my phone but I'm willing to buy a camera soon … Can't wait ??

  86. DrPrimordia April 27, 2019 at 12:46 am

    Ads loading before the video telling me not to skip…skip extra fast

  87. Blackcrow April 29, 2019 at 2:58 am

    This was great

  88. ProductVisibilityTV ShoppingNetwork May 9, 2019 at 2:02 am

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  89. Praveen Kumar May 19, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Best Advice, an photographer can Ever Get to get Started !

    Thanks ?

  90. Asif Farid June 25, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Helped me realise, I probably wont go homeless and broke, if i try to self employ myself, with a degree in self taught photography and undergrad in architecture xd.
    Thanks for the pat in the back :D!
    The most enthusiastic channel on youtube with a whole punch of energy going into your content. Love it! and a ton of stuff to learn.

  91. ALRTMedia July 20, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    this is EXACTLY what im going through right now… this man got this SPOT ON! I liked this video because more people need to hear this!

  92. alan laighleis July 31, 2019 at 9:40 am

    So simple. One question I live in a small area where competition is fierce. I'm talking people will take jobs the other end of the country so everyone is in yiur catchment area and everyone sees a new photographer trying to enter the market as competition. So how do I go about getting one of those people to consider mentoring me as I start out?

  93. MELVXN August 6, 2019 at 7:59 am

    Imma start a channel about photography someday hopefully. I just need an sd card at least. The sound I can do with an earphone piece but yep, thanks!!

  94. Dottie September 6, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    LOL …. best sign that you ready …. you get a check for your work!

  95. Johnathan Rice September 15, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    thank you

  96. Shaun Booval September 20, 2019 at 7:54 am

    You have no idea how much this just helped and motivated me. Bless you.

  97. Cyril ViXP September 22, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    But I don't want

  98. Aaron Lee September 29, 2019 at 4:30 am

    2:47 "Your friends' kids". I misjudged my uncle. He wasn't creepy, he just lacked the confidence.

  99. Mike K September 29, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    I feel like in the day, there are no mentors, only people who consider you competition. I have reached out to countless people for advice and only be shut out.

  100. Paige Jagielski October 10, 2019 at 2:45 am

    I do "Nature" photography but im afraid because of my young age, I will just waste my money and I won't make it. what do i do? I don't wanna waste $200 for a photography printer

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