Jordann is a part time runner, yogi, local foodie and personal finance aficionado, and a full time marketing professional living and working in Atlantic Canada. She writes about her life at her blog, My Alternate Life.
When I first started getting out of debt, the very first thing I did (besides have a heart attack when I realized how much debt I was actually in) was I stopped spending more than I was earning. After that was accomplished, there were two paths I could’ve taken. Either I could reduce my expenses to free up some money for debt repayment, or increase my income. Reducing expenses can be a great and easy way to free up some money for debt repayment, but there’s a limit. Once I reached my absolute minimum expense level, the only other option is to increase income.
I’m fairly new to the job market, so my bargaining power when it comes to my job is pretty limited. I can’t ask for a raise at this point, so increasing my income at my full time job isn’t really an option. Instead, I’m looking to side jobs to increase my take home pay.
There are all sorts of side hustles out there available, but to get the best return for your effort, it’s best to focus first on side hustles that involve a skill set you already have. I’m a marketing professional, so my skill set typically includes website design, designing of marketing materials, social media, etc. But recently, thanks to a generous parental Christmas gift, I started a photography class aimed at teaching me how to use my DSLR camera. This got me thinking, is photography a potential side hustle?
Why Photography Is a Good Side Hustle
Photographing family events, weddings, and portraits can be a great way to make some extra money. This works well for a side hustle because it’s unlikely the events will conflict with a regular work day schedule. Weddings, and family events typically take place on weekends or in the evenings. Portrait goers will appreciate the opportunity to have their portraits done outside of work hours, so they don’t have to take off work. The editing process for these shoots can be done in the comfort of my own home, on my own schedule (aka: at midnight the night before it’s due)
In terms of skill level, photographers typically charge fees in accordance with the demand for, and quality of, their work. There is a large sliding scale for what photographers charge, from a few hundred dollars, to thousands. As a new photographer, I wouldn’t be able to charge much, but that has the added advantage of not requiring me to compete directly with much more skilled and experienced photographers. By providing potential clients with a portfolio, a new photographer can give clients an idea of their skill level, and charge accordingly.
While a flexible schedule, pricing, and skill level are great aspects to a side hustle, there are a few areas where being a photographer can be stressful. An inexperienced photographer can easily get overwhelmed and forget their training. I know when I’m shooting in a big group of people, I get a little overstimulated and my photos suffer for it. I get swept up in the event itself, and forget to slow down and think about the quality of the photos I’m taking. Lower quality photos mean unhappy clients, so I’m going to make sure I get lots of experience photographing events for free before I venture out and charge for it.
Along with the potential for poor quality photos, is the potential for customers who are unwilling to pay the determined rate, who try and get you to stay later at an event than previously agreed, or who complain about the photo quality as a way to get a reduced rate. There’s a few in every line of work, and if dealing with difficult customers isn’t your jam, consider a part time job where you have a supervisor to refer these people to instead.
Photography Is a Good Potential Side Hustle
As long as the clients are aware of what kind of quality of photos you can produce, and the fees are agreed upon (and/or paid) beforehand, photography has a lot of potential as a good side hustle. So grab your camera, Google how to use it, and get shooting!
Do you have a side hustle? What do you do?