How to Cash in on Photography

Photography may seem simple, but there is an art to how you portray something,

Want to know how the visual arts can help you share your story?

Thought so!

Bessy Martinez (@justbessym)  is a photographer who used family hurdles to propel herself to a better position to carry them.

Bessy Martinez

Here are 5  things that will help you benefit from this creative outlet.

Curiosity can develop into hobbies, which then turn into careers. There is rarely a clear line when going from one to another. Your drive to learn more about photography will keep you thirsty in an industry that is always evolving.

Storytelling is important. You have to be able to relay a sequence of events, a beginning, middle, and end that give the viewer a response while looking at all the elements of the picture. This can be from color grading, angle, object proximity, textures, and lighting- just to name a few.

You will be clueless in the business in the beginning. You will not know what you don't know. It takes time and experimentation to learn what you like and don't like shooting as well as what your audience gravitates to. You have to find your style and comfort level with equipment. Don't try to learn everything all at once.

Self teach. Bessy is self-taught and she doesn't regret the process. The old saying- if there is a will there is away. You will work slower in order to save some money, but if you have the stamina to work at it every day, it will become a pleasurable pain.

You don't have to have a degree to be an expert. Paper does not validate your skills and expertise.

Remember these 3 things as a photographer

1. Lead by example 

2. Go with your heart

3. Put yourself out there

Assumptions due to race, sex, and nationality will appear so be ready when your photos go public.

Photography is a messenger, a mirror of yet also a window into societal issues, breakthroughs, reality, and conversation starters. 

A picture is worth a thousand words

Pictures bring back experiences, memories, and stories so treat them with care and detail.

Bessy Martinez was an immigrant, so she was able to share and tell her story.

Pieces of her story included her family making sacrifices and giving a voice to the voiceless on deportation and family separation, and marches for justice.

Know that you are not alone. Egos have to be put down in order for everyone to work together.

Stay cognisant that social media bullying is real and has real effects on people. Watch what you put online because it can be taken out of context and edited.

Approaches a photographer should take:

  • listening with the intention of understanding
  • you are the 5 people you surround yourself with
  • people who are ahead of you are not threats
  • everyone has a different flow. don't burn urself out
  • budget your business

It will take a while to pay yourself. You have to invest in yourself to grow it to a comfortable size. Profits will come later

Have clear intentions for your business. If you lack a mission for your business, you will lose the effects you want your business to have long term.

You can't be everywhere, focus on 

A quote from Bessy

"Help people understand you better"

People will take you more seriously and be more understanding when  you show you care about your brand's integrity 

New surroundings will take adjusting. 

You may not identify with new places and cultures right away. 

Work towards creating your tribe, your environment. 

 Social media allows you to communicate remotely and work with ppl in your dream locations.

Community is a vibe! Now go tell some stories and make some money!


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