How to Become a Teenage Photographer

What Does a Teenage Photographer do? 

A teenage photographer will use their skill of taking pictures in exchange for money. For this article, we will be focusing on taking pictures and selling them online on Shutterstock. On Shutterstock, users post their images online and are bought by companies who need their picture for a small price. Your pictures on Shutterstock are protected by a watermark so they can’t just download your picture or take a screenshot.

This being said, your responsibilities on Shutterstock will include finding what pictures are needed, taking pictures, and then managing your account. You will not be hired by Shutterstock, you will only be paid per photo purchased. Since there is a lot of photography involved, and people are directly paying for the skill of your photography, it’s good to be a skilled photographer or have a degree.  If that doesn’t describe you, you can take this course on Lynda.com to better understand the basics of photography.

How Much Does a Teenage Photographer Get Paid?

As a photographer, you will earn 25 to 50 cents per picture downloaded on Shutterstock, depending on the price of the photograph. This being said, working on Shutterstock is quite hard. You won’t earn much, and it is very hard for someone to view your image in the first place. There are already a lot of images on Shutterstock, so you have a very limited chance of who downloads your picture, and even when they do, you’ll only be paid 25 to 50 cents.

If you become a professional photographer, you shouldn’t be doing it solely for money. You should be enjoying yourself while at it, and it will seem less of a chore. So, you should be someone who already takes photos, and you have found this as a way to earn a bit of cash on the side while doing what you are already doing.

It is technically possible to make quite a bit of money on Shutterstock once you have hundreds of photographs on the platform, but this could take years of work.  

How Can I Get Started as a Teenage Photographer?

  1. Before you begin, you’ll want to invest in a good camera, if you haven’t already. Since there is a lot of competition on Shutterstock, you will want to make sure your pictures stand out from the rest of the photos. To enhance your photos, you’ll want to buy a quality camera and lens. If you can afford this yourself, great, but if not you could ask your parents for one as a gift.  Here is a list of the top cameras on Amazon.
  2. Now that you’ve gotten a camera, you’ll want to enhance your photo taking abilities. The reason for this also falls in the fact that there is a lot of competition on Shutterstock, so you want your photos to be the best of the best so people will download it. You can learn how to take better pictures from this course online on Lynda.com: The Practicing Photographer or Photography 101.
  3. Now you’ll want to take some photos and upload them to Shutterstock by creating a photography seller account. There is no application process on Shutterstock, so you won’t have to worry about getting hired and all that. Go out, and take some pictures of whatever you enjoy taking pictures of. Absolutely anything that you think someone out there might want to use. Remember to use your skills that you’ve learned from the online courses, and apply it now. After that, upload it to Shutterstock, and repeat the process. The money should be rolling in after that.
  4. Congrats, you’re officially a teenage photographer. You might not have great pay right away, but you’re having a lot of fun! You’re doing what you love most, and you’re earning a nice amount of money on the side. Even better, you can use this experience to get a job. You can keep climbing the ladder until you become a professional photographer.

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