How to Grow Your Photography Side Hustle on a Budget

Starting your photography side hustle with just the basics is a pragmatic choice—but after some time and a bit of success, you might be thinking of upgrading certain aspects of your work. There’s no harm in that. In fact, one of the best budget hacks we recommend for keeping happy even with limited means is to practice value-based spending or investing specifically in things you care about. Your photography gig definitely counts.

Still, even carefully choosing what to spend on doesn’t erase the reality of a tight budget. Don’t worry—you can still grow your photography side hustle, even with monetary limitations. Here’s how.

Review your prices

You’re considering growing your business for a reason. Maybe you’re consistently booked months in advance, or you’ve been getting many testimonials on how superb your photography packages are. In that case, it might be time to review your pricing and increase it to fund the next stage of delving into your photography. While taking photos may not be your primary source of income or how you spend most of your time, it’s clear that your proficiency in the skill is shining through, and you need to value it correctly. If you’re worried about losing your clients, you can do this gradually. For example, you can implement a 10% price increase every time you complete 12 photo sessions. Boosting your prices incrementally instead of surprising clients with higher rates will help you gain and retain more projects.

Buy used equipment

Don’t give up too soon if your dream camera—the one you just know will improve your photography side hustle—is expensive. If you’re yearning for a pricey mirrorless model with its sleek, physically streamlined design and full-frame sensors that no phone or DSLR could match, you can look at buying a used mirrorless camera online. If you know where to look, you’ll find marketplaces selling top brands and models like the Sony ZV-E1 mirrorless camera, with its high-speed processing BIONZ XR engine and flexible ISO Log shooting for great exposure. Excellent used lenses are also available, like the E 10-20mm f/4 PZ G Lens that features corner-to-corner sharpness and a precise autofocus system. You’ll get top quality for a lower price point.

Create your own gear

You don’t need to buy every camera accessory out there to give an edge to your photography side hustle—you can make your own. All you need to create a seamless background to keep your product models front and center is a poster board, a chair to stick it on at a slant, and tape to stick it with. With no creases as distractions, your subjects will pop out clearly. If you consider yourself handy with crafts, you can attempt to make your own camera tripod by cutting, drilling, and welding some pipes together. You even get the benefit of making it entirely your own—nothing is stopping you from screwing on additional legs to make your tripod taller, for example!

Be innovative with your shots

Your monetary limitations don’t have to be a disadvantage for your photography side hustle. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all, and if you’re confident enough to grow your business, it means you can trust yourself to attempt creative choices that result in more sophisticated photo effects. If you’re having trouble thinking of what you can shift for more variety in your shots, you can take professional photographer Josh Brosher’s advice and change your camera perspective for a more interesting take or manipulate how light falls on your subject. These simple changes alone can elevate the overall caliber of your photos.

If you think it’s time to upgrade your photography side hustle, you don’t need tons of money to do it. Try the above strategies to take your work to the next level.