Photography Genres to Make You Money

Commercial photography isn’t just about shooting products or portraits. From architecture to wedding photography, there are plenty of potential markets for photography. 

In this class, Karl discusses the different genres of photography, providing an overview of how each works in a commercial sense and talks about the demand for each. He also looks at the skills you need as a photographer and talks about what skills he believes will be useful for the future.

In this class:

  • Types of commercial photography
  • How you can make money from photography
  • Ways to get into/start photography
  • Essential skills for photographers
  • Additional skills photographers should have
Types of photography

Types of photography that can make money.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Hi Karl, I’m from the Bahamas and come from a family background of photographers (great-grandfather’s studio est. 1956, grandfather’s studio est. 1992; he worked closely with his dad in the film era prior to). I’m now moving to become independent from my granddad (4years with him) to open a photography business. Investing in this resource revealed that I still had much to learn (my grandfather hasn’t developed that significantly since film and thinks he knows more than he does). Do you think it’s a bad idea to try to earn work in several genres all at once? Also, do you have an opinion on the Westcott lighting brand?

    1. Hi, most commercial photographers work more generally across a range of genres to earn a living. So for example a general commercial photographer will shoot, architecture, interiors, business portraits, annual reports, hospitality, restaurants, food, hotels, lifestyle, stock images and more. It’s only if you become very successful as a photographer do you end up specialising in one thing such as fashion or cars or products etc.

      1. Agree 💯. I’m from Jamaica and tried to specialize too early and now I’m trying to sensitize potential client to the fact that I don’t just shoot one genre.


    Retouching is an art like photography people that do that 8h / day for 15y are better than me so if I want to start a business and outsource my retouching, what would be a good price per hour in Los Angeles to pay a retoucher when you are starting your business in photography?
    If you could give me a range of basic prices for a retoucher please?

    1. Hi, speak to Viktor who I use for outsourced retouching, he is based in California, I think in LA: prices can vary between experienced professionals such as Viktor or smaller outfits. I generally would expect between $600 and $1500 per 8 hour day for a decent retoucher but prices will also depend on their workloads etc etc.

  3. Hi Karl, thanks for the lessons. How do i get to work with agencies as a freelance creative?

    1. Hi if you mean to be represented by an agent then your work has to be first class and then you apply to the agencies looking for representation. If they feel your work is strong enough and that your style fits into their portfolio then they might accept your application.

      If you mean how do you get to work with advertising agencies then you have to approach them with your work as explained in the next class.

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