Stock photography on a budget

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Whether you’ve just gotten into stock photography or have always done it, gear will always expensive. But don’t let that stop you from becoming a contributor and doing what you love.

Here are 6 things you can do to:

01. Rent equipment

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Photo by Pedro Venâncio

Instead of buying, rent equipment—especially ones won’t always need when shooting. Shops like LensRentals, BorrowLenses, and Kitsplit rent cameras, lenses, flashes, lighting equipment, green screens, and other equipment. Because equipment are rented out for a minimum of 3 days, typically, you can even share costs with one or two other photographers, maximizing savings.

02. DIY when you can

Camera shooting bread and glass of milk in indoor studio

Photo by Monti Thipsorn

For gear you use more frequently, instead of buying, consider making them. With so many resources available online, you can DIY almost anything from a backdrop to an entire studio. Check out websites like DIY Photography or our photography blog, where you’ll find plenty of how-to articles like making your own beauty dish or building your own home studio.

03. Create multiple photos in one shoot

Photographer in motion.

Photo by Konstantin Yuganov

Another way to save money is to maximize photo shoots. Produce several photos by shooting in different angles, distances, and orientations; using different props, clothes, and accessories; or having models pose with different emotions and facial expressions. This way, you make the most of one shoot, even if you have just one model.

04. Review submission guidelines

Paper with Yes and No Texts Clipped on a String

Photo by Gaj Rudolf

One of the most logical ways to save not only money, but also time and effort, is to review the submission guidelines. This will help avoid rejection reasons, ensuring all, if not most, of your photos get approved.

05. Collaborate with TFP artists

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Photo by Pixabay

Under a time-for-photos (TFP) agreement, photographers and models, and even make-up artists and stylists, can set up a mutually beneficial shoot where you get free talent (and signed releases), and artists get photos for their portfolios.

06. Sell old equipment

Hands of young man using laptop on wooden table

Photo by Dean Drobot

Consider selling old lenses, lighting, and other equipment if you aren’t using them anymore. Keep boxes, manuals, and all original accessories whenever you get new equipment, so you can resell them easier and at a great value later on.

Incorporating these 6 strategies into your practice, you might just find yourself spending less and shooting more.

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