Need Extra Money for the Holidays? Just Become a Photographer!

Consumer affairs blog The Consumerist caused a stir earlier this week by offering the following advice to people looking to earn some extra cash for the holidays:

Become a photographer. Most photographers will tell you that persistence is at least as important as skill in creating great work. If you know people who are looking to take portraits or holding a social function, offer to shoot it for free and sell them the pictures if they like them.

Needless to say, the suggestion caused quite an angry response from actual photographers, who equated the tip with telling people to buying a hammer in order to become an independent contractor. Stan Horaczek over at PopPhoto has also written up a lengthy response. It looks like people are taking Missy’s advice quite seriously.

Ideas On Scraping Up Extra Cash For The Holidays (via PopPhoto)

Image credit: Day 270/365 – Too Many Cameras by Great Beyond

  • Through Painted Eyes

    Short on cash? Become a surgeon! Watching all those episodes of ER will finally pay off – offer to operate on your friends for free and if they like the results, then charge them! A great way to make extra cash this holiday season.

  • John Milleker

    Wow, great idea..  I already own a cell phone camera, it’s 8 megapixels. I’ll never understand why people blow their money on cameras and lenses when this thing does it all for a few hundred bucks!

    Weddings shot for free, only pay me if you really like my work.

  • Logan Miller

    Sweet…after watching all of Missy’s videos from yesterday, I am ready!


    How about becoming an airline mechanic for a few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas… Theres lots of flights then and I’m sure the airlines could use the extra help fixing their planes… and if you like my work…

  • Bownephoto

    no..its more like …buy a hammer…go to someone’s house …do some carpentry work…and if they like it they will pay you!   I was a commercial photographer for years (view cameras, product illustration, etc.) ..and I got out when digital was coming in because I didn’t have $100,000 for equipment that would be outdated in 3 years…I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad I got out. Now I am a carpenter..and I shoot ONLY for my heart and enjoyment. Today I made $500..renovating someones closet. I made an estimate …got half up front and the rest on completion. WHAT IS IT WITH PEOPLE’S ATTITUDE TOWARD PHOTOGRAPHY???? 
    Now they want it for ten bucks (or free) AND they want it retouched, too. F ‘em!  I mean that in the kindest possible way.  :-)

  • The Photography Room

    fuck yeah!

  • Osmosisstudios


  • Tonkatop555

    What the hell is “extra money” ?

  • Richard Ford

    Oh god.  The dinosaurs that can’t get over that it is their time to deal with evolution and progress will come out in spades over this one – again.  I personally wish we could ban people from cleaning their own chimneys as that is for the chimney sweeps to do.   :-S

  • Sunny16

    I’m sure this will cause the predictable splutterings from the “real” photographers. But you know what? The market will decide, like it always does. If you get crap pics, which you surely will, then next time you’ll use a better photog; if what you get is acceptable to you, then great – everyone wins.

  • Knips

    I’m sorry but any professional photographer that can watch that video and take it seriously is an idiot.  It’s tongue-in-cheek guys.  Good God!  Stop whinning over nothing and take it in the spirit that it was intended. 

  • flash

    It’s a boon for photographers…as people hire boneheads to take their pics, they’ll realize how important it is to hire a professional and will likely do so next time!

  • Tzctplus -

    Whine as much as you wish. Photography that is just good enough is not as complicated as “pros”  would want you believe.

    If you know a few basic rules about lighting, composition and colour balancing you will get piccies that are just good enough. Add to that quasi automatic software retouching, cameras that do more and more for you, and it is clear that photographers are in for a world of pain if they don’t recognize this reality.

    All the “analogies” are luddism, plane and simple.

  • Photo Printing

    They missed the boat with this article. The easiest way to earn extra money is write for the consumerist. I bet you can offer them 10 articles for $5.