Photography genres to make you money

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

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 to have as a photographer and talks about what skills he believes will be useful for the future.

Class objectives:

  • Explain the different types of commercial photography
  • Explore how you can make money from photography
  • Discuss 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.

If you have any questions about this class, please post in the comment section below.

NOTE: This class is available with English subtitles.


  1. Hi Karl.

    I notice you don’t mention landscape as a genre to make money in photography in this video. Is it not an area that commands any value or would it come under stock? And if not stock, do you think there is a market to make an income out of landscape photography?


    1. Hi Adam, I don’t believe there is any significant market for landscape photography anymore as this area became far too competetive.

  2. Hi Karl,

    Thank you so much for your commitments to share with us your passion for photography. I personally really enjoy the courses.
    I am a newbie photographer from Madagascar .
    I have been working in the travel industry and would like to run a travel photography blog .
    I like capturing spontaneous moment like an interesting subject in the local market, on the street, wildlife and people. … All the things related to outdoor photography and photojournalism.
    Do you think that it is a juicy business nowadays ?
    Should I narrow down my niche to get the most of this business ?
    Do you have any advices and thoughts for that project ?

    Best regards,


    1. Hi Nandih, honestly no I don’t as there is too many people shooting this sort of stuff and selling it as stock images through micro stock sites. Only if your journalism was at the very best level might you be employed by a magazine etc but this would take years of work and dedication. Travel, hospitality, tourism and service industry type images might be more lucrative in your area combined with some of the cultural stuff your talking about and some good landscapes. It’s possible that a committed photographer based in Madagascar could create a high quality image library just on Madagascar that was well used but it would take several years to build up to this.

  3. I just joined few days ago. And learning every single time that i play your videos. Been doing photography for few decades by now. I know this was posted few years ago. So what would it be the new direction of/for photography. Where do you see yourself heading to.. Any tips???

    1. Hi Randall I’m doing a live show on Business Advice today at 3pm UK time so please join us to ask your questions live.

  4. Hi Karl,
    First of all, I would like to thank you for these very rich lessons in one place.
    Let say, I am interested to invest in a turnatable and program for 360° spin photography. What you think about this kind of comercial photography for e-shops? is it worth or not?

  5. Hi Karl,

    I really enjoy the courses. Best investment ever, photography wise.
    I saw the stock photos part of the video and was wondering what’s better: microstock agencies or your own site.
    I know that the former pays small amounts but your work gets viewed by a lot of people.
    With the latter you need to create awareness and drive traffic to your site in order to sell (an there are other costs involved, like domain name, hosting, etc).
    What’s your opinion on this?

    Have a great day!

    1. Hi Gabriel, I’m afraid i’ve not tried micro stock but a guy called Yuri Accors I believe used to generate more than a million a year from it 10 years ago! I sell some of my images as stock from my site to clients who just come across them etc

  6. I wonder how I could combine my CGI background (products and archviz) with my passion for photography…

  7. Hi Karl,

    It’s interesting to see Alan’s comment in this session feed as I am also in a similar environment where I specialise in 360° photos for virtual tours and very likely will need to also move into 3D for both still and video as the VR world continues to grow.

    Unfortunately, the virtual tour photography space has turned into a bit of a ‘cowboy’ space but that’s expected when something is new and the latest ‘wow’.

    With that in mind, are you getting much interest in this space?

  8. This is interesting, As a degree trained illustrator (2002), i have been 3d modelling all sorts from architectural models to whole surveyed landscapes, mainly for the construction and town planning industries for the last 15 years. I have run my own business for the last 3 years and always been interested in commercial photography, its always been a part of my workflow in creating textures and backgrounds for the 3d models. I am now embarking on using my photography skills commercially in its own right, so sort of coming in from the opposite angle!
    just signed up to this via monthly fee, and so far loving your honesty, very much appreciated 🙂

    1. Thanks Alan, there are a lot of photography colleagues of mine using 3D modelling and merging it with product photography. Most car ‘photography’ is actually a 3d model merged into a photographic image. If you have good 3d and render skills these are a huge advantage for the future.

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