Ok, it’s probably no surprise to any of you that I love using my photography to make a little side income (I use Zazzle to do this, but there are other similar sites). It has been one of my favorite hobbies for a really long time and over the past few years it’s been a nice source of extra spending money.

I’ve written a few times about the different ways you can actually use Zazzle to make money from your photography (I’ll list them below for reference).  But I thought it would also be worthwhile to tell you exactly why it is worth your time to add sites like Zazzle to your portfolio of hobbies and/or income sources. And more importantly, why you should be using your photographs (that you’re already taking!) to make some extra money.

Here are the other articles to check out if you’re as excited as I am about this:


Making money from your photography is one of the easiest and most gratifying sources of side income. If you aren't doing it already, you need to check out this post!


It Creates Passive Income

Before I even go into how much fun it is, lets just focus on the bottom line – it makes you money.  And that money is passive because once you’ve published your products, you don’t have to do a thing. You can move onto the next great idea and Zazzle takes care of everything else – the marketing, the fulfillment, the customer service.  Your earnings literally just show up in your Paypal account each month regardless of the time you’ve put in.


You’re Already Doing Half the Work

Even though I occasionally go somewhere with the intent of taking photos for my creations, some of my most popular products are using photos that I was taking anyways. Sometimes I’ll just scroll through my phone to see if there was anything I captured that is product-worthy.  Vacation photos, scenery, pets – these are all great opportunities that you’re already Instagramming, so half the work is done!

Saint Lucia Pitons Postcard

You Will Be Documenting Your Memories Forever

I have a notoriously bad memory so I LOVE that I can scan my Zazzle store and reminisce about all of the places I’ve traveled to. It’s such a fabulous way to document everywhere you’ve been, not to mention that you will be picking the best photos you’ve taken, so your memories will be more and more glamorous.  The same thing can be said for your pets (which ironically sell!) and garden (which seriously sell).

It is an Amazing Creative Outlet

I started this hobby when I was working a classic 9-5 job with very, very little control over what I spent my time doing. I wasn’t paid for ideas, I was paid to implement other people’s ideas – pretty standard, right?  So this was a huge outlet for me to have control over what I was doing and experiment with different ideas and actually create something from start to finish. Not to mention that if you are a creative person it’s just a really addictive hobby that plays well to your creative side.

Orange and Yellow Gerber Daisy Wedding Invitations 5" X 7" Invitation Card

It Gives You Business Experience

Sure, it’s on a small scale, but you will be shocked by how much you learn about pricing, marketing, and product creation. For someone like me that loves all things business-related, it’s a perfect way to get my hands dirty and try new things out. And similar to the point above, you get to try things that you probably don’t get the opportunity to do during your day job (especially if you now find yourself changing diapers and washing dishes all day like I do 😉 ).

It is 100% Flexible

This type of income-generating hobby truly has the potential to be anywhere, anytime. You can spend 5 minutes or 4 hours, you can work in the morning or in the middle of the night.  You can go months without working or spend time every single day.

It is 100% Free

It’s hard to make an argument that you’ve got something to lose when it will cost you nothing – especially when there is so little time commitment. Even more important is the fact that you can take spectacular images right from your phone, so you really don’t even need to make an investment to get started.

It is a Great Way to Justify and Support Your Hobbies

Hobbies take time and commitment – and a lot of them are really costly!  Nothing will make you feel better about a hobby than if it will bring in a little income for you.  And if you’re spending time and effort on something, why shouldn’t it be making you some money?

It Pads Your Travel Costs

I don’t want to mislead you into thinking that this will cover the cost of traveling, but if you take tons of pictures while on vacation, then there is definitely a lot of potential to make some extra money just from those trips.  And that feels sooooo good! I wrote a whole article just on creating vacation photo products, so if this is your thing, check it out here.

Maui Island Rainbow Postcard

You’re Contributing to Entrepreneurship

I’m definitely not against big business, but it feels good when I’m purchasing things from small businesses or local shops.  And that is what will be happening every time someone buys one of your products. So even though you aren’t technically the one buying anything, you’re creating products for people that have been designed by a budding entrepreneur. And they’ll feel good about it.

So now it’s up to you!  Hopefully I’ve done enough to convince you. The first step is always the hardest. 🙂  Good luck!

And don’t forget to check out my Pinterest board for other great ideas on earning money from home!


Follow Nikki @ MBAsahm’s board Working from Home on Pinterest.


10 Reasons to Make Money from Your Photography

If you want to know how to make money with photography, you won't believe how easy it is to get started!  Making money from your photography is one of the easiest sources of passive income.  Check out these tips to get started.

11 Comments on Why You Should Make Money from Your Photography (And How to Actually Do It)

  1. Hi Nikki! I work closely with a few photographers and designers that I’m certain would let me use their photographs to design products on Zazzle but I’m not sure how that would work. Would I need to add a photo credit to the image? Or give them a portion of the income from those products? Wondering if you’ve had any experience with this. Thanks!!!

    • That’s a really great question! I would imagine that whatever you decide to do, you would want to create a contract that is specific to each photographer and just make sure they’re ok with it (and get it in writing). Crediting a photographer is not enough if you are profiting from their work, so you need to make sure you have their permission in writing.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I have been looking for something like this for a while now. I went to the zazzle site and there are 3 different things for signing up (Designers, Makers, Associates. Which do I sign up for? Any advice or help you can offer would be awesome. I’m very much wanting to do this. Thanks a bunch in advance. 🙂

    • That’s so exciting!! I would choose the Designer option. That should give you the ability to create products and start posting them for sale. Good luck to you!

  3. Just curious, how much do you passively make a month on average through Zazzle? Just interested in what someone could somewhat expect out of a successful Zazzle business.

    • For me Zazzle is purely a hobby, so I make about $100-$200 a month, and nowadays I spend maybe 20 minutes a month at most (usually just right after a trip)! So it’s a pretty nice source of passive income for me, considering the time investment. However, there are lots of people (especially graphic designers) that do actually treat Zazzle like a business and make way more money than I do (a livable income). If you want to find out a little more about how other people are spending full-time hours on Zazzle, I would check out their forum. I have come across a lot of good info there – https://forum.zazzle.com/ . Good luck! Let me know if you have any more questions.

  4. Do you create the items yourself and ship them? Or did you sign up to be a designer where you make your design and add it to their items? I love photography and it would be great to have some income with my hobby. Thanks!

    • everything you do is online and then Zazzle handles all of the shipping, customer service, money collecting, etc….so once you’ve created your product, you literally don’t have to do anything! It’s really a nice arrangement 🙂

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