How to make money from editing photos

How to make money from editing photos

In this article, we will teach you how to make money from editing photos. Editing photos can be a lot of fun, especially if you’re a creative person who enjoys working with images. Once you get the hang of it and get used to using photo editing software, you may even find it relaxing. If nothing else, it gives you an excuse to spend time on Instagram to keep up with your favorite influencers! And yes, there is money to be made from editing photos. The more specialized your skillset is, the more marketable you will be as an editor. Some people have made careers out of being professional editors and charging accordingly for their services. However, like any other job or side gig, making money from editing photos depends on your willingness to invest upfront time and energy in learning the necessary skills as well as having the patience to build up your clientele. Here’s how:

What does an editor do?

In its most basic form, a photo editor’s job is to make photos look better. However, the details of that “better” can vary greatly depending on the client’s needs and wants. The most common types of editing include: – Color correction: fixing any color casts that might be present in a photo (for example too much blue in indoor shots). – Levels: adjusting a photo’s brightness, contrast, and saturation. – White balance: adjusting a photo’s color temperature to match the lighting source that was used to take the photo. – Exposure: adjusting the brightness of a photo to make it either lighter or darker. – Crop: cutting out unwanted elements from the photo as well as rearranging the photo’s composition. – Retouching: removing blemishes, stray hairs, and other obvious imperfections from the photo. – Background removal: removing an unwanted background from a photo in order to replace it with something else. – Sharpening: increasing the overall clarity of the photo. – Resizing: making a photo smaller or larger for various uses. – Adding effects: applying artistic, stylistic additions to a photo.

Read: How to make money from Online courses and Digital products

Get Familiar With Photo Editing Software

While there are many photo editing software options out there, the two most popular programs are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. – Adobe Photoshop is a more robust program that is designed for professionals. It’s a bit pricier, but there are plenty of online tutorials and guides to help you learn the ins and outs of the program. – Adobe Lightroom is also very popular with editors and is often used in conjunction with Photoshop. – There are also free photo editing software programs that you can use, like Gimp (the open-source version of Photoshop) and the Google Photos app. They aren’t as robust or comprehensive as the paid options, but they will get the job done.

Learn The Basics of Photo Editing

No need to memorize Photoshop’s shortcut keys—but you should at least understand the steps and processes of photo editing. It’s simple, start by learning the basics of photo composition: how to arrange the subjects and elements of your photo to create a visually appealing and balanced shot. You can also practice basic photo editing techniques such as adjusting the brightness and contrast of a photo. You can even start with your own Instagram photos. While these are great ways to start honing your skills, eventually you’ll want to work with actual clients and earn money from editing photos. Before you can do that, though, you’ll need to create a portfolio of your work.

Build a Portfolio

An editor’s portfolio is basically a collection of their best work that they can show prospective clients. It’s a way for you to demonstrate your skills and experience as well as show prospective clients that you can do the type of work they need to be done. You can start building your portfolio by editing photos that aren’t your own. You can also take on side projects (or even find clients on job boards like Upwork) to edit photos for a fee. Even though you won’t be getting paid to edit your own photos, they will still help you demonstrate your skills to future clients.

Develop Your Skills

Now that you have a portfolio and are taking on jobs, you should also be trying to improve your skills. An editor’s job isn’t just about knowing how to use certain software. It’s also about understanding concepts like contrast, composition, and color theory. You can learn all of this by reading about them online or through books. You can also take online courses to expand your skills. There are plenty of online courses that teach you how to edit photos like a pro. You can even find video tutorials about how to use certain software like Photoshop. One thing that you should keep in mind when trying to learn new skills is that it often takes time to become truly proficient. Keep your eye out for opportunities to build your portfolio by editing photos for free. This will not only help you build up your portfolio but also help you get comfortable with editing photos for clients.

How to make money from editing photos

  1. Freelancing Platforms: Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr allow you to create a profile showcasing your photo editing skills. Clients can hire you for various projects, such as retouching, color correction, background removal, and more.
  2. Social Media: Use platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to showcase your edited photos. As your following grows, you can offer editing services to individuals, businesses, or influencers looking to enhance their visual content.
  3. Photography Studios: Many photography studios hire photo editors to enhance and retouch their images. This can involve working on wedding photos, portraits, fashion shoots, and more.
  4. Stock Photography: Edit your photos and submit them to stock photography websites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, or Getty Images. When your images are downloaded, you earn a royalty.
  5. Online Courses and Tutorials: If you’re skilled in a specific type of photo editing, you can create and sell online courses or tutorials. Platforms like Udemy or Teachable allow you to monetize your expertise.
  6. Graphic Design Services: Expand your skills beyond basic photo editing to include graphic design. Create logos, banners, social media posts, and other visual assets for individuals and businesses.
  7. E-commerce Product Images: Many online retailers require polished product images for their websites. You can offer your services to enhance their product photos and make them more appealing to customers.
  8. Real Estate Photo Editing: Real estate agents often require professional photo editing for property images. This can involve enhancing lighting, color correction, and even adding virtual staging.
  9. Event Photography: Work with event photographers to edit their images before delivering them to clients. Events like weddings, parties, and corporate gatherings often require extensive photo editing.
  10. Magazines and Publications: Reach out to magazines, newspapers, and online publications that use a lot of imagery. They might require editors to enhance their photos for print or online use.
  11. Personalized Gifts: Create personalized photo gifts like custom calendars, photo books, and collages for individuals looking to give unique presents.
  12. Photography Workshops: Host workshops or webinars where you teach others how to edit photos effectively. Participants can pay to learn from your expertise.


Editing photos is a great side hustle that is accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. All you really need to get started is access to photo editing software, a place to host your edited photos, and some patience while you build your portfolio. Once you get the hang of it, you can make pretty good money from editing photos. The average editor charges anywhere from $10 to $100 per photo, depending on the type of work you’re doing and the value you’re adding to the photos. In order to get paid for editing photos, you have to have a portfolio that showcases your skills and you have to actively seek out clients. You can do this by posting about your services on social media, joining online communities, and responding to requests on sites like Craigslist.

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