Catching up and being a working photographer

Looking at the path I have chosen for myself I realise it isn’t an easy one. Most people who pursue a photography career do so by doing portraits and weddings. It seems easy, but what do you do if you don’t want to go that way?

There are photographers out there doing it other ways, and you see them. There are landscape photographers, architectural photographers, etc. I suspect they might have got their starts a lot earlier than I did, however it does give me hope. So what are my options?


This is a popular way to earn a living with your photography. I am doing this as well. I teach a variety of things, One on One photography sessions, Long Exposure workshops, Photo Editing and Mentoring. I do okay with them, but I definitely don’t seem to have the same success as other photographers. I’m working on that, and I think my new Facebook page, The Photographer’s Mentor, is helping a lot. Here is the link if you haven’t seen it yet. If you click on it, it should take you to the Facebook page.


It is changing and growing all the time. I’m trying to make a place for information, for sharing videos and for those that want to learn photography.


This is another way to try and earn money. In the past I have been offered them, but I always turned them down and couldn’t be bothered. However, I think it is time to stop that and start doing them. I am going to start seeking out products and companies that I think will be good for you and might be of interest. That way, you can benefit, and so can I.

If you don’t know what an affiliation is, then let me explain. Basically, I work with a company and every time someone buys the product I get a commission. It is a great way for me to earn something, when you purchase things. Sometimes I can get you a code so that you can get a discount, other times not. I do want to reassure you that I will never recommend something that I don’t think is good. They will always be products that I use, or want to use.

I have been an affiliate for Formatt Hitech for some time now. If you buy their filters on their website, you will get a 10% discount. The discount code is LCOLE10, if you click on the image below it will take you to their website.

I have just begun a new affiliation with ON1 software and ON 1 Photo RAW 2018, the beta version. You can now download this version and take a look. Though it is important to know that it is a beta version, and there could be problems with it. ON 1 will want to know about them.

It is software that I have always been impressed with. If you click on the image below it will take you to where you can download and try the software for free for 30 days.

While I don’t expect you all to go out and buy what I suggest, I do hope that if you do want one of these products you will use the links I give you or the codes.

I only have the two at this stage, but I am hoping that there will be more in the near future.

Images for Sale

I want to start pushing my images that are for sale more. If you look at the menu on the left you will see that I have removed the Galleries and now have a single, Images for Sale, page. Everything you need to know is on that page. There is a selection of images, and a link to Flickr for the images that aren’t on that page.


I’m still writing, but it isn’t as profitable as I had hoped, so I need to look around for other things. I still enjoy it, and I love getting gear to review, one of the best parts. I am just not looking for more places right now.

I think that is about it for now. I am working it out as I go along and I’m feeling a lot more positive about everything now. It is good. I am going to leave you today with a video from ON 1, it is a preview of the the beta Photo RAW 2018.

You might be interested in …


  1. As you say when weddings and baby photos aren’t your thing it’s tough breaking into making even a meagre living with Photography these days. I’ve also been wrestling with how to eke out a living while steering clear of the so called “staples”. Writing about photography has also become so generic and “new gear” focussed these days that it’s difficult to find something different that resonates with income now. Teaching is interesting, but time consuming and I’m not convinced a “good return” on the time invested, at least from an income perspective. Certainly it’s got benefits by way of social interaction and just helping people get more enjoyment from photography, but when you’re reading needing to get sustenance for the table it’s lot’s of time that could produce more photos for yourself to sell. As Laura (above) mentioned some of us really strive to keep artistic integrity and personal integrity and are happy with just making a living while getting our work out there.

    1. I do okay with the writing, though the benefit to it is that you get to get your name out there, so good for publicity. Teaching can be good, but the hard part is finding the students, you need to have those to be effective. I guess in the end we all have to do what we are comfortable with. Thanks Craig.

  2. You never cease to amaze me! So very busy and dedicated .. I wonder if you know how special you are. I can’t thank you enough for all your time and energy and help! Good luck with the sale of pics Leanne …

    1. I think you are being far too kind Julie, but thank you. I love photography and this is such a great way to do it. I hope so too. Thank you Julie.

  3. It can be hard trying to go the distance with photography, and any other craft. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just luck, or the kind of connections one makes that takes them another step further. There are so many other photographers and artists out there and I think these days you just have to do more than stand out – that you have to make yourself and what you do memorable. Which I think is easier said than done.

    For what I do on my multicultural blog and writer, I do think I have achieved what I wanted to achieve over the last few years. Making a living off it was never my intention and I think it will be an interesting time to see how my writing evolves moving forward here on now. As you mentioned about challenges in your Seafarers post, you have to try new things to keep it fun – and that helps you to out something different out there.

    It’s great that you’ve been approached for affiliations, and hope there are many more coming your way so you can say yes to them. I’ve never ever been approached for an affiliation for my blog or writing, but then again I suppose it’s also a two way street and if you want one, you have to seek it. Also my hat’s off to you for staring another community for photographers out there. Facebook seems to be so tricky to navigate these days, especially Pages. Seems like you are working your way around it.

    Good luck with selling your images 🙂

    1. I am starting to wonder the same things. I had hoped I was doing that.
      That is great that you have got what you want. I guess I just don’t want to do something I hate just to make money.

      Yes, I am hoping that the affliations will be good. I’ve been doing a course to help me with Facebook, time will tell if it will work. Thank you Mabel.

  4. I just read someone’s comment and found out that you also have a FaceBook page. Well now, I will definitely look you there. I always admired your photos on Instagram. So FaceBook will add a new dimension. Good luck on keeping all your diverse activities under one hat, Leanne!

    1. Yes, I do Peter, I actually have two now, Leanne Cole Photography, and The Photographer’s Mentor, the second I’m using as one for people to use as a resource to learn and get inspiration. Still trying to work it all out. Thank you so much Peter.

  5. I think this is a great idea, Leanne. I will definitely be following your progress with this new fb page. As a side note, I have been using ON1 for about 3 years now as a plug-in and rely on it for adding clouds and starfields into some of my images. (Great for those of us who do not use Photoshop.) Also, their filters and presets can really brighten up an otherwise boring shot. Good luck!

    1. Thank you Emilio, not sure where it is going to go, but hopefully it will work out. That’s great to hear, good to know that people are using it. Thank you for that.

  6. I believe your already heading in the right direction by following multi-channels and you seem more focused. The photo world does seem a little male dominated, but then again there are some very well known female photographers making a good living. I think you have a strong image style and should stick with this and definitely affiliate marketing. I am a little disappointed with Photoshop and want to find another programme. I will have a look at the one you mention even if it has some foibles.

    1. Thank you Judi, I’m trying to see what else I can do. Oh yes, it does seem so. I think the problem I have is that while there are some female photographers doing well, there are a lot more men. Glad you like my style, I am planning on continuing this and developing it a lot more. Why are you disappointed with Judi? I am planning on designing and doing a course to teach people how to use Photoshop. Though it is some time away. On1 looks good too. Once I get my head around it I will do some videos on it as well.

  7. You are so diversified, Leanne. That is what I think every time I read your posts. Diversified and talented…what more do people want?

  8. I’m impressed with your determination. Mostly, the kind of work you want has been largely left to talented hobby photographers. But there are travel photographers and those amazing people who show up in National Geographics … so there’s work. It’s just hard to get.

    I’ve had some problems with On-1 and its getting tangled with Topaz and Photoshop. I worked with their people to try and sort it out, but we couldn’t fix it. Something about the way the parts collided in virtual space. I’m afraid to try again because everything is working really well right now, but I’ll think about it..

    1. You hit the nail on the head there Marilyn, it is very hard to get, and seems so much harder if you are a woman. That’s what I’m noticing.

      That’s a shame about On 1 for you. I don’t use it with other software so it hasn’t been a major problem for me. Thanks Marilyn.

  9. Nothing is easy that is for sure and trying to make a living with photography is no different. I think you have to do it for the love of it first and foremost, and like the writer or the painter get joy out of the impulse to create. I think it is frustrating to have a creative impulse with no outlet, and I think that the outlets you have worked on are quite wonderful. Personally I especially like your long exposure architectural and coastal scenes. I think the quality is very strong and colors/composition great.

    The idea of Affiliation makes perfect sense especially since you are reviewing gear anyway. And because you teach and want to try things out. Why not be part of the sales income stream with products you genuinely recommend? I think it is a great idea!!

    Writing may have disappointed you, but writing supports the teaching income and writing supports the reviews and possible sales commission revenue, and writing is better than the photo alone as it completes the life of the image. Not that the photos don’t stand alone on their own merit. Gosh maybe only other photographers love the story? 🙂

    1. That’s for sure Judy, I’m really learning that, a life long lesson. Well I do love photography, and if I didn’t, I know I wouldn’t keep doing it. I’m not good at doing things I don’t like or aren’t passionate about. Thank you Judy, glad you like the long exposure work.

      I thought affiliations were a good way to go. I don’t know how it will go, but I guess I won’t know until I try.

      Writing does do that, but it takes so long and I spend so much time on it, that it often isn’t worth the money you get for it. I love talking about my photos, and I’ve been thinking I should spend more time writing for my blog, that way I really am promoting me. Thank you Judy.

  10. Being a creative trying to earn a living is definitely a major challenge. I have seen the struggle with my professional artist friends, including trying to find the balance between commercialising their art and maintaining their integrity as artists. It seems like you have some great options for diversifying your income stream.

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