With the growing prominence of digital photos, photo-editing software like Adobe Photoshop has grown in usage and popularity.
Learning Photoshop, however, is not easy. The software is expensive and the learning curve is quite steep. You really need to dedicate yourself to learning the ins and outs of the software. More than technical proficiency, you need to be creative if you want to excel with Photoshop.
Nonetheless, learning to harness the power of Photoshop can be very rewarding. Mastering the visual graphics realm of Photoshop can provide you with a livable income. Strong editing and creative skills in Photoshop can open career possibilities for you, whether you want to do it on a full-time basis or as a part-time business. When I have to write my essay or paper, it also comes in handy, ‘cause I can make amazing infographics and many other cool things.
Here are 12 ways you can earn through freelancing using your Adobe Photoshop skills:
1. Start a photo editing service.
One possible business you can start is to offer digital picture editing and image optimization services. You basically take the client’s less than the perfect digital photo and turn it into a masterpiece. As a “photo doctor,” you can remove unwanted people and objects from a photograph, insert someone or something into a photograph, repair over- or under-exposed photos, convert colored photos to black and white (and vice versa), or do something as basic as removing red-eye from photos. You can also do color correction, background change, contrast adjustment, and size enlargement. The key is to offer high-quality work at reasonable prices.
2. Write Photoshop tutorials.
You can write and sell your tutorial to article sites or article directories, anywhere from $10 to $100 depending on the length and quality of your tutorial. Be prepared to write at least a 1,000 words tutorial with detailed and step-by-step screenshots. Examples of tutorial topics could include photo effects/manipulation, contemporary web layout design, special effects or filter effects. You can use sites such as eHow.com, or find freelance job postings from sites needing content on Photoshop.
3. Create a tutorial site and earn through advertising.
You can also create your own blog or website where you publish the tutorials you write and monetize the site through advertising. You can use contextual advertising links such as Google Adsense, use a banner advertising network such as BurstMedia, or a combination of various advertising models and networks.
4. Create video tutorials.
You can also earn by creating video versions of your Photoshop tutorials. You can monetize it via advertising, or by joining advertising programs such as the YouTube Partner Program . You can read the article “8 Ways to Earn Money from Online Videos” for more ideas on how you can turn your videos into moneymakers.
5. Make money by creating stock photos.
You can combine your photography and Photoshop skills to create stock photography. The photos can be used as film or video production content or source material preparation. There also are a number of stock photography sites like Dreamstime that accept contributions from freelancers, and you can earn anywhere from 20% to 65% of the sale price of your stock photos, depending on the exclusivity of your offering. Read more from the post How to Earn from Stock Photography
6. Start a photo restoration service.
You can also start an image restoration service to improve the quality or repair damaged/old images, including faded, stained, torn, missing pieces, bad color, water-damaged photos. Historical societies, museums and even families with old family pictures and photographic heirlooms can use this type of service. You can correct color, remove background images, or remove other people in the image. Other services can include copying old photographs, even those that do not need to be repaired.
7. Start a graphic design business.
You can market yourself as a graphic artist whose main expertise is Photoshop editing. The freelance site eLance.com , for example, has about 843 new jobs posted looking for Photoshop experts. One job posting, whose payment range is from $1,000-$5,000, comes from a wedding stationery store looking for graphic designers to create product images for their e-commerce store. Others are looking for assistance in brochure design, digital image editing, photoshop mockup of the homepage of a new website, removing background images, cover and page template for a printed catalog, among others. You can edit images professionally and prepare them for any output.
8. Start a social media page background or logo creation business.
More and more businesses are going to Twitter and Facebook to engage and interact with their customers and peers. These professionals and businesses need custom design work for the background templates and profile pictures of their fan pages. These businesses need to incorporate their brand and the information they need to convey in their background or fan page profile images creatively. This is a growing niche that can be tapped by a Photoshop expert.
9. Start a web design business.
You can create a professional web design and photographic templates. As the Photoshop expert, you can provide the layout and overall graphical theme of the site. There are also opportunities in customizing blog themes such as those using WordPress templates, including backgrounds and custom header designs. You can then team up with a web programmer or developer to code the web design you have created.
10. Start a T-shirt design business using your Photoshopped images.
Another option is to start a t-shirt design business from images you create using Photoshop. Using Photoshop, you can create cool artwork that will work very well for t-shirts and other apparel. T-shirts are one of the world’s most popular apparel products and your originality, creativity, and skill in using Photoshop can allow you to create unique designs for your t-shirt business.
11. Start a greeting card business.
The images you create via Photoshop can also be used to create greeting cards. You can create specialty cards with a contemporary vibe; create abstract and graphical images, and cards that use special typographic design. You can sell your creations to established greeting card companies, or start your own line of greeting cards. Read the Starting a Greeting Card Business for details on how to start your own greeting card business.
12. Start an art design business.
With your proficiency in Photoshop, you can art design for CDs, magazines, postcards, and billboards. You can also create book and e-book covers. Other possibilities include product packaging design, movie posters, and even online advertisements.
The above are just some ideas on how you can use Photoshop to earn money. Let us know of other ways you, or someone you know, have used Photoshop to start a business and earn a living.
Originally published on February 15, 2010. Updated on March 18, 2020.