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How to Make Money Shooting Panoramas

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  • How to Make Money Shooting Panoramas

    How to Make Money Shooting Panoramas

    Firstly by no means is this a complete or definitive list. These are merely suggestions offered to help you spur the creative thinking processes and aid in formulating your own ideas.
    If you own a camera and would like to learn ways of creating a little added income. It comes as no surprise the vast majority of "professional" photographers know very little about shooting panoramic photography. I believe one of the reasons being they would not know how to convert this added skill into making money. A natural tendency for most is to stay within the confines of what what we have learned and feel comfortable with. Learning to shoot panorama's is relatively easy and the equipment is relatively inexpensive. Here I will share some ideas on how to make money shooting panoramas and incorporating it into your business model. Some charge clients as much as $500+ on shoots that only take a couple of hours. As with any venture you will need to apply yourself and it helps to think positive!
    1. Real Estate and Commercial Virtual Tours:
      This is one of the biggest markets for panoramic photography. Shooting full 360° spherical panoramas and putting them all together to form a virtual tour of a property. 90% of all home search begin online in the digital realm. If a client can "experience" a property as if they were standing there in a virtual space the quality of potential buyers coming through the front door becomes much greater. Reach out to Real Estate Agents and Brokers as well as commercial property managers.
    2. Vehicles:
      Potential buyers like putting themself in the driver's seat. Typically shooting a panorama from the driver's seat would give a drivers perspective but we have seen pano's shoot from the center of a vehicle and even the back seat. And don't hold yourself to just auto's, you could shoot industrial equipment, aircraft, watercraft, or anything with a seat. Doing work through dealerships could easily land a contract for repeated work.
    3. Studio:
      Adding a 360° image to a clients proof set adds a "behind the scenes look" during a shoot. Clients many times will remember went on during a busy shoot and by adding a simple panorama into the mix will virtually archive the experience. And there is such a thing as a panoramic portrait or inversed panorama - just google "Expanded Portraits' by Justin Ponmany". You'll see some very surreal work being done. I doubt many clients would opt for this type of work but then some just may.
    4. Weddings and Events:
      One of the most important days in a couples life and most will pay big money to immortalize the moment by a professional 360 shooter. Most clients wouldn't even think to ask for wedding panoramic photography so this needs to be brought up by the photographer. being able to share the experience in a virtual space for all time can certainly add value to any wedding. And this would hold true for many other private and public events and venues as well.
    5. Object VR:
      This is where you shoot an object from multiple sides that will allow users to manipulate the item with simple mouse movement. Online retailers will realize higher conversion rates when buyers and rotate a purse or shoe to see all sides before buying. Here too a photographer could easily land a big job if the client sells many items. We sell the Object VR turntables and equipment as well as software that allows you to better accomplish this.
    6. Go Big:
      It is possible to take a 25MP camera and take sequential images to produce super-high-resolution imagery well in excess of 1GB. Some people call it gigapixel or mosaic images. These high-resolution images can be used for documenting landscapes and cityscapes. Or for creating large banners for marketing. One website that offers free online storage of super-high-resolution images is Check out the 10GB Las Vegas gigapixel image I shot back in 2011. Shooting large images like this we recommend using our professional grade M Series Heads
    7. Aerial:
      Pole panoramas. Shooting from elevated heights provides for a different perspective. We have small Travel Poles (good for inflight carry-on's) to 30ft (9m) lightweight carbon fiber poles. Shooting aerial's is not just limited to panoramas - you could easily attach a stand-alone camera as well for shooting above the crowds and getting roof top shots without having to climb onto the roof.
    8. Documentation and Journalism:
      Nearly all the major newspapers companies now rely on 360° images for digital storytelling. readers are able to fully immerse themselves in the experience as it's unfolding. If you find yourself in the middle of a story and shoot 360's the papers will undoubtedly be interested.
    9. Become a Google Trusted Photographer:
      Earn the Street View Badge from Google. Retail businesses want exposure and to be part of the Google Street View experience. We offer several Google Street View solutions. One tip here - don't compromise on quality - DSLR's and Micro Four Third Cameras far excel the image quality of the one-shot cameras, your clients will appreciate it.
    10. Licensing:
      By comparison to general photography, there are very little panoramic images available for commercial use. Websites like & and their distribution partners offer royalty from image use. Personally I am not a big fan of Getty Images due to their unscrupulous trolling practices on those possibly infringing who paid for image use.
    11. Special projects:
      We see specialty jobs popping up more and more. Taking panoramas from the tops of buildings, archeological sites, historic landmarks, etc. A little creativity and thinking outside the box might lead to some pretty interesting work.
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