Photography and Graphic Design: Selling Creative Services on Platforms like 99designs

Photography and graphic design are artistic disciplines that have found a new life in the digital age. The demand for visually appealing content for businesses, websites, and marketing materials has created numerous opportunities for photographers and graphic designers to monetize their creative talents. In this subchapter, we will explore the world of photography and graphic design as income sources, the benefits they offer, and how you can leverage platforms like 99designs to sell your creative services.


Understanding Photography and Graphic Design

Before diving into the specifics of monetizing photography and graphic design, let’s establish a clear understanding of these two creative disciplines:

1. Photography

  • Photography is the art and practice of capturing and creating images using a camera.
  • Photographers use their skills to produce visually stunning photos that tell stories, evoke emotions, or convey messages.

2. Graphic Design

  • Graphic design involves the creation of visual content, including logos, branding materials, illustrations, and layouts.
  • Graphic designers use their artistic and technical abilities to communicate ideas effectively through visual elements.

Benefits of Photography and Graphic Design

Both photography and graphic design offer several advantages for individuals looking to monetize their creative skills:

1. Creative Expression

  • Photography and graphic design provide a platform for creative expression and artistic fulfillment.
  • Creators can use their talents to communicate messages, concepts, and emotions through visuals.

2. Versatility

  • Creative professionals can work in a variety of industries and niches.
  • Opportunities range from portrait photography to web design, allowing for diverse income streams.

3. Portfolio Building

  • Building a strong portfolio is essential in both photography and graphic design.
  • A portfolio showcases a creator’s talent and serves as a marketing tool.

4. Client Relationships

  • Building strong relationships with clients is crucial for repeat business and referrals.
  • Satisfied clients are more likely to recommend a photographer or designer to others.

5. Income Potential

  • Successful photographers and graphic designers can command competitive rates for their services.
  • Income potential often grows with experience and a strong portfolio.

Earning through 99designs

Platforms like 99designs have revolutionized how graphic designers can monetize their skills. Here’s how it works:

1. Joining 99designs

  • To get started, graphic designers can sign up on 99designs and create a profile showcasing their skills and portfolio.
  • Designers can browse open design contests and participate in them.

2. Design Contests

  • Clients post design contests on 99designs, specifying their design needs.
  • Graphic designers can submit their design concepts in response to these contests.

3. Winning and Earning

  • If a designer’s entry is chosen as the winning design by the client, they earn a prize amount specified in the contest brief.
  • Some contests also offer additional payments for design files and copyrights.

4. Building a Reputation

  • Consistently participating in and winning contests helps designers build a positive reputation on 99designs.
  • Positive reviews and ratings from clients enhance a designer’s credibility.

Strategies for Success on 99designs

To succeed on platforms like 99designs, graphic designers can follow these strategies:

1. Niche Specialization

  • Consider specializing in a specific niche or industry, such as logo design, web design, or packaging design.
  • Niche specialization can help you stand out and attract clients seeking expertise in that area.

2. Strong Portfolio

  • Build a comprehensive portfolio that showcases your best work.
  • High-quality portfolio pieces are more likely to attract clients.

3. Competitive Pricing

  • Set competitive prices for your design services.
  • Consider market rates and your level of experience when pricing your work.

4. Timely Communication

  • Maintain clear and prompt communication with clients.
  • Understanding their design needs and expectations is crucial for project success.

5. Active Participation

  • Actively participate in design contests that align with your expertise and interests.
  • Consistent participation increases your chances of winning.

Challenges of Earning from Photography and Graphic Design

While photography and graphic design offer rewarding income opportunities, they also come with specific challenges:

1. Competition

  • The creative industries are highly competitive, with many talented professionals vying for clients.
  • Standing out in a crowded market can be challenging.

2. Portfolio Building

  • Building a strong portfolio takes time and effort.
  • Newcomers may struggle to attract clients without an established body of work.

3. Income Variability

  • Income in photography and graphic design can fluctuate, with dry periods between projects.
  • Financial planning is crucial to manage income variability.

4. Client Relations

  • Managing client expectations and providing exceptional service can be demanding.
  • Satisfied clients are essential for building a positive reputation.

5. Skill Development

  • Staying updated with design trends and software tools is essential for career growth.
  • Continuous learning and skill development are necessary.


Photography and graphic design offer a unique blend of artistic expression and income potential. Platforms like 99designs have opened new avenues for graphic designers to showcase their skills and compete for design projects. Whether you’re passionate about capturing moments through photography or crafting compelling visual designs, there are opportunities to monetize your creative talents in these fields. Challenges may exist, but with dedication, a strong portfolio, and effective marketing, you can build a successful career as a photographer or graphic designer. As you embark on your journey to monetize your creative skills, remember that each project you undertake is an opportunity to create meaningful visuals that resonate with clients and audiences alike, making a lasting impact in the world of visual communication.