8 min 26 sec

Vintage Pinup Photography Turns Graphic Designer Into High-Earner

A love of 1920s-style photography allows a Texas woman to leave her day job and bring in multiple six-figures with classic “recreations” of a faraway time.
Creative Niche Ideas Photography Service

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What It's About

A niche photography side hustle that develops into a full-time gig with six-figures.

Business Model
Skills Required
Photography & Creativity
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Erin deliberately priced her shoots at a mid-to-high range to attract the kind of clients she wanted. She figured that this is a special experience that should be priced accordingly, so instead of selecting a one-time fee, she chose a series of packages.

If you're interested in starting a service side hustle, you should definitely include package options because it will increase your income almost immediately.

Fun Fact

Erin loves shopping and bargain hunting for designer clothing and gowns. Buying and reselling these items can be tedious at times, but Erin has an eye for fashion that allows her to tell when there is a profit to be made. Now she can incorporate her bargain finds into her studio's wardrobe, use them for client sessions, then resell them later for a profit. This keeps the wardrobe stock exciting and new for clients and still earns a little extra profit for her on the side.

Notes from Chris

Episode 147

Erin Shephard was working as a graphic designer when she started a photography side hustle that turned into a full-time job. The first sitting fee was just $90, and she started for fun. She thought this would be a very small photography niche, but thanks in part to a popular Facebook page, it quickly took off. She discovered that women from all walks of life were fascinated by the classic beauty of retro styles and were eager to recreate them. Because Erin specialized exclusively in these styles and did them well, she feels that it set her apart from other photographers.

It wasn’t long before she decided to go all-in. Once she had raised her prices and began to see an actual profit with the photography business, the fear of letting go of the "regular" job and giving up freelance clients became easier to swallow. For Erin, and many others like her, being excited about something you love to do and getting paid for it is the best feeling. To know that people value what you make is very fulfilling.

Erin made more money every year since starting, and it’s now bringing in more than $200,000 a year.

When she began hearing women’s stories of how doing a photo shoot changes their lives, it reframed her entire thinking. She says that some women will dedicate their entire lives to their families and never do anything for themselves. To hear that you have affected a person's confidence in such a way is truly an honor.


  • Lone Star Pin-up: Learn more about Erin and her nostalgic niche photography on her website!

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"Do what you love, even if it's the world's smallest niche! You may be surprised by how many people are out there with similar interests."
—Erin Shephard #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau