7 min 5 sec

Hobbyist Photographer Finds $800/Month Hiding in Local Newspaper

A university employee takes photos of homes, helping real estate agents and getting paid for his efforts.
Niche Ideas Photography Real Estate Service

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What It's About

A photography side hustle that helps sell houses.

Business Model
Skills Required
Photography & Communication
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

When he started, Adam would reschedule his entire day around whenever was best for the real estate agent, even changing his schedule on the fly. More than once he did a job and the agents had conveniently “forgotten” to bring their checkbooks, so he would do a job and not get paid for weeks afterwards. He realized he would need to set some boundaries. He still tries to be flexible, but he now has a policy of getting paid before handing over the final photos.

It's an important lesson—make sure that you're taking care of yourself too!

Fun Fact

Adam once went to photograph a multi-family home, and stumbled upon an illegal basement apartment with a mentally challenged 60-year-old man who had been living there for the past 30 years! He’d been given just 30 days to get out and followed Adam around confessing his sadness and despair to him.

Notes from Chris

Episode 672
A summer revenue manager for Suffolk University, Adam Hoeg has always had a passion for photography. Adam found he had a knack for finding the best perspective for whatever he was shooting. He also had another passion for real estate for as long as he can remember. But it wasn’t until a few months ago that he paired them together in a picturesque side hustle.

He was simply flipping through the real estate ads in his local newspaper when the opportunity came into focus. Many of the homes for sale had grainy cell phone pictures, but it wasn’t until he saw a beautiful home from his childhood represented in such a way that his resolve set in. He immediately sent an email to the listing agent, offering to take better images, and the agent responded quickly, saying that they were interested.

He realized that he could draw from prior experience—his own family’s home had gone up for sale and he’d witnessed the photoshoot by a local photographer a year earlier. He was quick to look her up on Facebook and ask for advice. In anticipation of his first paid shoot, he contacted his friend next door who had a near identical home, and they let him complete a practice shoot.

Unfortunately, the home responsible for the impulsive hustle went under contact before he could take photos of it, but Adam made good use of the setback. He set up Instagram and Facebook profiles, posting sample work of family and friend’s homes. He then offered a fifty dollar visa gift card to a lucky winner who liked and shared his page—later on offering the same reward for a referral bonus to real estate agents.

After conducting some research, Adam figured out an ideal range for what he could charge realtors. To undercut his competition, he decided to go with the lower end of the spectrum. He even gives fifty percent off for the first job he is hired for.

He ended up getting his first job within two weeks!

So far he’s only been doing this for four months, but he’s making $800-1200 dollars each month on the side. This has already made it possible for Adam and his dog to move into a nicer apartment. That’s right, the dog has benefitted from Adam’s hustle.

Ho hopes to grow the business so he can raise his rates, and maybe one day even sink his lens into the more competitive Boston market. You never know, the picture perfect side hustle might be hiding in your local newspaper.


  • Adam Hoeg Photography: Learn more about this niche photography side hustle over on Adam's Facebook page


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
"I wanted to shoot for realtors that I knew already had photographers in addition to the agents that did not have one --and if they were going to switch over to me, offering my services at a cheaper rate than they currently pay would be a great incentive for them."
—Adam Hoeg #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau