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It has been over 5 years since Patreon launched, so I wanted to take a look at how fellow photographers are doing on this platform.
But first, here are the official numbers provided by Patreon:
Patreon in Numbers
- 2 Million Monthly Active Patrons
- 100,000 Monthly Active Creators
- $300 Million creator earnings in 2018 alone (projected)
- $12 Average patronage per patron
- 2X: Creators are doubling their income annually
Top Patreon Earners in the Photography Category
Currently there are over 1,200 Patreon creators registered in the Photography category, so there’s plenty of competition.
However it didn’t take long to discover that a great deal of “creators” in this category are just women posting private photos of themselves.
Another interesting discovery was that 4 out of the 22 creators presented here are female models doing cosplay. Even though their direct earnings on Patreon are not very impressive, it does indicate that cosplay can build you a huge following of fans.
Cosplay, Photography, and Boudoir from a professional photographer and retoucher.
On Patreon since March 2015. 74K Twitter followers, 300K Facebook fans.
Photography, mentorships, podcasts.
On Patreon since April 2017. 2.2K Twitter followers, 121K Facebook fans.
Trevor is on Patreon because he wants to continue to photograph more rocket launches, more sporting events, more awesome landscapes/places. His photography portfolio is here.
On Patreon since July 2016. 12K Twitter followers, 4K Facebook fans.
Everyday Astronaut’s mission is to bring space down to earth for everyday people. To communicate science through humor and imagination. To help adults reminisce about their childhood awe of the cosmos. To spark curiosity in future generations to dream about exploration, thirst for knowledge and desire to find their place in the universe.
On Patreon since November 2016. 9.2K Twitter followers, 8.3K Facebook fans, 126K Youtube subscribers.
We Animals is creating photos of animals who need our help.
On Patreon since December 2015. 11.4K Twitter followers, 64K Facebook fans.
Siara is giving away product photography to her patrons.
On Patreon since June 2018. 58K Facebook fans.
Photoshop Brushes & Digital Paintings.
Patrons will receive a variety of content, including brushes (.TPL & .ABR – support for CS6+,) textures, patterns, wallpapers, tutorial videos and write-ups, files, my eternal gratitude and more within the tiered perks (listed right) per month of pledge.
On Patreon since May 2017. 30K Twitter followers, 49K Facebook fans.
Taylor is creating wedding photography marketing videos every week.
On Patreon since April 2018. 30K Facebook fans, 108K Youtube subscribers.
52Frames.com is a (free!) community of photography enthusiasts from around the world, working together to improve their photography skills.
On Patreon since February 2016. 655 Twitter followers, 18K Facebook fans.
PiXimperfect is creating Photoshop and Lightroom Tutorials
On Patreon since January 2017. 2K Twitter followers, 28K Facebook fans.
Photoshoots, cosplay & photography!
On Patreon since January 2017. 20K Twitter followers, 53K Facebook fans. Amy also has an impressive following on Instagram – 268K.
Texture Haven is a website where you can find high quality scanned textures for free, no catch. All textures are CC0 (public domain). No paywalls, accounts or email spam. Just download what you want, and use it for every purpose.
On Patreon since June 2018. 730 Twitter followers, 630 Facebook fans.
Cosplay, photography, and ASMR videos!
On Patreon since November 2017. 57K Twitter followers, 166K Twitch followers.
Toby is creating photography videos, including gear reviews, how-tos, tips and tricks, etc.
On Patreon since October 2014. 7K Twitter followers, 26K Facebook fans, 266K Youtube subscribers.
Fat Acceptance photo-activism campaign and website.
On Patreon since August 2017. 5.5K Twitter followers, 24K Facebook fans.
Photography and filmmaking tutorials that don’t waste your time + short films.
On Patreon since March 2015. 4K Twitter followers, 660K Youtube subscribers.
Sammantha Fisher is an internationally published photographer documenting animal rights issues, from sanctuaries to slaughterhouses and all the places in between. Her work showcases the emotional lives + personalities of animals in hopes that viewers will question what they’ve been raised to believe + possibly decide to lead a compassionate vegan lifestyle.
On Patreon since January 2017. 43K Instagram followers.
An events photographer based in High Wycombe, UK. Oliver Facey is specialized in reportage style covering of events, particularly Live Roleplaying.
On Patreon since February 2016.
Ibarionex Perello – The Candid Frame Photography Podcast
For the past 10 years, we’ve produced one of the best photography-related content in the form of The Candid Frame photography podcast. It has featured in-depth and insightful conversations with some of the world’s best established and emerging photographers including Mary Ellen Mark, Matthew Jordan Smith, Douglas Kirkland, Reza, Maki Kawakita, Joe McNally and hundreds of others.
On Patreon since April 2016. 5.4K Twitter followers, 1.9K Facebook fans, 12K Youtube subscribers.
Cosplay, Tutorials & Photoshoots.
On Patreon since April 2017. 10K Twitter followers, 21K Facebook fans.
Creator of @ShoutAroundApp. Professional photographer – Wedding, product, fashion, surreal, and cosplay.
On Patreon since September 2015. 14K Twitter followers, 95K Facebook fans.
Dystopian costumes, props, tutorials, and photos.
On Patreon since February 2016. 74K Twitter followers, 26K Facebook fans, 24.8K Youtube subscribers.
Cosplay as a means to build a following?
If I were a young photographer looking to build a following on the cheap, then I would look for a couple of female models near me that are into gaming and cosplay. Cosplay costumes can be bought online, but the really good ones will cost a bit. Add in some makeup (or spend more time retouching) and you can create plenty of viral photos: superhero and villain characters, anime characters, video game characters (League of Legends cosplay is VERY popular).