The era of digital photography has made it easier than any time in the history of photography to make cash from your camera. As with any business it is not a cash machine as many unscrupulous eBook sellers proclaim. If you are prepared to work hard it can be very profitable. Here’s how.When I studied with the New York Institute of photography one of the students turned one fantastic photo into a business that made $250 000 through this one photo. I was amazed. He had taken a photo of the Dallas skyline at night that appeared to be on a waterfront. From the skyline on the horizon down to the foreground was a mirror image of the skyline. Experts called it a fake. What he had done was wait until a car park on his side of the city had been flooded with water and taken the image with skyline reflected in the water.He didn’t just sell the photo to a stock agency or over the internet but worked hard selling prints, framed photos and other items. He worked hard and created a very profitable photo business from one image. The key was a great idea with a great product that made great money. So what do you need to do to turn your photography into a profitable business.1. Define your businessDecide what type of photography business you are going to start. Are you going to sell your services, sell your photos, sell a product or sell an ebook. You have to clearly define it for yourself and get it clear in your mind. Create a mindmap and write down all of the things you can do as a photographer. Then focus on the one or two that you feel you can make money from.2. Define your customerWho can you sell your services or photos to? If you are focusing on sports photography, are there magazines or newspapers that might buy them. Are there websites that might buy these types of photo? If you have a great portfolio of images could you sell them on stock photo websites. This is a numbers game so you have to have a quantity of good quality photos. Perhaps you’re good at portraits and would like to focus on child and maybe pet photography. The key fundamental is that you need to know what you are good at or potentially good at and who your potential market is.3. Define your pricing modelThis has to be very clear in your mind. Are you going to sell a lot of images at a small profit or are you going to sell a select a small number of images at a large profit. You have to be clear because if stock photography is your route, you make at most a few dollars per image. As a portrait photographer you’ll make a lot more. Out of this pricing model you’ll know exactly how much you need sell to make the monthly budget you’ve set for yourself. If you don’t get this right you won’t have a photography business.4. Define your transition strategyThis is absolutely essential if you are to transition from your current job to your own photography business. Many a photographer has made the move too soon without considering point number three. Build your business on a part time basis until you reach a transition point. You need to decide what percentage of your income it needs to be at before you make the transition. Too early and you will fail and too late you may not want to because you are too comfortable with the additional part-time income.I was speaking to a professional photographer the other day and he was saying that forty percent of his time is now taken up in marketing his business, forty percent on admin and debt collection and only twenty percent on his passion which is photography. You need to understand that you are creating a business and not just extending your hobby.Go into your new venture with your eyes open. Know all the answers to these four points and have a very clear plan of action to execute your strategy. Nothing is certain in life and there is no guarantee that your business will be successful. But, if you are thorough in your planning you will have the greatest chance of success.