When you first start out in photography it can be harder to get work if you don't have any references. One of the best ways to build references is to work for free.
Let me explain- Let's say your friend is going getting engaged and they want some memorable pictures of the engagement party (or some other kind of event). You offer to show up for free and shoot photos,you make the agreement ahead of time that the only cost to them would be purchasing any of the photos they might like. Before you know it, you probably have earned $100 or more from picture sales. Not only do you get paid, you get experience, and you get a referral! Total win-win!
What are some of the creative things you have done to earn money with photography?