Becoming a travel photographer is a dream for many. Being able to roam around the world, getting paid for taking photos of beautiful landscapes, and experiencing new cultures and people all the time is a wonderful way to live. Professional photographers can make up to $2,000 a month once they get established in the business.If you’d like to travel as a photographer yourself, make sure you have the right equipment and software and submit your photos online to sustain yourself by doing your dream job.
Method 1 Method 1 of 3:Getting Photography and Travel Experience Download Article
Buy a DSLR camera to ensure your pictures are of high quality. In order to make money as a travel photographer, your gear has to be top of the line. Make sure you have a professional grade DSLR camera that you know how to use.
- Sign up for a photography class or follow online tutorials to understand how your particular camera works.
- Insure your gear if you are traveling with your equipment on a plane.
Learn how to edit your photos. Taking pictures is one thing, but making sure they look good afterward is another. There are a ton of programs that you can download online to edit your photos, like Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, and PhotoPlus. Take a class or look up an online tutorial to learn how to use your editing software and make your pictures look great.
- It takes time to learn how to use an editing tool well. Take your time to understand all the features and functions of your software.
Practice taking photos of different objects and environments. If you want to be a travel photographer, you need to be able to take pictures in many environments. Take your camera with you when you go out in nature, into the city, or out for a meal. Practice photographing different objects and people to build up your skills.
Tip: Always ask someone before you take their photo. Some people don’t like to be photographed.
Prepare to spend most of your income on travel expenses. Being a travel photographer is a fun and rewarding job, but many people do not have much money left over at the end of the month. Traveling is expensive, and it may take most of the money that you make from selling your work to keep yourself afloat.
- If saving money is a goal of yours, take a month-long break from traveling every once in a while and focus explicitly on selling your photos.
Travel throughout your own country rather than overseas. Especially when you are first starting out, avoid spending large chunks of money on plane tickets. Instead, take road trips in the car or on a train and travel around your country. You can take pictures of local landmarks and stop at popular tourist destinations.
- Photos from your own country can be more appealing to people you already know than photos from far away places. You might sell a picture or two to friends and family from back home.
Make specific plans for your travel destinations. If you want to be a travel photographer, you probably already have some destinations in mind. Determine where you’d like to go and how soon you plan on leaving. Research the most economical places to travel to and budget out how much you plan to spend on traveling.
- Flying is much more expensive than taking a train or a bus.
- Determine how long you will be staying in each destination and if you will be able to see any special events while you are there.
Find out what you are good at photographing. Do you like working on a really small scale? Or do you prefer taking large nature shots? Are humans more fun to photograph than animals? Or do you like capturing birds in mid-flight, and bugs in mid-leap? Figure out what you like to photograph and practice it until you can take high quality photos that are ready to be sold.
- Try not to limit yourself too much. For example, try taking pictures of many types of animals, instead of just dogs.
Method 2 Method 2 of 3:Putting Your Work Online for Exposure Download Article
Watermark your photos to claim them as your own. To make sure that your photos don’t get stolen online, add a small watermark saying your name or business name to the corner of all your photos. Adding a watermark is the safest way to keep your content from being stolen online.
- Your watermark should be small enough that it doesn’t detract from the beauty of your photo.
Gain exposure by posting your work online. The best way to get your work out there is to post it on the internet. Make a website or create a social media account to promote your photography and your services. If you use social media, make sure to use hashtags that are relevant to your photo to gain even more exposure.
- Instagram is a great social media website to post photos.
Create an online portfolio of your work. A great way to get clients is to have an easy to access portfolio of your best photos. Gather 10-20 of your best photos and compile them in an easy to reach gallery or slideshow. Link it on your social media sites and your website.
- Update your portfolio regularly so that it shows your best work.
Method 3 Method 3 of 3:Selling Your Photos Download Article
Write reviews to accompany your pictures. You have more of a chance of selling your work if you write a small blurb or review about whatever is in your photo. If you took a picture at a restaurant, write a description of what you ate. If you have a photo of an event, let people know what it was about and why it happened. Keep your descriptions under a paragraph long, unless a client requests more.
- You can use captions on social media as a way to practice your descriptions.
Offer your services to cities or countries that you are traveling to. If you are already planning on traveling somewhere, reach out to the travel or tourism industry of the city or country you will be staying in. You can usually find a number or email address online on a city or country’s website.
- Say something like, “Hi there, I’m going to be visiting your city next month and I’d like to offer my photography services to your agency. You can visit my website and check out my work as well as my rates. I’d love to provide some beautiful images of your city!”
Use stock image sites to sell your photos quickly. If you need to make some semi-consistent money as you travel, submit your photos to stock image websites. These websites sell your photos to clients and give you a commission each time one of your photographs is purchased. On average, expect to make 25-45 cents per month per photo.
- iStockphoto, Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, Bigstock, and Canstock are some of the most popular stock image sites.
Tip: Always submit your highest quality photos to these websites so that your photos don’t get rejected.
Submit your work to travel magazines. Tons of magazines need high quality photos of the places they are writing about. Check online for travel magazines that are in need of photos that you have, or are writing about areas you have been. You may have to submit more than one photo to a website before you get published. Travel magazines pay upwards of $100 for a photo on average.
- If you do get a photo published, be sure to promote the article on your social media accounts and your website.
- Go Nomad, Fodor’s, Tales to Go, and Eat Your World are some popular online and print travel magazines.