Travel photography is a photography genre that is the source of images used in the $1 trillion tourism industry. It includes various materials and subjects such as destination photography for hotels and resorts, tourist attractions, scenic photography, adventure shooting, local events coverage, and much more.
The results can be used for numerous purposes like advertising, print sales, merchandising, social marketing, etc. Travel photographers must be familiar with multiple photographic disciplines, portraiture, wildlife, landscape, architectural, reporting, or event photography. They have to know it all. So you need to become an all-rounder if you wish to jump on the bandwagon! Here are some insights to help you out:
Is Travel Photography Profitable?
Obviously Yes! People have made entire careers via travel photography, as it can be very profitable and enjoyable. It is one of those professionals in which you get total freedom to select your path and choose from the numerous income streams.
As you continue shooting, more opportunities will spring up. From image licenses and income from agencies and magazines to hosting workshops and paid sponsorships, there are many ways to earn a decent income.
But for it to work, you must have brilliant business sense. If you are determined to make a living with travel photography, you need to extend beyond passing your time and dive into social media marketing, negotiation, and content development.
How to start?
Take the first step by going out into the world and begin shooting so that you can create a portfolio. You don’t have to travel to create a portfolio. Just select any place within your remits and go. If you can afford to travel, go to your dream destination and begin there.
But do some research beforehand, and don’t click like a tourist. Then upload your portfolio on a social media platform, and you are all set!
License your work
Whichever way you pursue travel photography, the first thing to do is license your photos. If you are a beginner, use sites like 500px to quickly license your work. If you are already a pro and have a strong portfolio, apply at Shutterstock, which is very reputable.
Offering photography services can become very profitable for many businesses in the tourism industry. You can sell your services to them; for example, if you are going skiing, get in touch with the local lodges at your selected destination and offer them your service for a free stay or trade a few photos with their fee.
You can even contact the tourism board and get paid to promote them. Eventually, these small jobs open up even more work as you get recognized and your portfolio also gets stronger. So as fame grows up, you will even get training and workshop opportunities.
Selling the Prints
If you have a cohesive collection of images in a specified category, exhibit them in a gallery or online, and you will find some buyers.
If you are a beginner, online exposure can help a lot, and you can upload your work on print-on-demand websites for print sales, establishing yourself and then going for galleries.
Providing Destination Tours
For travel photography, you research thoroughly and learn the ins and outs of a particular destination. This helps you conduct location-specific workshops through which you can not only do your photography but also make a few extra bucks by guiding others.
Whether you’re strolling through Old San Juan’s cobblestone streets or taking in the sweeping ocean views from Condado Beach, keep your camera handy in case an opportunity arises.
There’s no need to go far and wide to capture the perfect travel shot. Instead, think about all of the fantastic opportunities that are right at your fingertips! For instance, at Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, they love nothing more than capturing their guests’ travel memories with stunning photography, and who knows, you might be the one providing them with some good shots.
You might feel that travel photography is all fun when you see exotic images of fellow photographers, but what you see is not all.
You can face anything from long-haul flights and jet lags to incompatible surroundings. You might have to spend days in transit, and sometimes you lose your functionality there. So next time you see an extraordinary image, imagine the hard work behind it.
So you have to be resilient as travel photography demands sacrifice. Traffic oversold flight language barriers, crowds, bedbugs, grueling treks, and foodborne illnesses can be stressful, so gear up before you step in.
The more you travel, the more you will encounter various circumstances. Some will be fun and intriguing, while others can be alienating and dangerous.
So pick up your camera, be ready for anything, and apply tolerance when you encounter something that doesn’t go well with you. It is your job as a photographer to observe and positively influence others with your images.
If you want to access more opportunities, you will have to become deeply committed and change your lifestyle according to your photography needs.
You can find a balance between your personal and professional life or become a digital nomad like me who lives with a suitcase and an open mind. Your flexibility can make a monumental difference in your career.
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