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Travel photography is one of the most exciting and popular genres with an enormous range of possibilities to explore as you bring the best scenery from around the world to your audiences, wherever they are.
There are many types of travel photography although they all have the basic notion of getting away from your hometown to find new and beautiful places to capture in memorable photographs.
What do Travel Photographers do? What are the different types of travel photography?
While you are travelling with your camera you will be surrounded by a constantly changing panorama of people, places, sites and monuments, weather, beaches and flora that will be new, exciting and fun. The spectacular plethora of cultures and countries provide you with a canvas on which you can leave your unique creative mark through the photos you take to memorialize each moment in space and time. There are many job opportunities in each of the following types of travel photography.
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- Street Photography: This is one of the most natural types of travel photography because as you find your way around a new city you will inevitably come across wonderful scenes you will want to shoot.
- Aerial drone photography: One of the best ways to capture the stunning scenery of a place is to get some shots from the air. Consumer grade drones have come a long way in recent years and there are some fantastic consumer grade models that you can use in conjunction with your phone to take some awesome photos!
- Landscape photography: When you are exploring a new place try to get out to the countryside and you’ll soon find yourself in the midst of some picture perfect scenery!
- Food photography: Every country has its own unique cuisine and taking photos of this is one of the most interesting subjects to explore. Full of bright color, strange ingredients and creative touches, food photography is a social media favorite.
- Documentary photography: This is a great fit if you are travelling. You can document your own travels or document a story in a place that you are visiting.
There are as many ways to capture the world in photos as there are stars in the sky, and while you are travelling you could also focus on wildlife, night sky or architectural photography. Travelling is a fantastic way to bring out your inner creativity and you’ll be spoilt for choice as you find your place in a new land.
How do I Start Travel Photography?
You might be asking if you can really make money using your photography skills while you are travelling? It sounds like the dream job but it can become a reality for you with a bit of hard work, tenacity and a good set of basic skills to build on.
The first step to becoming a professional travel photographer is to set up an online portfolio where potential clients can be directed to see your work. This will give you somewhere to display your best shots and allow you to sell individual prints which can also become a great passive income stream for you.
It’s also worth setting up a personal website where you can put more details about yourself, your past experiences and blog posts that talk about your travels, adventures and give an insight into the person that you are.
Once you have an online profile and have started to build a following you can work towards taking the next step to becoming a working travel photographer. There are many ways that you can do this, but here are few ideas to get you started:
- Freelance: Becoming a freelance travel photographer can be very lucrative and give you the most freedom however the competition is steep and you will need to master the art of self promotion to stand out from the crowd. You can sell your photography to blogs, magazines, hotels and travel agencies. You can produce photo books to sell on your own platforms and on larger sites such as Amazon.
- Work for a Publication: This is a great option for any budding travel photographer because you will have reliable work, the support of back office staff who will buy you tickets to travel and help with accommodation arrangements. To get a job with a reputable publication you will need an excellent portfolio that displays your ability to work in a variety of conditions while capturing the essence of different locations.
- Destination Events such as Weddings and Stag Parties. This is an unusual one but it can pay very well and if you have good connections in the events industry it’s a safe, secure and fun travel photography job.
- Photojournalism. This allows you to travel and see the work while documenting major world events as well as localized or regionally significant happenings. You’ll need to have your ear to the ground and know how to hunt down a good story but if you can make a name for yourself as a photojournalist you will have regular employment, get the chance to work with major publications and see the world while you do so!
- Stock Photo Libraries. This is a good way to set up a passive income on the side and although you are unlikely to make huge amounts of money if you become recognized as a go to source for travel photography then you can make a reasonable amount of money with these libraries. Have a look around for one that suits you best because some stock photo libraries pay very poorly while others pay at close to industry standard prices. The good thing is that clients will come to you through these stock photo libraries meaning you can spend the rest of your time focusing on current projects.
- Setup and run an online course. Once you have become an expert in travel photography you can create an online training course for newbies. Once you have created the course you can receive a passive income long into the future and if it is popular you can make a significant amount of money.
- If you have a large social media presence and a lot of followers then you can get deals with brands to advertise their products in return for cash payments or free branded items.
How much money can a travel photographer make?
A working travel photographer can make a very good income although the exact figure will depend on a wide range of factors. Most travel photographers create multiple streams of income, for example, combining print sales, YouTube video advert revenues, working for clients and publications.
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If you can get a regular job with a prestigious publication such the National Geographic you can easily expect to earn in the region of $10,000 per month while with smaller publications you could expect closer to $2,000 per month. With a large online following you can comfortably make $5,000 a month through print sales and advertising revenues, which you can combine with working for clients, publications and so on.
Travel Photography – the Dream Niche!
It’s extremely important to be flexible, dynamic and imaginative to make it work as a travel photographer. It’s a very rewarding career, to work as a travel photographer, but it will take some courage to get started. You will need to set goals and stick to them, work with many different people over the years and always be willing to trust in your own instincts and abilities.
Is travel photography something you are interested in?
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