As with all types of photography, smart business sense is key. There are many ways to make a living with travel photography, and much of it extends well beyond your photo gear into social media marketing, content development, negotiation and sales. But the first step is to get out into the world and shoot. Start with anyplace you've been dreaming of traveling, and go! Plan ahead, do some research, and don't shoot like a tourist. Can't afford to travel? Search for opportunities in your nearest city to begin building your portfolio.
Travel photography is a genre of photography that may involve the documentation of an area's landscape, people, cultures, customs and history. The Photographic Society of America defines a travel photo as an image that expresses the feeling of a time and place, portrays a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state, and has no geographical limitations.
Flight Edmonton - Vancouver (YEG - YVR) C$ 99+ Flight Calgary - Vancouver (YYC - YVR) C$ 119+ Flight Kelowna - Vancouver (YLW - YVR) C$ 261+ Flight Winnipeg - Vancouver (YWG - YVR) C$ 266+ Flight Cranbrook - Vancouver (YXC - YVR) C$ 267+ Flight London - Vancouver (YXU - YVR) C$ 277+ Flight Toronto - Vancouver (YHM - YVR) C$ 298+ Flight Prince George - Vancouver (YXS - YVR) C$ 334+ Flight Toronto - Vancouver (YYZ - YVR) C$ 342+ Flight Fort St. John - Vancouver (YXJ - YVR) C$ 350+ Flight Saskatoon - Vancouver (YXE - YVR) C$ 372+ Flight Regina - Vancouver (YQR - YVR) C$ 377+ Flight Fort McMurray - Vancouver (YMM - YVR) C$ 382+ Flight Montreal - Vancouver (YUL - YVR) C$ 441+ Flight Toronto - Vancouver (YKF - YVR) C$ 463+ Flight Ottawa - Vancouver (YOW - YVR) C$ 558+ Flight Windsor - Vancouver (YQG - YVR) C$ 588+ Flight Halifax - Vancouver (YHZ - YVR) C$ 591+ Flight Québec City - Vancouver (YQB - YVR) C$ 612+ Flight Fredericton - Vancouver (YFC - YVR) C$ 679+ Flight Sarnia - Vancouver (YZR - YVR) C$ 701+ Flight Toronto - Vancouver (YTZ - YVR) C$ 715+ Flight Moncton - Vancouver (YQM - YVR) C$ 757+ Flight Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) - Vancouver (YYG - YVR) C$ 798+
Approaching a new client can be a lot easier if you happen to be visiting that region, or if it’s where you are based. Start local and contact businesses who you regularly use or that have less than desirable images on their website…put together a proposal and they’ll more than likely say yes if it benefits them! If they’re just starting out on social media you can offer to create a library of social media images they can use over a 3-6month period to generate interest in their product/region.
Readers of The Travel Photographer blog know of my current long term involvement in documenting Chinese Opera of the diaspora; an involvement that will culminate into the production of a coffee-table book bearing the same title. It is for this reason that the blog has been recently populated with posts with excellent work of Chinese opera by travel and documentary photographers.
There's much more to becoming a travel photographer than exploring exotic destinations and clicking your shutter. Getting up at stupid-o-clock to catch the perfect sunrise, carrying a camera that’s heavier than four backpacks, skipping meals in the quest for perfect light, and missing out on the travel experience because you’re too busy taking photos, are just a few of the downsides.
Love your site! How do you go about not needing work visas to do photography for tourism boards, hotels etc? I see a lot of travel photography in foreign places, but in most countries its illegal to work there and next to impossible to get a work visa as a photographer. Any advice on reaching out to brands/hotels/tourism boards etc overseas without finding myself being deported for working in their country?
They are very useful if you call them, they send very detailed emails and do follow ups if you have something on hold in a timely fashion. On one of my trips I had to postpone my fight thanks to visa delays (no longer an issue with my Canadian passport!) and my travel agent with Gala was very helpful in hooking me up with the best alternate flight and while I had to pay a fee it was a painless process overall.
However I didn't realize that he had done lovely work documenting a rural Chinese opera troupe in Sichuan featured on the International Business Times..thus providing me with valuable inspiration for my own long term book project involving Chinese opera of the Diaspora. My primary focus in this project is on the "rural" or provincial troupes who perform their art during Chinese celebrations and religious observances.
There are methods to make models comfortable. Some are already ready to act the part, while others need some handholding. In advance of the photo shoot, I provide models the story lines (or script) I want them to narrate. This is crucial, since with it in mind, they can act the role. The other method is to encourage them as they pose...not so much as how or where they are to stand, but reminding them of adopting certain poses following the script as in "show me how Meili wishes she had never met the gweilo"...or "show me how Hua is scared of seeing her aging lover...".
You have provided a great deal of information on a subject I am really interested in. I will be researching the websites on this list. I have started my own website at http://www.davidhintzphotography.com, I have sold some of my photos on microstock websites and now looking to sell directly from my own website. Thanks for all your work on this topic. I would be interested in your comments on my site if you had the time to look at it.
Alessandro Bergamini tells us that he is an Italian travel photographer from Finale Emilia in Italy. He started his photography with an old camera donated by his father, and traveled to some of the most remote regions of the world, capturing the spirit and visual cultures of his encounters. He perfected his post-production techniques to better reflect the atmosphere of the images he gleaned from his travels. During 2019, he offers travel workshops in the Wakhan Corridor (Afghanistan) and Kashmir.
Whether you're licensing photos through an agency or you're working with local businesses, destination photos sell. If you're just starting out, consider uploading your best work to sites like 500px, where you can offer your images for license quite easily. If you already have a strong portfolio of work, consider applying to Stocksy, the most reputable agency in the stock photo business. Interested in reportage? You can sign up for a Demotix account to get started in travel photojournalism.
If you’re interested in creating a travel blog to showcase your travel photography The Blogger Course is the best thing you can invest in! It’s a 12 week course sharing all the secrets to making money and finding an audience created by Monica of The Travel Hack. I’ve also contributed a weeks lesson on Advanced Photography. Sign up and you’ll also get access to a secret Facebook Group that’s invaluable for sharing advice and getting feedback.