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travel photography

How to Become a Professional Travel Photographer

The month of May is officially ‘Photography Month.’ For each #PrePartureThursday in May, we are going to focus on travel photography. This 5-part series will include:

If you are a photography enthusiast hit ‘subscribe’ because each week you’ll receive an inspiring and useful travel articles straight to your mailbox. Share your favourite travel photographs with us on Instagram, @Preparture_inc, simply use #PrePartureMay. We’ll share our favourites with our growing 2,500+ followers.

Nowadays, there are plenty of ways for you to make money from travel photography. But which avenue you wish to explore, depends on you! Travel photography is potentially very lucrative career but it can also be a side hustle, bringing in a bit of extra cash.

So, what do you want to achieve? Do you fancy yourself as a travel photographer for the rest of your professional life or do you want to make enough money to continue travelling?

camera photograph

Before you Become a Travel Photographer

There are a few things you need to do before you begin making money. Once you have done these then you can conquer the world of Travel Photography.

Improve your photography skills

Prior to contacting potential clients or uploading images online, you need to perfect your photography skills, especially in post processing. You need to be a dab hand at software programs like Adobe Photoshop and Coral Paintshop Pro.

Related: 10 Ways to Improve Your Travel Photographs.

You also need to have a strong idea of your brand. Do you have a niche? A logo? A brand name? These are important things to consider and when you know what you stand for and what you want to portray to the world then everything else will follow suit.

Travel Photography Niches

What do you enjoy capturing on film? What do you have easy access to? You may have a passion for landscape photography, but if you live in a city without regular or affordable access to the countryside it may not the best idea to pursue this niche market. Potential niches include:

  • Focusing on a particular continent
  • Concentrating on a certain country
  • Food & Travel
  • Landscapes
  • Portraits
  • Adventure Photography
  • Exploration Photography

Develop an Online Presence

You will most definitely need to set up a website/portfolio to create awareness. Once you have decided on all the previously asked questions it’s time to build your online art gallery. Having a website is important as anyone can view your photographs at any time, but also you can direct everyone to it when you are discussing your work. Other great benefits of having a dedicated website are:

  • Customers can learn about you, with an ‘About’ page
  • You can showcase your work, with a ‘Photography Portfolio’
  • Share your travel adventures as a ‘Travel Blog’
  • Start making money, as your website will become on ‘Online Store’

There you have the first way you can make money from travel photography! Sell your images on your own website.

Related30 Day Travel Photography Challenge

How to Make Money as a Travel Photographer

Now, to the nitty gritty…how to live off your travel photography skills.

  • Stock image library – Upload your photos to sites like Shutterstock, Getty Images and iStock and earn a commission when they are bought.
  • Promote and sell your images through social media platforms, for example Pinterest and Instagram.
  • Enter travel photography competitions for prize money and recognition.
  • Contact travel magazine and e-magazine editors and submit your travel photographs.
  • Provide images to websites and blogs that pay for travel blog articles and photographs.
  • Become a freelance travel photographer/travel blogger on websites like Fiverr and Upwork.
  • Teach travel photography skills online.
  • Search job search websites for Travel Photography roles.
  • Create and sell an e-book of your favourite travel photographs.
  • Organise an art show to display your images.
  • Design merchandise, like t-shirts and mugs, using your travel photographs and sell them online through sites like RedBubble.
  • Write a photography blog and make money through affiliate marketing.
  • Create an Udemy course about travel photography.
  • Conduct photography tours around your city.

Let us know which method suits you best and of course tell us how you make a part-time or full-time living from your travel photography skills.

RelatedTravel Photography: Upgrading Your Camera, for Beginners

Share your favourite travel photographs with us on Instagram, @Preparture_inc, simply use #PrePartureMay. We’ll share our favourites with our growing 2,500+ followers.

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