Tips for Working with Travel Brands as a PhotographerJanuary 10, 2017
Getting paid to travel the world and capture breath-taking photos; it seems like every person’s dream, doesn’t it? For a select few, this dream is actually a reality, but how can we all go about achieving the same success?
Whether you like to capture images as a hobby, or even as a full-time profession – this article is going to share with you the top tips for working with travel brands as a photographer.
We’ll discuss how you can get on their radar, ways that you can impress them once you’re working together, as well as how you can leave a lasting impression in order to attract repeat collaborations!
Is this the right fit for you?
Are you already a photographer who enjoys capturing stunning landscapes, foreign cultures, or anything that imbues a feeling of wanderlust? If so, you’re already a great candidate to work with travel brands, so now the slightly harder task is gaining their attention (in all of the right ways!).
If you’ve never actually considered pursuing photography of a travel or adventure related style, then don’t fear! If this is something you are truly passionate about, you too will be able to start embracing all that this genre has to offer. Be sure to take some classes or online courses on the topic, plus you can also follow plenty of travel photographers on social media to constantly be inspired by their work. Don’t forget – practice makes perfect, so get out there and start photographing anything and everything that inspires you relating to this genre.
Capture your travels with no strings attached
The first word of advice would be to ensure that you’re photographing and documenting your own travels on a regular basis. These are the travels you go on for your own enjoyment – in other words, there are no strings attached because you haven’t been paid to go on the trip.
Take note of which types of images are more popular than others when you share them on your social media, as well as where your strengths and weaknesses lie. What types of travel imagery do you like to capture the most and why? Keep these things in mind.
Engage with travel brands on social media
Speaking of social media, you really should try to follow as many travel brands which inspire you as possible. Is there a particular country or region you’re in love with? Follow their tourism account on Instagram, for example. Do you love travel related goods from a particular brand? Be sure to follow them too – the options are endless here!
The next step is to engage with them regularly on these social media platforms. Like their images and statuses and don’t forget to leave genuine comments from time to time too. Try to gain their attention in positive ways – i.e. through being helpful, complimentary, and showcasing professionalism within your field.
Use tags appropriately and effectively
If you’ve just uploaded a photo to your social media featuring a particular place, event, etc. be sure to tag relevant social media accounts in your image. For example, the main tourism account for that region, the brand of travel equipment you used, or even the account for the model of camera you used to capture the shot. Use hashtags (#) which also include region-related phrases, as well as phrases specific to yourself (such as #SydneyTravelPhotographer, for example).
This increases the chances of getting your photography in front of the right people – a.k.a travel brands who are willing to collaborate with you further.
Positive versus negative reviews
Let’s assume you’re past the ‘getting noticed’ phase and a travel brand has actually reached-out to you sponsoring you to partake in some travel (i.e. stay at a hotel for free) in exchange for a review. This is a very common collaboration method, but how do you balance an honest review with one that will hopefully grant you a long-term relationship with the brand?
Firstly, you want to be as honest as possible without being defamatory – keep this in mind! If there is something wrong with the experience, be sure to mention it at the time to see if it can be improved. If you don’t bring a problem to a hotel or brand’s attention, how can they be expected to rectify it? Secondly, if you feel uncomfortable about mentioning something you didn’t enjoy about the trip, consider if it is really important enough to bring up in your review.
Don’t be afraid to get in touch
Here’s another word of advice: you don’t have to sit around waiting for travel brands to approach you. If you’re really passionate about getting your foot in the door of this industry as a photographer, then you’ll reach-out to them first and propose mutually beneficial collaborations.
Travel brands are now turning to everyday people to act as social influencers, with photographers high on their priority list because of their ability to capture incredible images. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? They simply don’t reply or give you a polite ‘no’. It’s certainly not the end of the world!
Will you be embracing travel photography or hoping to work with travel brands within the near future? We hope these tips have given you a more in-depth understanding of how this particular field works!