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More than Just a Trip: How Travel Can Boost Your Photography Career

More than Just a Trip: How Travel Can Boost Your Photography Career

July 12, 2018

We know you obviously love photography. But do you love traveling as well?

Even if you don’t venture out to become a full-time travel photographer, your vacation can actually boost your photography skills and career in some pretty major and unique ways.

How Travel Can Boost Your Photography Career:

 

  • More Exposure
  • New Partnership Opportunities
  • Expanded Creativity
  • International Contacts
  • A New Outlook

There are ways to bring photography and travel together and make it profitable. This could be in a monetary way or even experience wise. Both are very important for your career. We all like to make money from our photography and our prints, but if that is not possible, you can learn a thing or two and expand your knowledge by experimenting with travel photography. Growing your knowledge and skills will only help make you a better photographer. Who doesn’t want to be the best they can be?

Before setting out on your adventure, make sure you have a way to store your photos safely.  Investing in a durable hard drive, cloud storage, public web-based storage system (SmugMug or Flicker), or a hybrid system like Dropbox is imperative.  It would be terrible to lose your pictures due to equipment malfunction or lack of preparation.  You can also set up your own website through Format.com so you can store, manage, show and even sell your photos from your photography portfolio while you travel.

You may want to do some simple holiday travel photography and shots as you go, or you may want to take it more seriously by becoming a traveling photographer and selling your images. You can even research online and find an array of travel photography jobs that are available. This is a new and extremely trendy market to explore. How far you want to take it is up to you.

Travel photography can actually boost your skills and make you a better photographer in more ways than you think. So, no matter what your motivation is, learning and researching travel photography and dipping your feet into it will definitely give you some valuable lessons. Who doesn’t like to broaden their horizons, right?

Before heading out on your next adventure with your camera, take the time to research if there are any travel photography workshops in your area. Getting photography tips from a professional photographer will certainly help you prepare properly and give you some insight on what to expect. You may also try to find online tutorials that will help guide you as you get ready to take those great travel shots.

An experienced travel photographer will help you choose and narrow down your travel photography gear and while giving you travel photography tips. You don’t want to be weighed down by unnecessary baggage when traveling. Should you bring a tripod? Is there a good travel tripod you should know about? What is the best lens for travel photography? Depending on your destination and, of course, your budget, getting good advice that reflects your needs will be a great asset and will allow you take the best shots possible when you head out. A pro will help you get your travel photography kit bag ready to go with all the essentials you need for your trip.

There are literally thousands of travel photography websites that you can browse for inspiration and information. Try researching some of the top travel photographers and their blogs to see the world of possibilities that are out there. Some famous travel photographers make a pretty decent living and are truly inspiring. There are a lot of creative travel photography shots captured every day, and maybe it’s time you made your own mark. The competition is obviously high, but there’s a place for anyone who wants to succeed and works at it.

And yes, you can even get paid to travel the world for free. Imagine that!

Let’s look at some of the ways that travel photography can boost your photography career.

More Exposure

This is, of course, something we all strive for. We all want our pictures and work to be seen by as many people as possible. We want to share our art and our visions and hope that they resonate with others. If you do only one type of photography at the moment, you are tapping into a very narrow market. If you try other niches and venture into travel photography, for example, you will be exposed to a wider audience and expand your opportunities.

How to Sell Travel Photography

Many social media outlets will let you build a professional business page that will provide you with the opportunities to market your work in the appropriate places. For example, Instagram works with hashtags (#) that let you list as many words as you want to describe your photos. People who are interested in, let’s say India, will search for photos with the hashtag “India”. This will help drive traffic to your Instagram feed. If a photo of your trip to India includes the Ganges River with women in colorful dresses, tag those words as well. Everything that you think someone may type into a search bar to find photos of a particular place or activity.

Where to Sell Travel Photography

There are many businesses and media outlets that purchase travel photography. Some travel photography jobs include publications such as in-flight magazines, book publishers, or even people looking for prints for their homes or offices. Websites that concentrate on travel will also purchase travel photography. Stock photo websites are continuously purchasing images that you get royalties on when it is used by a customer.

New Partnership Opportunities

By expanding your photography niche, you will automatically broaden your opportunities for new and exciting work. By dipping into the travel photographer world, you will meet new people who are also doing travel photography. This opens doors for some interesting partnerships, which is always a great way to grow and learn. A travel photographer’s life and work is very much a solitary one, but when you share certain projects with others, you can learn exponentially in the process.

 

How to Learn Travel Photography

Try to meet some experienced travel photographers so that you can learn from them. Remember to keep your own artistic style and don’t copy other photographers work. Every scene has many different angles that can be interpreted uniquely. Search for travel photography tours and look into some that may appeal to you and your photography level.

Is Travel Photography a Job

Some brands of clothing and travel companies pay travel photographers for featuring their products in their shot. Reach out to the brands that you would like to work with and show them your work. Use relevant hashtags to make yourself as visible as possible. You might even use LinkedIn to find and network with the marketing professionals who work at the brands you’d like to collaborate with.

Expanded Creativity

Needless to say, when we try new things, we open creative possibilities that will make us better photographers. It may be scary and unfamiliar at first, but you will soon see that you are creating in a different way and you are learning new techniques.

If you are a food photographer and used to working with macro lenses and wide apertures, then doing landscapes with wide-angle lenses and small apertures will be a whole new challenge for you. Challenges are good for your growth as a photographer.

If you are an events photographer, an architecture photographer, or a wedding photographer, you may want to look into expanding your business internationally. This will open some doors for you to work on your travel photography.

How to Take Travel Photography

Obviously, this cannot be answered with a few quick tips. There is a lot of prep work and learning in order to work in travel photography professionally. The best advice would be to step out of the main tourist areas and try to take unique images. Everyone has seen the same Paris Eiffel Tower photo a million times. Try to think outside the box and see what has been overlooked. What sets Paris apart from other places? Get out and shoot as much as you can.

You may also want to concentrate on people and culture, architecture, or even nature and animals. No matter what you are interested in, look at it with fresh eyes and try to give the scene an interesting story. People want to feel an experience when they are looking at travel photography. Try to capture what you are feeling at that very moment.

One fun way to document your travels is through journaling. Travel photo journals are a creative and fun way save the memories of your trip.  This, of course, includes your snapshots along with ticket stubs, maps, and written messages. This is your space to get as creative as you want.

International Contacts

If you are planning a new travel experience and want to make contacts before heading out, then having a set of travel photographs to showcase is a great way to reach out to those contacts in a professional and serious way. You will be taken more seriously if you have a portfolio to show  while telling people why you want to work with them.

Having contacts in far away places is a great way to feel secure and help you to prepare for a trip. Being prepared beforehand allows you concentrate on the important stuff once your reach your destination. Like taking photos!

A New Outlook

Where you go will have a huge impact on your final photos. If you want to travel to developing countries where poverty is prevalent, be as compassionate as you can and remember that even in poverty, people are proud and deserve to be respected.

Also, when traveling and taking photos, make sure you don’t fall into clichés and stereotypes. The sombrero and the bottle of tequila are NOT what Mexico is all about. Each place you visit will open your mind to a new culture, a new way of life, a new language, and to new foods. Research the place before going and make sure to seek out unique experiences that make a place different and distinctive.

The more travel experiences you gain, the more your creative mind will be exposed to new ideas and a fresh way of seeing things.

Top Places for Stunning Travel Photography

Where to Travel for Photography

Your destinations will depend on your lifestyle and what type of travel photography you’d like to explore. You can put Italy on your list if you like architectural photography, for example. If nature and animals are your things, why not a Serengeti safari adventure. Those seeking deep and colorful cultural experiences can head to Oaxaca, Mexico. Travel tours are planned every fall in northern countries like Iceland and Canada to photograph the colorful landscape and the amazing aurora borealis (northern lights). Now there’s a truly once in a lifetime shot!

Maybe you will become part of the National Geographic photographer team. The sky is the limit!

No matter what your motivation is for getting into travel photography, gaining more and more experience in this field will boost your overall photography skills. When we get out of our comfort zones and try new things, accomplishments and positive experiences are always a sure bet. Who’s knows, you may like it so much, you may decide to become a full-time travel photographer.

The world of travel photography is immense and the possibilities are limitless. You make what you want out of it. Some photographers make a very good living and actually have adventure-filled lives while doing travel photography. The competition is growing though, so it’s best to try to stand out and be unique to get noticed.

Traveling in itself is a life-changing experience. You get to meet new people, eat new food, learn new things. When you bring your camera and snap those great moments to reveal the things that you saw, it can open the eyes of others as well.

The world is a vast and truly inspiring place. Get out there and take photos!


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