One of the really cool things about being a travel photographer in the age of the internet is that you have multiple sources you can really source your income from. You have the Amazon affiliate strategy, which is really just giving back to a community of other passionate photographers by selling them the gear you have had great experiences with.
Then you have stock photos that operate in a very similar manner as novels do in that they pay you royalties per a sell you make with that photo. You can literally build an entire income off this alone with enough persistence. Just remember this is a slow burn and can take time to really manifest itself.
How can you make money right this instant though? Is that not what we all want after all?
The answer is by sourcing high end clients.
Are you going to Vietnam? Traveling throughout South America?
You can reach out to travel bloggers and actually pitch them if they want new and exciting photos of different places by a professional photographer. Many of them might say yes and will pay you much more than what you would get from the stock photos. The drawback is that you will not gain any royalties off these photos you sell to them.
They are willing to pay a higher rate than what they would with stock photos because they are exclusive photos for them specifically.
This can be a great arrangement and could potentially really widen what kind of adventure you are about to go on when it comes to being a traveler in general. The next step is to reach out to bigger authority websites that are not just travel bloggers. These websites like TripAdvisor for instance are often looking for contributors, and a quick email might get you connected to the right people who happen to be looking for something.
You will have to be flexible in this regard to travel to where they need you, so it is not as freedom-filling as just wandering around and selling stock photos. However, you will likely make more income with this method.
Also if you specialize in a certain type of photography you will be able to charge more than if you just offered anything. For example, an extreme water sports photographer is going to make a whole lot more money than the generalist photographer showing photos from beaches to family portraits.
Keep that in mind as you go about building your travel photography business. Specialization creates a much higher income level potential because people want to buy services that are specifically crafted to them – this goes with any business and that includes travel photography!
How do you find these people?
Simple. All you need to do is open up Google and start searching for different keywords that would be related to what companies you want to pitch. Likewise, walk through your local bookstore looking at various travel guides. See who published what, then reach out ot those publishers if you happen to be heading into that area and see if they want more content there. Or just ask them if they are looking for photo content in another area and travel there!
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