Now, there are plenty of awesome jobs out there, but none can quite match ‘travel photographer’ for all-around cool. Getting paid as you travel the world, taking photographs of breathtaking scenery and local cultures? For sure, the life would be sweet. The question is: is it even possible to have such an exciting life? The answer is, yes, of course, it is, but it’s not easy. Below, we take a look at five golden rules you’ll need to follow. Do that, and with a pinch of luck, it might just be possible.
Don’t Expect to Get Paid
Nobody enters the photography profession and gets paid a handsome wage from their very first shot. The world doesn’t work that way, especially not now, when there are millions of people taking photos across the world for free every day. If you want to one day be paid for your work, you’ll need to start your journey full in the knowledge that it might never happen. Every paid photographer began their journey as a labour of love. Do it for the passion. The money may or may not follow.
Top Up Your Skills
Anybody can point a camera and push click. OK, we’re not completely serious: there’s more to the art than hitting a button. However, it’s true that most of the magic happens in the editing studio after the photograph has been taken. If this is your weak spot, sign up for advanced Photoshop training classes and get a thorough grounding in this aspect of the craft. With your new skills in place, you’ll be able to produce your best work yet; and more importantly, work that is significantly better than all those camera phone snappers.
If you’re waiting for National Geographic to call you up and offer to buy one of your prints, you’re going to be waiting a long time. That just doesn’t happen. If you want to make it as a travel photographer, you’re going to need to become a self-starter. Set up social media pages for your work, and then slowly build a list of followers. You should also send your best shots to relevant magazines; if they’re good enough, there’ll eventually be bought and seen by thousands of people!
Find Your Story
Think of how many people like to take photographs. And now think of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. If you’re trying to find a buyer for your expert snap of the Empire State Building, then you’ll need all the luck in the world: there’s no angle that hasn’t been shot before. Instead, find new stories, new places and people to photograph. Photography is an art, and art is about telling a story. Find yours.
Only the most committed make it as successful travel photographers. It’s not so much a job as it is a lifestyle. Plan to travel far and often, pack your camera, and seek out the lesser known parts of the world. If you go deep enough, you’ll come out with some photographs that magazines will love.