Updated: Dec 14, 2022
Every photographer has the thought of becoming a travel photographer at one point or another. I have learned that most people give up this dream because they cant figure out how to make money from it. This was one of my biggest issues for the first portion of my career and now that I have learned from many years of mistakes, I hope to share some tricks with you guys!
Below are 8 ways to start making money and getting your name into the world as a beginning Travel Photographer.
Tip #1 - Sell stock photos
This is probably one of the easiest ways to make money from your travel photos (as long as you take decent pictures). It is such a quick and easy process to get started. All you have to do is pick the websites you would like to use. Here are some Ideas to check out.
There are hundreds of others to check out, these are a few that I have found super easy to use. Some of these sites you can get 20-40% commission from.
Tip #2 - Sell Directly to customers
If you have already created a website, it is very easy to add a shopping page for customers. I personally use Wix. Here you have the option to add a product as physical or digital. Meaning people can buy the digital form of your art, or if you are looking to send customers physical work you can do this as well. Wix makes things super simple to understand even if you know nothing about creating a website.
Another obvious way to sell directly to customers is face to face sales. Having good social interactions with new people is probably the best way to gain business. People have the chance to get to know you and learn about your business upfront and personal. Customers are more likely to buy from a small business if they get to know who they are buying products from.
Tip #3 - Create a Travel blog
Creating a travel blog sounds like a ton of work but actually gets easier as you get into a good routine. I use to think that I would never have the patients, motivation or have enough content to write about.
The first thing you need to remember is that it is going to take a lot of time an consistency to start making money. You are going to need to build up a decent portfolio to start getting ads and begin with affiliate marketing. This is something that I am still working to get into, but I know that this is my next goal with my blog.
Making money off of your past blog posts is a good way to keep up some passive income.
Tip #4 - Teach photography courses
Beginning photographers are always looking for new courses to learn how to be successful in their new journey. The next time you are working on a photography project, record yourself explaining how and why you are doing what you are doing. At the end of your video ad an option for your viewers to pay to learn more, buy a preset pack or even just to subscribe to your blog.
Tip #5 - Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is a great way to make money on your blog or social media account.
Here are three ways ways to get paid through affiliate marketing.
Pay per sale - This method you will get paid a percentage of each sale that happens through your link.
Pay per lead - This is a more complex way, This way you will have to convince the buyer to complete a desired action for example, filling out a contact form, ordering a trial product, subscribing to a newsletter or downloading software.
Pay per click - One of the easiest ways to generate money AS LONG AS YOU HAVE A LARGE AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC TO YOUR ACCOUNT. With this method you get paid anytime someone clicks on the link given to you. You have to be careful with this method because it will take people away from your site and transfer them to the merchants site.
Tip #6 - Start a Youtube Channel
This is a great way for people to get to know who you are and get use to associating your face with your business. There are a lot of ways that you can make money on Youtube such as, selling your product, creating sponsored content, and getting video ads.
Tip #7 - Work with big companies
You may doubt your abilities and content to be able to work with big companies, but what's the harm in trying? If you want to start partnering with bigger companies you have to be completely committed to emailing EVERY company you know and having an EXACT plan of what you are going to say and how you want to present yourself. This is going to take a lot of work, but once you get a strategy nailed down you can easily send out a hundred emails at a time. One last tip with this is to email a direct person and not just the main company email. You are much less likely to get lost in their inbox.
Tip # 8 - Magazines
As a Travel Photographer we are constantly taking these incredible photos only for them to sit on our computers, only being seen by a handful of people. Now, getting published in magazines usually doesn't pay much, if at all. BUT! It gives you great exposure. Once you are published into magazines you can use it as vantage points when attempting to make other deals in the future.