Many people dream of the day they can quit their jobs, throw a camera in a bag and travel the world. We love to travel and experience new things. Taking pictures is a way to remember each step of the way. And if you can get paid for doing it as well, why not start today.
If traveling the world with a camera in hand has always been on your bucket list, the only way to make your dreams come true is to do it.
With many career paths, they can be time consuming and expensive. If you open up a retail store, you are pretty well locking yourself into a location.
But if you want to be a travel photographer, the only investment is camera equipment, a computer, and a website. Then you can create your images and load them up to your site for any type of promotion you choose.
Need some inspiration? Check out Stuck In Customs, one of the best travel photography sites online.
Build Your Portfolio
With WordPress, you can build a sophisticated web presence in no time. You can add to it anywhere in the world you have Internet access. And you can connect it up with many different sites to give you even more exposure – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube and SmugMug.
In years past, you had to connect with people on a personal or one to one level. Now everything can be done via online. If you are connected to editors through Twitter, you can communicate on your time. If they run across your Pinterest boards, they can evaluate you on their time. If you build a SmugMug portfolio and gain an incredible following, you’ll have more traffic than you can handle. And it will all be something you can build when you have the time – leaving you free to shoot on your time.
Some people say mailing lists are dead. I think they are still a great way of drawing exposure to your work IF you have an area of focus. If you know exactly who you want to connect with, build up a list and create a mailing campaign to introduce them to your work. Never plan a mailing without directing them back to your online portfolio – this will reduce the costs over time, yet let you connect with people that may have never heard of you.
Think working for magazines and newspapers is all but dead? Think again. There is still work for the creative photographer that can find new ways of captivating an audience. Magazines are starting up in specialty niches and if you’re willing to do a variety of things, you can build relationships up pretty quickly. Style has a lot to do with it. Develop your style and stick with it. Editors will understand what to expect and hire you to get results.
Dig Deeper: How To Get Photos Published In Magazines
Resource: Editorial Photographers
In Flight Magazines
What better way to reach out to the travel industry than through travel magazines. When people are in the air, they are traveling – statistics show about 42 percent is personal, 58 business. Airlines have a captive audience and a large number of people will pick up the inflight magazine to thumb through it. In addition being receptive to ideas about far away regions, you can also pitch ideas about regions closer to home. Because everywhere is a destination to them, your ideas can take many shapes and forms – just make sure you get the feel of the magazine and who they are targeting before you begin your pitch.
The world is now a global marketplace. Companies may have offices in several countries and interests in many more. When they put together annual reports, company magazines and online periodicals, they need photographs to go along with their information. Because they are looking for specifics, they aren’t just looking for stock – they need a photographer to physically head to each location to capture the image they are looking for. For many corporate account, it’s the luck of the draw. If you have no experience, they probably aren’t going to trust you with an account. Yet once you’ve built up a specialized portfolio, start looking at companies that service the regions of the world you wish to travel. Find out the marketing directors and start connecting. They too are on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. Find them and connect with them. Then let them take the ball once they view your portfolio and begin taking an interest. Remember, these assignments are things you should strive for over time.
While we’ve talked about the travel industry in a variety of ways, the one missing item is the travel industry itself. Niches like travel agents, hotel chains, cruise ships, tour providers, ski industry, boating industry and many more niches rely on making their products and services look great to attract people traveling in to experience a region. Depending on how large the company is and their outreach to their community, they require an abundance of photographs to capture the essence of every season, every mood. Start by targeting places within your own community to build a reputation. Then reach to the locations you desire the most.
While the travel industry as a whole is becoming harder to break in thanks to the number of amateurs providing their work for free, if you are an accredited photojournalist you can get projects that companies are willing to compensate. These trips are organized with a specific purpose in mind – make sure you read the contract to understand the full extent of the assignment, as some are looking solely for positive reviews.
Self Initiated Projects
Crowdfunding is the new way to bring your great ideas to life. If you have an idea for a documentary, social commentary, fine art or other project, plan it out and find a way to make it become a reality. If it is directly related to an organization, you may try and connect to help promote the idea in more than one way. You can also look to organizations for grants. Or simply check out one of the many growing crowdfunding communities online and list your project. The more committed you are to the idea, the more luck you will have.
Want to build up your credibility? Nothing says “expert” like a book. You can try to get your images into some of the top named books on the market today – think Foders and Lonely Planet. Or take the road many are today and self publish. The options are endless. Head to your local book store to check out the many ideas selling today. Then head over to Amazon and do a thorough search for your niche ideas. You’ll quickly find many areas of interest and be able to put your own ideas together.