Travel Photography

Get Paid to Travel – 10 Tips From Travel Photographers

Travel photography jobs are not easy to come by, but anyone can get paid to travel and take photos. There are many ways to get paid to take pictures. Social media and stock photography are two of the most popular means.

Here are 10 tips from travel photographers about how to become a travel photographer.

Photo of a woman taking a photograph
© Kevin Landwer-Johan


10. Better Gear Doesn’t Always Mean Better Pictures

Don’t think that because you have a fancy camera you’ll be able to take compelling photos. This can be a real trap for new photographers who have upgraded from a phone camera.

These are great at making snapshots look okay. But they won’t produce the level of photography you’ll need to get paid to take photos.

Study your camera and become an expert at using it. Know how it works and how to control it. Read books, watch videos and take courses to bring your skill level to a place where you can get paid to take photos.

Travel photo of a temple
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

9. Find Clients Who Will Pay You Regularly

Travel photography jobs that come and go will likely make up the bulk of a travel photographer’s income. Finding one or two (or more) clients who want your photography on a regular basis will give you a good grounding.

Many times you’ll find you get paid to take pictures on a one-off basis. This type of income is helpful, but not as secure as having a few regular gigs to help pay the bills.

Knowing each month that you have a certain amount of income from a few different clients will help you plan better and build your business.

8.  Diversify Your Travel Photography Income Sources

Brainstorm ideas of how many different ways you can get paid to travel and take photos. There are many ways and means you can make use of your camera to enable you to live a travel photography lifestyle.

I have listed some of the most lucrative ways to earn money from travel photography in this article. There are many more.

Think about the contacts you have and the particular style of photographs you like to take. Work on your strengths and target your marketing efforts at industries that fit with these.

Doing a series of online searches will help you discover the variety of ways you can get paid to take pictures as you travel.

Photo of a backpacker standing next to a train
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

7.  Build Good Relationships With Travel Magazine Editors

Travel magazine editors are busy people. They love receiving great photos from freelance contributors.

There’s a lot of competition amongst travel photographers for the attention of editors. It’s easy to see why when these magazines pay well and will display your photos beautifully.

One way to get ahead of the competition is to build good relationships with the editors of travel magazines. Seek to make their jobs easier. Learn what they want and how they want it delivered and make sure you provide. They will love you for this.

Be friendly and conversational. Understand the culture of each magazine and how the editor likes things done. Travel publications can be one of the best ways to get paid and take photos.

Photo of a hotel room
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

6. Have a Strong Online Presence With Your Photography Business

Relying on Instagram will only get you so far. There are many people who make good money on this platform and many travel photographers who do not. Putting all your eggs into and Instagram basket sets you up potentially fail.

Get your presence as a serious photographer made known in as many places online as you can. Social media platforms are numerous and you need to be on as many of them as you can. Experient over time and figure out which ones are the most worthwhile for you.

Uploading videos to the web is a great way to build interest in what you are doing and will diversify your online presence beyond photos.

Writing a blog about your travel experiences is another great way to promote yourself and will in time bring in some income if you manage it well.

Photo of golden bells
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

5. Sell Hard Copy Prints of Your Travel Photographs

Print on demand websites makes it very easy to sell your favourite travel photos. Find one that provides you with a service that will send your prints anywhere in the world.

4. Upload Your Best Travel Photos to Online Stock Agencies

There are many online stock photography agencies that will market your photographs. Once they are uploaded all you need to do is receive your monthly payments from them.

This is a great way to get paid to take pictures. Passive income earned from selling your photos through stock photography agencies can mount up over time.

It makes good sense to spend a little time to upload your best photos to various websites. If they only reside on your hard drive you will not be earning any money from them.

When they are available online for purchase you have a new opportunity to get paid to travel and take photos.

Photo of a woman in a headpiece picking berries
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

3. Own the Best Laptop You Can for Editing Away From Home

You need more than a good camera if you are going to earn money from travel photography jobs. You also need to have the best laptop computer you can afford. As a travel photographer, you’ll need to edit on the go.

Photo processing software uses a lot of computer power. The higher quality your laptop is, the faster you’ll be able to work. Managing your images well and post-processing them properly is important.

2. Enter Travel Photography Competitions

There are many travel photography competitions online. When you enter them you can be up to win prize money sometimes.

Even if there’s no prize money offered you can earn the prestige of being a winner. Being able to advertise the number of photography competitions you have won is a good form of promotion.

Photo of a colorful cityscape
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

1. Market Your Travel Photography

Often the most successful photographers are not the ones who take the best photos. They are the ones who have learned to market themselves the best.

To be successful with travel photography jobs you need to promote what you do to the people who have the money to pay you.