Do you enjoy traveling and remembering the places you visit? Do you like sharing those memorable moments with people? If your answer is affirmative to these questions, you might be destined to become a travel photographer. If this is something you’ve always dreamed about, follow the steps below to become a professional travel photographer and earn from it.
Set Your Goals
Before setting out to travel the world snapping photos, you must set your goals. First, decide which types of images interest you most and can also attract viewers. Next, decide whether you want to work as a freelancer and create a photo gallery or work with a publication agency. Lastly, work on your travel and equipment budget.
Take a Course In Photography
Taking professional photographs isn’t as simple as you might think. A lot goes into producing high-quality photos and even edit them. Though you can teach yourself to take photographs using the many available online resources, it pays to take a course.
When you enroll in a course, experienced professionals will mentor you and advise you on which niches are profitable. They will also help you choose the best photography equipment. You can get travel photography courses from KelbyOne, CreativeLive, Udemy, and YouTube, among others.
Go For an Internship
Once you complete a photography course, you need an internship opportunity to hone your skills. Studying under a professional photographer will provide you valuable experience that can help you choose your subjects and take stunning photos. For photography internships, visit Internships.com.
Pick a Photography Niche
For you to be more productive, you must narrow down to a particular niche. Being a jack of all trades can lead to burnout and poor sales. Picking a niche is as easy as finding your main interest. You can focus on architecture, food, cultural events and landmarks, art, people, wildlife, natural wonders, or landscapes.
If you have the energy, you can combine a few of those interests, but it’s advisable to pick the one that interests you most. Even after picking a niche, it’s still imperative to focus on a specific realm, aesthetic, technique, or subject matter so you can tell a story with your photography.
Purchase Photography Equipment
With the help of a mentor, you can buy all the pieces of equipment and accessories you need for your work. Always have a high-quality camera with high resolution. Preferably, you should have compact and waterproof cameras. Most professional photographers prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8, Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, and Fujifilm X-T2. Also, get high-quality accessories like tripods, drones, bags, etc.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Before applying for a passport to travel out of your country, practice within your country until you are satisfied you can do a good job. Photography is an art that needs practice. Do not get discouraged when your first few shots aren’t impressive. The more photos you take, the better they will become.
Ask friends and family to review your photos and make suggestions. You can also study other photographers to see what they are doing. Pick photographers in your niche and try to mimic them. Photographers like Maggie Steber, Blake Gordon, Stephanie Sinclair, Palani Mohan, and Paul Nicklen can inspire you.
Travel and Take Photos
After training, completing your internship, buying equipment, and practicing, you are now ready to travel and start snapping. Choose exotic destinations that can draw viewers’ attention. Once you take the photos, you can promote them through your blog or online portfolio.
You can also use your social media profiles to promote your photos and participate in photography contests. You can earn money by selling the prints, posting your shots on stock image websites, or submitting them to lifestyle and travel magazines.
Being a travel photographer is not a difficult thing. It only takes hard work, passion and dedication. With the right knowledge, practise and consistency, you can become one of the best travel photographer in the world.