What makes people want to travel? It’s the thought of going out there and observing the different cultures of the world, interacting with people from all walks of life, and of course, seeing new and exciting sights that you’ve never seen before.
Traveling gives you a sense of euphoria that you often get from experiencing the unknown, most especially when you start to travel when you’re still young. It offers a different kind of high that can be extremely addictive to people who shun the safe, the comfortable, and the familiar.
But as with anything in life, traveling costs money. There are many ways to make it more affordable, but at the end of the day, it’s still going to cost you something.
Now, it’s all well and good if you have the budget to support your travel goals, but once the bills start piling up, you’re left with no choice but to stay home and experience those amazing places you’ve been wanting to visit through stories, photos, and the occasional videos.
Pretty soon, you’re going to ask yourself, “Where can I get money to finance my travels?”
Believe it or not, the answer lies in your travel photos. If you know how to take a good photo, you can actually make money from traveling without having to do anything that you weren’t already doing in the first place. Not only can the extra income finance your future travels, but it can also allow you to afford some of the best travel cameras to help you continue your adventures and indulge your passion for photography.
If you want to make money while traveling and taking pictures, here are several ways to monetize your travel photos:
Do Freelance Work for Magazines and Newspapers
Grab the chance to create connections with magazines or newspapers that are on the lookout for freelance photographers. It may not be a stable job, but it can help you earn a good amount that you can add to your travel fund or savings.
Make sure to give them your best work, because if they find your work satisfactory, they’ll definitely contact you again for possible photography opportunities.
If you’re lucky, they may even finance your travels for you.
Find Some Clients
Some companies do not want to rely on stock images, so they hire freelance photographers and work with them on a retainer basis. Client-direct sales are great opportunities for steady cash, so look for these types of clients if you can. Advertising or media companies usually need a lot of custom photos for their marketing efforts, but some business may likely hire you for your services as well.
As you widen your network of connections, more clients will come to you. If they like your work, they will offer you a contract to produce photos specific to their needs. They may request for certain types of shots, or they might just ask you to take a bunch of photos from which they can pick a few select shots that will work best for their marketing campaigns.
Create a good travel photography portfolio so you can show them the strength of your skills.
Sell or License Your Photos in Stock Photography Websites
If you have a large collection of travel photos, you can also sell or license your photos through stock photography websites. Become a contributor for several stock photo providers and license them to make sure that all the credit and money goes straight to you.
The application process is relatively simple. You just go to the stock photo website you want to join, fill up the application, and submit samples of your best work. However, make sure to read the fine print to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible.
Join Photography Contests
Want to gain exposure and, of course, extra money? Try joining photo contests! Most of these contests do not require you to be a professional photographer, so if you aren’t one, you’re still eligible to enter. It’s not only a great way to earn some quick cash, but also a way to showcase your work and get constructive criticism from fellow photographers of equal or higher caliber. Some photography contests, like Adorama’s Top Photographer with Nigel Barker, can even give you the opportunity to show your work to well-known, highly seasoned pros like David Bergman, Emily Soto, and of course, Nigel Barker himself.
But the best part about entering these contests? The prize money usually goes up to hundreds or thousands of dollars! Not a bad deal for a travel lover who’s trying to earn money on the side, right?
Sell Your Prints
If people find your photos compelling, they will definitely pay for it. Sell prints of your images by creating your own website or by framing them and bringing them to art fairs and other places where art lovers go to purchase artwork. You can also try to sell them by having them displayed in coffee shops or restaurants.
You don’t need to have a professional background in photography to make money out of your travel photos, because your passion for traveling and taking pictures can take you anywhere you’d like to go.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.