How to Start Your Journey in Travel Photography
Photography is an art loved and cherished by many people, and whether it’s social media, blogs, newspapers, journals or advertisements, photographs play a key role in our society. But travel photography can be tricky to break into, and heading out on your travels unfunded can be financially draining too. That being said, travel photography is also a wonderfully rewarding career option. Not only will you have the chance to see your photos in a range of publications – from offline travel catalogues to online blogs – but you will also be able to explore the world as well. You will get the opportunity to experience the places that some people only dream of. With this in mind, here are a few of the ways that you can start your journey into the professional world of travel photography!
Do a Photography Course
Even if you have been a hobbying photographer for years, taking a course in travel and tourism or photography will be hugely beneficial for you. Professionally accredited courses will give you the knowledge that you need to really get a good grip on the industry, and if you really love photography then it should be fun as well!
Start Planning a Practice trip
The best way to learn is always through practice. You need to make a few mistakes before you can fully take flight in your career. This means taking mini self-funded trips abroad to take photographs! Take a look at a few things that you need to consider during this process:
- Destination: Where is it that you want to go on your practice excursion? Do you want to specialise in wildlife or landscape photography? Whatever it is that you want to photograph, make sure that you factor it into your choice of destination too!
- Plan in advance: Make sure that you rigorously plan your trip. Make use of cheap Humberside Airport parking deals, create an extensive packing list, get all of your equipment together and book any accomodation in advance. This will help to minimise the risk of anything going wrong during your practice trip!
- Get insurance: Traveling around the globe with lots of expensive camera gear is a risky business. Things can get broken, lost or even stolen. Make sure that you get insurance on your equipment before you go.
Set Up a Website/Portfolio
Once you have been on a course and gone on a few practice trips it may be time to start building your professional portfolio! In the modern era, portfolios are often digitised, meaning that you will likely want to start setting up your own website! The most common platforms for this include WordPress and Drupal. You can upload your course qualification, as well as the photos that you have taken on your practice travels. This gives you a professional and comprehensive place to direct potential clients to.
Get Going with a Niche
Having a niche can be really important for your brand identity. As a traveling photographer, you will most likely be your own brand, and having a particular area of specialism will help to attract clients. Businesses are a lot more likely to hire someone who has knowledge in their specific field than those with broad niches. From travel, fashion and wildlife photography, to advertorial, extreme sports and landscape photography, there are loads of options to choose from. Whichever niche you decide on, make sure you have the right equipment. For example, to take photos of extreme sports you might need a GoPro to get right in on the action, or for beautiful aerial shots of landscapes you would need something like this DJI FPV drone. Having the right equipment will make your job ten times easier.
Getting Your Photos Out there
Having an online portfolio is a great start, but there is no point in uploading photos to your site if they are not getting in front of people’s eyes! There may be a certain amount of outreach involved here, but approaching online blogs and magazines with your photos is a great place to start. You will also need to set up individual social platforms in order to share your imagery, as well as using photo circulation and stock photo sites too. Getting your photos out there will increase the chances of them being used and re-circulated, and this will help to catch new clients.
Land Yourself a Few Clients
Once you have gone through a few of these steps, you should be able to start landing a few clients. Make sure that you look for people who may be in need of your services, then give them a call or an email promoting your services. Include links to your portfolio as well as your contact information. It can be a bit of a snowball effect from here on in. Once you land a few good clients, a lot more of them will want to follow suite! Make sure that you regularly update your portfolio with new jobs, clients and experience!
There are so many things to consider on your road to becoming a travel photographer, but this guide should get you started. Ultimately, it is not an easy process, and there will be hitches along the road, but those who truly love the subject will persevere! So keep going, enroll on a photography course, go on practice trips, set up a website and get a good niche. Make sure that you get those photos circulating and a land your first few clients too! You’ll be a fully fledged travel photographer before you know it!