Do You Have To Travel To Be A Travel Photographer?

Ahh, the life of a travel photographer. Every morning you wake up in a new and exotic place. You can travel weeks at a time, or take a break and spend some time learning about one area in detail. You can go to amazing places half way around the world, and you can visit places where very few people have walked before.

Who wouldn’t want that lifestyle?

Statistics show travel is the number one item on most people’s wish lists. They dream about the day they can take off and enjoy experiencing new things. Yet for most people, that dream never becomes reality.

“I have kids and I can’t disrupt their schedules.”
“I want to travel but my spouse doesn’t.”
“I don’t have the money to travel.”

Yep, there are dozens of ways to justify not jumping at the chance to travel.

And for many people that dream of the day they will set out on their journeys, they also have another dream – to get paid while traveling too.

Imagine photographing every exotic port you pull into, and being able to quickly sell the best images from the trip. Not only could you travel where and when you want, but you’d get paid for it too. Life can’t get any better than that.

If your dreams have included something like I’ve just described, you’ve probably shelved them to the back of your mind, waiting for the day to come.

Why wait?

Instead, head out now and prove you have what it takes to be a travel photographer, right from the comfort of your own home.

No matter where you are, what community you live in, you probably have some level of tourism right in your own neighborhood.

Right here in Denver, we have the Rocky Mountains a 30 minute drive from the heart of town. Millions of people come here every year to ski, hike, ride, and enjoy the crisp air and gorgeous views.

And because of that, there are also many magazines, books and online resources that cater to people that live here, visit here, and love playing in the Rocky Mountains.

Find The Resources

Whether it’s a magazine, publication, or online resource, if a source needs images, they will list out their requirements and qualifications.

Start a folder and fill it with websites and information on how you submit. Then read through their articles, look at their photographs, and go back to as many editions as you can to become more familiar with their style.

You should never jump in and start submitting. Instead, take the time to understand their audience, and only then start submitting your best work that fits with what they are looking for.

Start Connecting

When you have contact information and web addresses, you’ll also find editor and publisher names. Keep these close at hand, and contact them directly when you have an idea.

While you never want to bug them, you should begin establishing a relationship with them early on. Do they have a LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook account? Can you jump in and end up on their radar through social media?

Today is easier than ever to connect. You just have to be patient, and keep trying.

Keep With It

Don’t give up after the first try. If you ever listen to interviews or read biographies of the top names in every industry, you know that the only the way to the top is persistence.

You may be able to sell your very first image. Or it may take 10 months. If this is your passion, and you really want to do it, don’t give up.

If one says no, ask another. You’ll eventually find the right photograph, for the right person, for the right job.


Now that you have credentials with your name, and have proven yourself as a publishable photographer, start expanding. How can you travel 500 miles away, and be compensated for it in the process? 1000 miles? Half way around the world?

Once you start building up your portfolio, and have some pull within the industry, it will be easier to gain additional assignments. It will also give you a boost with those around you that may have been skeptical of your passion before. For example, if your spouse doesn’t like putting money into travel, may he or she will be more open to the idea if you head out on assignment, and get paid for the trip.

3 thoughts on “Do You Have To Travel To Be A Travel Photographer?”

  1. Lori,

    Is there any way to narrow the focus of my website without ruining it ?

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    My site includes 36 pages but only receives about 38 +- visitors /day.

    • John

      Alexa may say that is your visitor, but is that who you want visiting? Sit down and come up with your ideal customer. The more demographics the better. Then start creating content based around who those people are. The more targeted you become, the more you will attract your ideal client. Also, if you really concentrate on creating content through a blog, you can focus in on a variety of “perfect clients”. The more you can define them, the better you can reach out to them. Don’t focus so much on stats at this point. Instead, really focus in on developing a site and content that can attract who you want coming to your site.

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