How to make money from travel photos
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How to Make Money from Travel Photo

With the rise of social media, travel photos have become a lucrative source of income for many people. The only thing you’re going to need is a camera and a good eye for composition. Once you have taken a stunning photograph during your trip, there is no reason you should not try to make some cash off of it. Wondering how to make money from travel photography? You’re on the right page.

Once you find out how to sell your travel photos, you can open up a whole new world of possibilities. Some methods will be easier than others, while some will make you cash more quickly. No matter if you are an amateur or a professional photographer, you will definitely find this article informative.

How to Make Money from Travel Photos?

There are many ways that you can make money from your travel photos, and every method has its own benefits. The most common ways to do this is through uploading stock photos, directly licensing photos, doing client shoots, selling your photos to magazines, offering prints, and working with brands, among many others.

There is no definite rule as to which method works best, but the best way to make money from your photos is to diversify your sources of income. If you are able to upload your photos to multiple websites and storefronts, you will have a chance to make even more money.

Generally, your income will depend on what level of photography you want to get involved in and how much time you want to put into your craft. 

By now, you may be wondering: do travel photographers make money? The answer is a resounding yes. We’ve rounded up some platforms where you can sell photos and the possible income you can get below.

PlatformPossible income
iStock25-45 cents per image
ShopifyAt least $50 per print
Alamy$20 to $500
Shutterstock20% to 30% of license cost, $1.88 for every on-demand image download
Patreon$2, $5, $10, $25, or $100 for every Patron 
Getty Images$125 to $350 per day

Meanwhile, here are some travel magazines and how much they charge for photos.

Magazine/PublicationPossible income
Condé Nast (Vogue, GQ, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired and Architectural Digest) $2,000
Bon Appetit$1,500
Mashable$450
Dazed and Confused$100 to $130
CNN$250 (10 images slideshow)
New York Times$250
National Geographic$655 per assignment
The Guardian$360 (6 images)
Wired$500 per day
Associated Press$250 per assignment
Culture Trip$250 per day

5 Ways to Sell Travel Photos

We’ve gathered some methods you can try to make money from your travel photos.

1. Sell your photos. This is the most popular way to make money from your travel photos. 

You have two choices here. First, you can sell your photos to a stock agency. Second, you can sell your photos to magazines. 

Let’s discuss how to make money by selling your photos to a stock agency first. 

A stock agency is a company that sells your photos to different entities. Before you can do this, you need to sign up to be a contributor on a stock photo website. There are plenty of websites that have different packages, and it is up to you to pick the one that will work for you.

Prepare to receive 20-60% of the sale price as your commission. This will increase as you sell more photos. You can even get bonuses. The photos are sold in different sizes and resolutions, which is why you will receive a different amount of money for each sale. 

The websites that pay the most are the ones that require advanced photography skills. These sites tend to sell photos to large businesses, so you will get more profit. The downside to these sites is that you have to go through more hoops to get approved.

Don’t think selling your travel photos to a stock agency is for you? You can try your luck in selling your photos to magazines. 

Magazines will pay you upfront and also offer you exposure. The best thing about this method is that you are not required to sign up to any website or anything like that.

All you have to do is find out how much money you can make from travel blogging by asking magazines how much they are willing to pay you for your photos. This could be as simple as sending them an email or calling them. Make sure to be nice about it. You can even offer pro-bono work at first (but only at first!).

If you are going to go this route, you need to build a solid photo portfolio. A photo portfolio is a collection of your best photos that you can show to editors in the hopes of getting published.

2. Make products, both physical and digital. One of the ultimate ways to monetize your travel photos is to make products. There are no restrictions when it comes to selling travel photos on the internet. You can either make physical or digital goods. 

However, keep in mind that if you come off as more professional, it is recommended to set up an e-commerce website. This is not too difficult and is even a good practice if you want to start a full-time travel photography career. Some platforms you can use include:

·      Behance

·      Wix

·      Weebly

·      WordPress

·      Format

·      Shopify

One of the major products you can sell is prints. You’d be surprised at how many people across the world will want to hang up your photos on their walls. 

Another physical product you can sell is a photo book. One way to make this is to combine all the photos you took in one place, and make a story through it.  ​​One of the best examples of photo books is Mihaela Noroc’s The Atlas of Beauty, where she photographed women across the world to prove that beauty has no bounds.

Another way to sell your travel photos is through NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens – the art of the future. For this method, you’d have to upload your photo as an NFT on any of these platforms:

Travel photographer Marco Bottigelli blended his favorite travel photos to create surreal, intriguing, and beautiful images that he sold as NFTs. His first series entitled “Wanderlust” was sold to collectors in the first two weeks of their publication for 2 Ethereum, which amounts to over $7,000.

“Photography still occupies a small niche in the NFT market space. In situations such as this, you must decide whether to remain a spectator waiting for the interest to increase, or invest your time and resources on being a pioneer of a movement,” he shared in an interview with Digital Camera World.

When selling any of your photos as a digital or physical product, the key is marketing. After all, your work won’t get sold if you just sit around doing nothing after publishing it online.

Don’t simply focus on spreading the word on your website. Make sure to consistently post about it on your Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter. Also tap other platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Etsy, eBay, and Reddit. 

3.    Become an affiliate. If you want to travel a lot, you may want to consider becoming an affiliate for a travel or photography-related brand.

Affiliate programs are usually given by brands that offer various products. This can be anything from a smartphone app, to a piece of equipment.

Usually, a brand will pay you a commission on any sales that you introduce to them. This commission can be as high as 50%.

Travel blogger Michelle from Making Sense of Cents shared that she earned a whopping $57,228 on affiliate marketing – that’s over half her blogging revenue in 2018.  

4.    Make a Patreon. Another way to make money from travel photos is to register on Patreon. This is a website that helps artists and photographers make a living.

The website allows your viewers to pledge a certain amount of money for each piece of work that you upload. It is not strictly a photography website, but it does have a lot of travel photographers and bloggers as users.

 5. Leverage the power of Instagram. With over 1 billion active users per month, the power of Instagram cannot be understated, especially for travel photographers like you. 

You’d be surprised at how powerful Instagram can be in serving as a gateway for people to discover your page. As much as possible, try to build a community by posting shareable content consistently, using the right hashtags, and talking to other travel bloggers and photographers. 

Once you start to gain traction, you can share your physical and digital products with your followers. 

Another way to make money through Instagram is by posting Sponsored posts. Once your followers increase, companies will be willing to pay you to promote their products. This can be a resort, an airline company, photography brand, and many more. You may even get invited to paid press trips – the golden ticket of travel blogging!

There have been tons of travel photographers who got discovered thanks to Instagram. For example, outdoor photographer Chris Burkard got his break in the said social media platform. With over 3.7 million followers, he has worked with brands such as Sony, Apple, Toyota, Patagonia, BBC, National Geographic Adventure, and many more. 

Tips for Selling Travel Photos

Keep these tips in mind if you are serious about how to make money from your travel photos.

·  Figure out your niche. When you first start out in travel photography, it is best to focus on a niche. This will allow you to create a portfolio filled with similar types of photos. This can also help you promote your website or your products. Your niche can either be fine art, food, mountains, luxury travel, national parks, resorts, or cityscapes, among many others.

·  Make a portfolio. If you want to make money from your photos, you will need a portfolio. This is not just another word for a website. This is a web page that will showcase your best work.

A portfolio is not just for selling your photos. It is also for showcasing your talents and skills. Keep in mind that photographers who are hired by magazines usually have a portfolio.

It is important to make sure that your portfolio looks appealing and professional. You want to make sure that your portfolio offers high-quality photos, and it should be easy to navigate.

·  Invest in your gear. When you first start your career in travel photography, it can be tempting to buy the cheapest camera in hopes of saving money. However, it is more important to invest in good lenses. If you do not have good lenses, the quality of your photos will be low.

You should also invest in a tripod and a laptop with editing software. This will allow you to get higher quality images.

With this in mind, it’s also important to remember that expensive equipment doesn’t always mean quality photos. Ultimately, it boils down to your skill.

·  Diversify your income sources. One of the best things about selling travel photos is that you can make a living by doing something that you love. However, you never know when a certain website or platform will close down their doors.

For this reason, it is best to diversify your income sources. This will ensure that you have a steady stream of income.

·  Build relationships with travel magazines and brands. Once you have a decent portfolio, it is time to start building relationships with travel magazines and brands. This is a great way to get paid to travel. However, this will not happen overnight.

If you want to make money from your travel photos, you need to build up relationships with the editors. This will allow you to get featured in their content and earn a fair amount of money for your work.

·  Join a photography community. Joining a photography community is a great way to network with other professionals. These communities are usually filled with professionals who want to give back to the community. This can be anything from social gatherings to workshops.

When you join these communities, you will be able to learn a lot of new skills and get feedback from other professionals.

·  Make a community online. Building a community online will allow you to share your work, while also making a profit. You can create a community centered around travel photography to make money from your photos.

There are so many ways you can build a community online. For example, you can establish a Discord page, a Facebook group, or an email list.

You must also grow your social media pages, especially Instagram and Tiktok. This will allow you to reach for people.

·  Reach out to other travel bloggers. Reach out to other travel bloggers and ask them if they need photos for their content. Many travel bloggers are always looking for photos and they are willing to pay you for your work.

·  Enter competitions. There are many photography competitions held all over the world. If you join these competitions, you can win awards and prizes. Additionally, many of these competitions will give you the opportunity to travel for free. Some popular travel photography competitions include:

 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest

 The Washington Post Travel Photo Contest

 The Global Travel and Tourism Partnership Travel Photo Competition

 Grand Circle Cruise Line Traveler Photo Contest

 Travel Photographer of the Year

 Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year Competition

 iPhone Photography Awards

·  Do your research. Although there is nothing wrong with being spontaneous, it is recommended to research before visiting any place. Reach out to locals, or read travel articles. This will help you learn about the best places to photograph in the area.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Still got questions about how to sell your travel photos? We’ve got some answers below.

How can I make money from my photos?

You can sell photos to magazines and stock agencies, sell prints, do workshops, and many more. As much as you can, diversify your income stream.

How do Instagram travel photos make money?

Good news awaits you because many travel bloggers are making a living by creating travel-related content on this platform. You can also sell your photos on Instagram, and even make money from ads. 

You can also use your Instagram to build your brand until you are ready to sell your photos on another platform.

If you sell prints on your e-commerce store, you can connect it to your business Instagram for easy checkout.

How do I get my travel photos published?

Reach out to travel magazines and brands. This can be done through a phone call, social media message, or email. You can also attend local travel meetups and events.

What can I do with my travel photos?

You can do whatever you want with your travel photos. You can post them to your travel blog, sell them on your site, or use them to build your brand.

How do I become a travel photographer?

The first thing you need to do is find a niche that you are interested in.

Then, start taking photos as soon as you can. You can start by taking photos of your everyday life. This will help you learn how to take better photos.

Once you have practiced enough, make a travel blog. You can use this blog to share your work and gain followers.

Another way to increase how much money can you make travel blogging is to grow your social media presence. This will allow you to reach a larger audience of potential customers.

How do you show art from travels?

When you take photos of museums, you can post them on your Instagram or your blog. However, it is important to credit the museum.

It is also a good idea to look at their policies regarding photography and filming. Many museums have policies in place to prevent any loss of income or damage to the museum. For example, many museums do not allow flash photography.

How do I store my vacation photos?

It is important to back up your photos. To do this, we recommend making a Cloud account, as well as purchasing a physical external hard drive.

How do I show off my photos?

You can sell your photos on your e-commerce store, create a video on YouTube, and make a blog, among many others.. You can also ask your community to share your photos on their social media pages.

How do I submit a photo to National Geographic?

Working with National Geographic is a big dream for many photographers.

The easiest way to get noticed by National Geographic is by submitting your photos to National Geographic Your Shot community on Instagram. instagram.com/natgeoyourshot. Simply use the the hashtag #YourShotPhotographer.

Who knows, you can become a National Geographic photographer in the future. When this happens, you will be paid around $400 to $655 per day on assignments.

How do I sell my photos to magazines?

First, you should start by reaching out to the magazines. This can be done through social media messages, emails, or phone calls. If they want to use your photos, they will contact you and ask you to sign an assignment contract. This contract will spell out the terms of the agreement, such as the payment.

You should know that payment is usually earned after the photos are published. Additionally, many magazines will ask you to sign an agreement stating that you own the copyright to the photo. If you do not own the copyright, you will not be paid at all.

How do photographers get noticed on Instagram?

The best way to get noticed is to gain followers. The more followers you have, the more likely you are to become successful. However, keep in mind to NEVER buy followers no matter how tempting it may sound.

That being said, there are other ways that you can get noticed. You can create good content consistently, and use hashtags to your advantage.

You should also schedule your posts. This will allow you to stay consistent.

Final Thoughts

Nowadays, anyone with a good camera can make some money from selling travel photos. You don’t have to be a professional to do it.

There are many different ways to make money from travel photography. However, making money as a travel photographer. Each method takes time, patience, and dedication. The best thing about selling travel photos is that it is a good way to make a living by doing what you love.

Now that you know how to make money from your travel photos, hit the road and start taking photos. You’re going to be amazed at the things you will see and the people you will meet in this pursuit.

Are you excited to finally try your luck in selling travel photos? Check out the rest of our articles for more information on how to turn your passion into a career. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for advice, and comment your thoughts below.

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