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Money Making Travel Photography

Discover the world of stock travel photography Story and photos by Great Art Studios

Imagine that you're standing at a magazine rack flipping through the pages of a travel or general interest magazine? What is that first thing that catches your eye in every magazine? What grabs your interest? Of course! It's the photos!




That's because the eye generally gravitates to color first and then to the black and white words on the page. The images that truly capture your attention are the photos that tell a complete story. Story telling images are valuable for many reasons, but to the traveler they could be worth more than memories.


The Stock Photography business needs your photos to stay in business. Stock Photography is creating photos that sit in a library until someone needs that image for an untold number of possible uses. A stock photo can be used for wallpaper on a computer screen for $5 or for a double truck ad in a national magazine for $7K and everything in between.


The Internet is packed with Stock Photo Companies. All have slightly different procedures to submit images, but they all need well composed, in focus, colorful story telling photos. Successful stock photography shooters can make fifty to one hundred thousand dollars per year. They travel to the same places you do, but instead of returning with just snapshots and selfies they return with photography worth real money.



The successful travel photographer has two important jobs while seeing the world: one is to enjoy the traveling as much as possible and the other is to create salable images. The successful travel photographer has an entire bags of tricks that place him or her at the right location at the right time to capture the easy images. The successful travel photographer never sleeps in and is always outside at sunset.

The successful travel photographer knows that the Stock Photography business is a numbers game and with new digital cameras there is no excuse not to shoot 1000s of images on a single trip. The successful travel photographer knows that photos with people sell 20 times more than those without and everyone in the photo needs to sign a release.

There is a rule of thumb about the money to be made in Stock Photography. There is an astronomical chance that just one photo could make some money, but in the real world it breaks down to earning $1 per year year for every photo in the system. Ten thousand photos should bring in $10,000 per year and so on.



On any trip there's an entire world jammed packed with opportunities for great photography. Any trip either across the globe or across town can lead to storytelling photos to be captured. What are the keys to turning snapshots into an airline ticket? How can another photo of the Eiffel Tower pay for a week at the Ritz? The simple truth is that you have to start truly looking at the world instead of just existing in it and following a few rules to improve your photography. It is possible for even an untrained photographer to quickly learn how to take top quality money making pictures.


Even photos taken with a smart phone may be good enough for stock photos sales, but to compete with existing professional photographers your smart phone probably won't cut it. There may indeed be stock photo agencies that will take your smart phone photos, noting today in this digital world is an impossibility. If you do want to compete at the highest level, then a 35mm SLR digital camera is the baseline to start with. Camera manufacturers bring out a new model camera almost hourly, so there are plenty to chose from. There is a model for every price range from $500 to $20K. As the lure of big money increases, there are other tools to buy as in extra lenses (a 20mm to 300mm zoom might cover all your needs), filters, tripod and even a drone may be in your future.


Of course, there's more to taking salable photos than just arming yourself with the right equipment. There is also the philosophy of photography that consists of more then just snapping the shutter. Study the following techniques and start creating photos on your next vacation that might just generate income that could possible pay for all your vacations to come.



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