How To Make Money From Travel Photography

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There is so many ways to follow your dreams to travel the world so I love this post from Sandra about making money with travel photography

The profession of a travel photographer seems like the dream. With all the hardships, there are people that have become exemplary in the field and proved that it is possible to make money by selling their travel photographs. Mikhail Dudarev and Galyna Andrushko are two of the most successful contributors on Depositphotos that shoot exclusive travel photographs.

Both photographers have shared valuable knowledge with us on what it takes to make it in the business. Consider these tips and advice to help you launch your business or make your hobby a source of a side income. 

Galyna’s insider tips to better travel photography

“You shouldn’t photograph nature the way you photograph models – it will be really difficult and really tiresome work. You should surround yourself with nature and when you reach an inner comfort and ease, you will ‘feel’ your shots as you see harmony of light and landscape. Maybe this just works for me, but it really is my secret.”

Image credit: kamchatka

Mikhail on motivation and inspiration

“It is very pleasant on a vacation, in a new city, to wake up at 9:30 and drink a cappuccino. Don’t be lazy. Grab your camera, explore new spots and catch the early morning light with a vivid sky! Don’t be lazy – climb the hill! There is another nice view through a green leaves!”

Image credit: mihtiander

Tips for better travel photography

1. Make the most of your equipment

The most common misconception with travel photography is that you need the latest and the most advanced gear to succeed. In reality, you need to make peace with what you can. If you have a DSLR camera, read your manual inside out and make sure you know your camera as if it is an extension of you. Remember - the camera doesn’t take the pictures, you do. 

Image credit: mihtiander

Mikhail on essential equipment:

“Completely equipped, my backpack weighs about 20 kg. I try to find compact solutions. Usually I take my tripod Mefoto with Canon 5d mark lll as the main camera with EF 16-35 f2.8 lens. Also I take Fuji X-T1 with 16 mm f1.4 for timelapses and city trips. The set of gear depends on the country and may include mask, fins, underwater housing, nodal point correction gear (for 360 degrees panoramas), laptop, wetsuit and couple of HDDs.”

2. Research and more research

Travel photography, as with many other genres of photography requires a little bit of knowledge. If you don’t do your research before going to a location, you might feel lost and unsure of what to photograph. Worst case scenario, you end up with photographs of the most cliche attractions. You need to be organized and a little systematic about this.

Image credit: kamchatka

Galina on her creative process:

“I just try to be at the right place at the right time and when I see the perfect shot, I go for it. I call this “natural reporting”. The post-processing stage is unlikely an artistic one, it’s more of a business process. But some of the other things I do include analysing demand, trends, and trying to meet the needs of clients and even surpass them.”

3. Look beyond the main attractions

That’s right. Don’t waste your time photographing the main attractions in the city. Chances are, there are already millions of photographs like this from the same viewpoints. What you want to do is capture the spirit of the location, the people and the general culture of the place. This brings us to the next point. 

Image credit: kamchatka

4. Pay attention to details

As you’re exploring a city, pay attention to the little things. What people wear, how they move, the food they eat and the sights that make the city unique. When you open your eyes to these little things, you’ll be more likely to capture something unusual and eye catching. 

Image credit: kamchatka

5. Working towards the big goal

The ideal outcome of your endeavours is that you put together an excellent online portfolio. Stock photography websites are always eager to accept travel photography so work towards being excellent. Starting a portfolio on Depositphotos is easy, simply sign up and start uploading. 

Image credit: mihtiander

6. Trendy topics to consider

Familiarize yourself with visual trends that are going to define the coming year. For example, drone photography is on the rise so if your budget permits, it’s yet another direction to consider. Drone photography really does provide a fresh perspective and will be wildly popular with clients.

Image credit: mihtiander

7. Selling mobile photographs

Even if you don’t have a DSLR, it is still possible to start making money with mobile photographs so don’t get disheartened if you don’t have one. Travel photography can become even more fun at the convenience of your mobile phone. Use Clashot to upload your pictures and start selling your mobile photography.

Image credit: kamchatka

Ready to get started?

If travel photography feels like something you absolutely have to do and maybe even turn it into a career, join Depositphotos or Clashot and start uploading your work. With either option, your possibilities are endless. All you have to do is commit. 

Sandra Iakovleva is an aspiring artist, photographer and currently blogger at She studied set design at the University of Arts London and transitioned into copywriting when she found her passion. She has a way of tailoring her writing to reflect her artistic background and hopes that you will find our publication and inspiring and creative hub to turn to.

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