How you Can Make $2000 a Month as a Travel Photographer


Beautiful beaches, the sun setting over snow capped mountains, fresh flowers in the midst of a field as the sun sets behind a lake; sounds like some of the places you want to visit, right? Let me set a scene for you. You’re traveling through Cape Cod, snapping photos with that new camera you just bought yourself – because you love you iPhone, but there is nothing quite like a real photo – and you are having the time of your life. You stop for an early  morning latte after snapping the boats taking off into the horizon at the marina. You enjoy your coffee while sitting quietly with that new book from your summer reading list. Once you finish with that, you pack your belongings and head out to do a little shopping, eventually stopping for a glass of fresh white wine overlooking the water. As the sun begins to set, you begin taking more photos. The pink of the sky in the horizon. The orange clouds shooting out from above historic buildings with flower pots in the windowsills, the paint chipping in a way that can only be described as charming.

You are having the absolute time of your life. The only thing that makes this even better than it already is just happens to be the fact that this is what you do with your life – every single day. You’re a travel photographer. You don’t have to be a professional. All you have to do is know a little about photography and have yourself a marginally good camera, lens and capability. Oh, and you need some clients and some basic knowledge of how to market yourself so that you are cooler, more interesting and more mysterious to your clients. Imagine living your life on the road capturing beautiful photos and selling them to your clients to the tune of $2000 per month. That’s the life; and it’s completely possible.

Put Down the iPhone

Let’s get real from the start; you’re not taking public bathroom duckface selfies with your iPhone and making money. You’re not even taking beautiful photos of the gorgeous sunrise with your iPhone – or your little disposable camera. You need at least a nice camera with some special features. And you need to know how to use it. You need not be a professional photographer, but you have to know how to use your camera and how to make yourself relevant in the world of travel photography.

Get on Social Media

One of the best ways to find clients anymore is through the use of social media. You can do it; that Instagram account is going to show off your photos and it’s going to get you noticed if they are good enough. Additionally, social media allows you to tell your story, which means that you can make yourself sound even better and more interesting than you are, and that is what attracts clients. In the world of photography, travel photographer Brendan van Son explains that it’s not the best photographers in the world that are booking jobs. It’s the most interesting people with a basic camera talent. Show off and talk about your adventures, and watch what happens.

Find Some Clients

The way to make this kind of money via social media is through outreach. You’re going to need a variety of clients. You’ll need several that are willing to pay you every month for your photos so that you can create a great database and pay period – and so that all your eggs are not in one basket. The best way to do this is to contact some of the photo sites online that buy photos. Clients are available in a wide array of areas, and it’s up to you to find them. Several that are willing to pay a small monthly fee add up very quickly. You can check ads online, photo services and even with companies around where you live, such as car dealerships, hotels and local community centers in need of photos for their circulars.

Use Trades

Did you know that there are some hotels and locations out there that are happy to do some basic trades with travel photographers? Let’s say that you visit a small bed and breakfast in a touristy destination. You can speak to the hotel owners or managers and ask if they’d be willing to trade you a night or two at their hotel for some of your professional photographs. While not every hotel will embrace this option, you might be surprised how many might just do that and help you earn more passive income through savings. It’s important to remember that savings is the most important part of being a travel photographer. It’s essentially the same thing as earning money. If two or three of your photos earns you a free night in a $300 hotel, that’s $300 in earnings for you. It works out.


Another amazing source of income for travel photographers is through teaching. When a travel photographer is capable of teaching his skills to others on the road, they are willing to pay. What this means is that you earn money to continue doing what you love and what you excel at while others follow you around and listen to you guide them and share your secrets of the trade. This is a major source of income for many photographers, and that’s what makes it a great option for anyone with any photographic talent.

Work Hard

Being a travel photographer means working hard. It’s a fun job, sure, but it also means having your options open and always being on the lookout for a new venture. There are many sources of income out there and available to you, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off on looking for them. You have to keep your options open at all times and take as many amazing photographs as possible. You never know when a photo you took will be one that’s in high demand.

Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images


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