For many people, traveling for a living is a dream job. They get to see various countries and continents, as well as experience diverse countries, all while getting paid.
Such employment sounds great, but it isn’t all too common. More often than not, jobs that require travel are all about meetings, contract signings, and going home to a lonely hotel room late at night. The men and women who get to go to various places for their jobs never really get to see the wonders of the world.
There is, however, one job that does require that: travel photographer. But how does one become a travel photographer? Here are some advice and a few suggestions and tips.
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Jobs In Travel Photography
First things first, you need to know what companies need a travel photographer. Most of the time, travel photographers are freelance which, while gives you more freedom to choose where to go to, isn’t a surefire way of making money out of. Fortunately, there are a number of companies that require travel photographers and can offer a fixed income. These kinds include:
Travel magazines are the go-to companies to work for if you want to become a professional travel photographer. Each project they’ll give you will have you flying over to different continents, even in a span of a few days. Simultaneously, fashion magazines might also ask for the services of a travel photographer to shoot mind-blowing images of famous tourist spots that they can use for their own fashion editorials. Whichever type of publication you go for, just make sure that you form strong connections, because, in the publishing world, one job can easily lead to a new one in a snap.
- Airline Companies
Apart from travel magazines, airline companies are arguably the most in-need of travel photographers. They need to show the best images of each country they visit on their brochures and ad campaigns. This will include the urban areas where businessmen and women will have to visit for their own jobs and the more nature-bound ones that attract tourists. Who knows? If you work for one, you might even get to fly for free and gain new mileage.
- Government Tourism Organizations
Tourism is important for any government, and what better way to encourage such than travel photography. Although compared to other jobs, this may be a lot more limited in terms of the places you’ll travel to, you still get to enjoy shooting some of the most beautiful sights in various parts of the country. A country usually has several famous spots to lure tourists, and working for a government-led tourism organization will allow you to travel to all of them.
- Online Platforms
As the world gets more technological, the internet has become an integral part of any industry. It’s also opened up more opportunities for aspiring travel photographers. Several social media pages, particularly on Instagram and Facebook, rely heavily on posting and sharing outstanding shots of various destinations.
These businesses often hire in-house photographers to travel to these places for their own collection of original images. Furthermore, travel photography blogs have also become popular and lucrative business ventures. You can easily apply for one or collaborate with those who’ve founded successful blogs.
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The Best Blogs For Travel Photography
Speaking of blogs, in this day and age, they’ve become the most popular platform for travel photographers. In fact, some even chronicled their own journeys into becoming one in their own blogs.
Prominent bloggers have also become so successful that they’re now earning from their blogs as the primary source of their income. These are the websites to pay attention to if you want to become a professional yourself, so to help you out, here are some of the best travel photography blogs.
TravelFrek is run by Jeremy, a mixologist, who captures the very essences of the places he visits. His photo-essays depict what it means to live in the places he’s visited. From the dim-lighted streets of Paris at night to the blonde beaches in Phuket. Additionally, his own work has been published in The New York Times, USA Today, and National Geographic.
- Stuck In Customs
Despite its name, Stuck in Customs is a fun travel blog that captures city life in various countries. Trey Ratcliff, the founder of the blog and a professional travel photographer, has been to China, New Zealand, France and more, instilling the images of urban life in his several photos.
- Beers and Beans
Beers and Beans is a travel blog that’s all about having fun while you’re globe-trotting. Despite the hassles of going from one place to another, this website shows the various activities and adventures you can experience while traveling. They also give out tips, hints, and tricks when visiting specific countries. Their photos are unique, showing the many ways you can have fun while in a certain place.
- The Planet D
Oftentimes, you’d want to become a travel photographer because you want to experience the world’s natural wildlife. This is the exact reason why Dave and Deb of The Planet D also became travel photographers and opened their blog. Their own website is rich of wild animals, exotic lands, and amazing sights that only true travel photographers of their caliber can shoot. They’re all about having an exhilarating lifestyle full of adventure and challenge you do go for the same.
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Travel Photography Gear
As with any photographer job, you’ll need the right gear. Each part is vital in capturing the best images possible for any place in the world. Whether professionally or not, here is a list of travel photography gear to ensure that your shot is worthy to be seen around the world.
- Camera – the most important tool. Always make sure that before you travel, you’ve gotten used to how to hold and the weight of your camera.
- Waterproof Camera – If you also want to take snapshots underwater, a waterproof camera is essential. These can also act as spare cameras if something happens to your current gadget.
- Wide Angle Lens – These are for capturing wide open spaces or vast structures. They’re easy to put in and can ensure an all-around high-quality photo for the outcome.
- Drone – Drones are now extremely popular among travel photographers and videographers. They help capture images from a bird’s eye view, as well as including elements from miles away.
- 360 Camera – If you want to go for the classic panoramic image of mountains, deserts, oceans and more, a 360-degrees camera can easily do the trick. Similarly to wide-angle lenses, these gadgets can ensure an all-around high-quality image as well.
- Camera Strap – Better to be safe than sorry, so always connect your camera to strap that you can hang on your neck or tie to your wrist. This will decrease any chances of dropping and losing your gadget.
- Camera Bag – When you’re hiking to your destination or going on a boat ride to an island, keep your camera safe inside a bag. They don’t have to be as big as a backpack, just the right size for your gadgets and other small accessories.
- Tripod – A tripod steadies up your camera better than your own hands. This tool is perfect for capturing still images that are sure to be high-quality
- Wireless Remote – This is for controlling your camera when it’s high up in the sky with your drone. You can control its focus to capture whatever images you’ll suddenly find when the gadget is flying off in the air.
- Memory Cards – Another “better safe than sorry” tool is a memory card where you can store all the images you’ve captured during your trip. It’s best to have more than one in case these very small items get lost.
- Extra Batteries – It’s always a hassle to have to charge and wait for your camera to charge if it suddenly loses power in the middle of your trip. Always have spare batteries so that you’re shoot will remain uninterrupted.
- Charger – Before going on an adventure, make sure your camera and its batteries have enough juice in them for the entirety of your trip. A good tip is to always charge them right before your trip so they’ll be ready for as long as you want them to be.
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Travel Photography Tips
It’s exciting to become a travel photographer, but it can also get complicated. When you’re not familiar with the tasks at hand, you might make mistakes that are irreparable. In order to avoid this, here are a few travel photography tips to follow.
- Organize Your Trip – Whether a company is assigning you somewhere or it’s a trip you’ve planned on your own, organizing it will do wonders for your photography. You’ll know where to go, what time to go there, and capture the best images possible.
- Know Their Culture – Countries have different cultures and it’s best to understand them before going there. Always try to stay respectful of the customs of the people around you when you shoot.
- Understand Your Camera – Make sure you’re used to navigating your camera even before you start your trip. It’s a hassle to try to understand it when you’re already atop a mountain or in the middle of a dessert. You might also miss some good shots if you’re still figuring out how to use your gadget.
- Always Pack Spares And Extras – This can’t be stressed enough. As careful as you are, you never really know what might happen during your trip. It’s best to always pack spare and extras of everything (as long as they’re travel-sized) to ensure your shoot will go on smoothly despite any incident.
- Avoid Tourists – Most companies would want images without tourists shooting the same thing. Make a habit of waking up extra early before the site you’ll be shooting will be overrun by tourists.
- Use Different Angles – A place can look completely different from various angles. A photography principle is to always use different angles when you’re shooting. The winning image might just be from one that others haven’t tried before.
It takes a lot to become a travel photographer, but it’s not impossible, If this really is your dream job, prepare for it and become the best you can be, Who knows? Your images might become iconic and will be seen for years and years.
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