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Becoming a Professional and Highly-Paid Travel Photographer

Many people enthusiastically observe the life and work of famous travel photographers and want to replicate their success. It looks very attractive because you can do what you love and at the same time travel, and explore beautiful new places. This is true because you get a lot of pleasure from the photos of beautiful landscapes and nature in different countries. Nevertheless, this genre is considered one of the most difficult and it’s not just a matter of getting the frame right, but also of image processing. So many beginner photographers have difficulty with Adobe software. Let’s note right away that a free Lightroom alternative can be found in an informative and interesting article on Skylum’s blog.

view of many hotair balloon mountains and trees

In the following material, we have gathered for you the most valuable and useful tips that will help you become a professional and highly-paid travel photographer faster. Not only will you have to improve your skills, but you will also have to define your style. Remember that nothing is impossible and you should never give up at the beginning of your journey because of small setbacks or difficulties.

Decide if this type is right for you

Travel photography is a fairly broad genre. So what does professional work look like? 

  • You’ve probably noticed the incredible shots of landscapes, unusual portraits of locals, and aesthetically pleasing food photos. Be inspired by the work that professional photographers post on their blogs. 
  • Don’t forget that you will have to spend a lot of time editing images. This is a very creative job that requires diligence. If your budget is limited and you can’t afford expensive subscriptions, look for free photo editing software like Lightroom or Photoshop.
  • If you love to travel, enthusiastically await each new flight, and are comfortable with the constant life on the road, then this genre of photography is for you. 
  • Remember that you have to face a lot of challenges here. You must always be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions, the aggression of locals, and long travels. 
  • Remember that traveling takes a lot of energy. A travel photographer must be patient and flexible, while always working well with the camera.

Expand your range of knowledge and skills

It’s important to keep improving yourself and acquire new knowledge and skills in photography. Even if you think you know absolutely everything, you don’t have to stop there. If you want to become a professional travel photographer you should be perfect for portraits, landscapes, and various street scenes. The more techniques you master, the better. Remember that you are not just a photographer, but a true artist of real life.

If you’re starting with the basics, we recommend enrolling in a photography course for beginners and mastering editing at the same time. Many instructors recommend using Lightroom, but it will take a lot of time to master it. There are other options, which are also cheaper. For example, Luminar Neo, which is based on AI, is popular right now. This allows you to spend less time learning complex tools. You can also try other applications to find the best free Lightroom alternative.

skogafoss waterfall iceland

Determine your main niche

Unfortunately, there is a lot of competition in this business. To get noticed and appreciated, you have to make sure you stand out among other travel photographers. Every travel photographer reflects their vision of the world in photography. All you need to do is create a unique style that will set you apart from the competition. You can focus on one particular technique and theme. Ask yourself a simple question about what you enjoy photographing most. If you adore your work, that’s already a big part of success.

Create a portfolio of your best shots

Create either an online portfolio or a stylish print version. Collect all your best shots from your travels. Don’t forget to retouch your photos. You can use free alternatives to Lightroom that work with AI, for example, Luminar Neo. Trust me, clients won’t notice the difference in which software you edit. The most important thing is a quality result.

A portfolio represents the visual quality of your photos that a client can expect from you. Based on verbal descriptions of your skill alone, it’s hard to get good work. That’s why you need to put your whole soul into the portfolio. If you can’t invest enough money to travel at first, start locally. Study the photos that customers most often demand. When you start to build a reputation specifically as a travel photographer, your field of work will expand noticeably. This is how you can earn a good reputation and get more and more requests.

Look for opportunities where you travel

You can always offer your services to foreign travel companies. Everyone in the travel industry needs quality photos to attract clients, so this is your chance. Some companies prefer to cooperate permanently with one person who takes high-quality and beautiful photos. Also, clients often place orders for certain types of photos. If you are going on a long trip, explore the possibilities of that country. A classy picture in a travel brochure shows that such a company is willing to pay a lot for the services of a photographer.

Take pictures and write additional content

Keep in mind, it’s the quality of content that determines a lot. Selling pictures is no easy task, so you need to make them really unimaginative. If there is an area of photography that you are perfect at, why not write about it? That way you’ll draw more attention to yourself and emphasize your professionalism.

Success can be due to the quality, post-processing, or technique you use. It can also be due to the uniqueness of your approach. You don’t have to use expensive photo editing software. We recommend checking out the free Lightroom alternative in an interesting article on the Skylum site.

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