Business Overview

A travel photographer uses their camera to provide high quality images to a variety of clients that may include websites, travel blogs, print magazines, television ads, and framed prints for sale. You will need to travel extensively to a variety of locations to deliver the landscapes, hotel rooms, and recreational shots that your clients are looking for. You'll work hard to develop a variety of clients who work with you to determine where your next shoot should be while your self-promotion and marketing will reach out to new clients.

Who is this business right for?

A successful travel photographer will have extensive knowledge of how to use their camera to get the highest definition images containing dramatic landscapes. They will need to enjoy living on the road, hiking, and exploring distant locales to get the perfect shot. They should be sociable and able to toot their own horn in order to develop new clients and customers.

What happens during a typical day at a travel photography business?

If you are running your own travel photography business, on any given day you might:

  • Travel to a new destination, this can include driving, flying, hiking, boating, or a number of other forms of transportation
  • Take a large number of photos using your personal camera equipment
  • Sort and curate your images using professional image software, fix lighting, and crop and focus errors to produce a professional image suitable for sale
  • Upload select images for sale on stock photography websites or submit them to clients who have placed orders
  • Work your social media, blogs, and other marketing channels to increase your business’ reach
  • Study current travel magazines and journals for trends to help you plan your next photography destination
  • Collect payment from clients who bought individual shots or hired you for a shoot

What is the target market?

You will have made it big time when established photo-journals and travel guides are contacting you to shoot a spread for their next issue. As a beginner you'll want to establish yourself through selling on stock photography sites, freelancing to newspapers and websites, and perhaps doing studio work for weddings, graduations, and families.

How does a travel photography business make money?

You will earn the majority of your income by selling individual photos to websites and print magazines. Should you build a positive reputation, it may be possible to have your travel paid for by a client who wants your photography for their business, but this is not common.

What is the growth potential for a travel photography business?

It takes time and effort to establish yourself as a full-time freelance photographer. You will need to continuously market your work and yourself in order to generate regular orders from returning clients. The growth potential is in making this job your only source of income when your photo sales are able to cover your living and business expenses.