How to Make Money with Photography When on the Road

Apr 7, 2018 | Digital Nomadism, Guest Blog, Travel & Work | 0 comments


Photography is a fantastic hobby – it allows us to unleash our creative side and capture stunning images that can last a lifetime. For the budding entrepreneur, photography can also be extremely lucrative, especially for the digital nomad who is continually on the move and looking for an additional source of income.

There is no denying that to make money through photography you have to be good at what you do – you must have an understanding of advanced photography techniques and have a portfolio of work to backup your skillset. If you are a talented photographer, however, the following 5 methods could allow you to complement your nomadic lifestyle and earn a steady stream of income to fund your adventures!

Selling your photography to stock catalogue sites

This is potentially the easiest method of monetizing your photographs. Throughout the internet, you can find a plethora of stock image sites such as Shutterstock, iStock or Depositphotos. Customers can browse through the available photos and purchase the rights to their usage for a set fee. Many businesses use sites such as these to find photos of their promotional marketing material. You have undoubtedly heard of these websites, and wondered where the photos come from – this is where you come in.

Stock image catalogues are populated with content from freelance and professional photographers/graphic designers. It is possible to register a contributor account with these websites and upload your own photos. If a customer then purchases your photo, you get a percentage of the sale fee – simple! Different stock sites have different upload rules i.e. your photo may have to match a certain resolution and contain no overt post-processing. The only downside to stock photo sites is that you have to be extremely good and upload amazing quality photos – you are competing against many other photographers, therefore you must be confident that your work stands out from the crowd.  


Freelance photo editing

If you have access to post processing software and you are comfortable with your editing skills, there is potential to earn additional income providing freelance editing work. This type of work is extremely easy to complete – you can edit photos from anywhere providing you have a laptop or even a tablet. To find work such as this, it is advisable to register with freelancing platforms such as UpWork, Freelancer, Glassdoor and PeoplePerHour.

These websites have a multitude of job listings from businesses and individuals. A business may require some photos editing for a marketing campaign for example – they can list their requirements, and freelancers such as yourself can apply for the job with your desired rates. Freelance platforms such as the ones above have a wave of photo editing jobs available and you can easily pick up additional work once you gain some positive feedback.         

Quick tip: As a digital nomad, you probably have photos from many places all over the world. Add this to your freelancer profile; many people look for unique photographs they can use on their travel blog and are ready to pay some money for them.


Freelance photography articles

Continuing on from the above freelance theme you could also use your photographic skills and knowledge to write paid articles. Many businesses, magazines and blogs require content and a large number of companies such as these actually sub-contract their writing work to generate a greater amount of content. You can use the freelance websites mentioned above such as UpWork to apply for freelance articles relating to photography. You could even apply for writing jobs for any subject if you feel comfortable writing about the given subject.

Alternatively, you could send your articles to distribution websites that specialise in freelance content management or reach out to photography based blogs and businesses to try and sell your written material.

Create a travel / photography blog

This is one of the most fun and rewarding methods of monetizing your photography and travel experiences. A travel blog is a fantastic way to showcase your work, share your adventures with the world, and also earn income through paid articles, sponsors, and advertising.

You can create a travel blog and once you have built an audience, you can use monetization tools such as Google AdWords to turn your blog into a source of income. This will take time and a great deal of effort, but you should have a huge amount of fun creating your blog, and it is something that you can be proud of, as well as profiting from.

When creating a blog, try to think of a unique title, and create articles that are attractive, engaging, but also provide real use to your readers. Once you really start to shine, you can also populate your blog with paid articles from other businesses, and even tout tour companies and photography retailers to provide you with sponsorship and freebies.

Another way to use your blog is to join an affiliate program. The idea of affiliate marketing is quite simple: once you gained some audience, you review and promote products or services on your site and get a commission if people actually end up buying the product thanks to your efforts. Many companies have an affiliate program: camera and photography equipment producers like Canon and Fuji, photo editing software developers like Adobe or Skylum, services like Smug Mug or photography courses like Digital Photography School – do some research about different and check their conditions and see what you could do.


Give photography lessons

This could be considered a specialist form of service but if you are confident in your photographic skills, you could help others improve their own photography. If you are situated in one location for a prolonged period of time then you could advertise your teaching services and give paid photography lessons. You could create a series of different classes to appeal to beginners and intermediaries too. Lessons could be based indoors or you could even take your students out into the city you are staying at to explore – you could use this time to snap photos for your travel blog and to sell through stock image sites!

Hopefully, these ideas will have given you serious food for thought. As you can see, it is perfectly possible to earn money from your photography. What more could you want in life – travel, adventure, and the chance to get paid to do something that you are truly passionate about! We are not guaranteeing that you will make millions, and you will have to put in the effort to reap the rewards, but if you know your camera and can create some gorgeous compositions we are sure you can monetize your photography. Why not have a go at some (or all) of the above projects and turn your photography into a second income today?


.About the Author

Max is an amateur photographer who runs his own photography blog where he likes to write about photo editing, modern photo trends, and inspiration. Feel free to contact him.

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