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How to Make Money as a Travel Photographer Selling Photos Online

make money as a travel photographer

Selling Travel Photography Online

Is it your dream to travel the world while making money? Do you dream of earning an income online? Is your computer or camera roll overflowing with amazing photos from your last adventure? Perfect! You might have what it takes to become a travel photographer and make money selling photos online.

One of the most rewarding parts of travel is being able to share your experiences with friends and family. We search miles, often on foot, for the perfect shot that embodies the atmosphere of a new city or a breathtaking landscape that is sure to influence others to see it with their own eyes. Did you know you don’t have to be a professional to sell your travel stock photos online? Stock photography platforms like Wirestock.io are making it easier than ever for travelers to share their photos to multiple agencies and collect real cash!

Travel photography is increasingly popular and competitive. At the time of writing this, Shutterstock boasts a collection of over 350 million photos. Simply put, your photos will need to be as good or better than what already exists. Although there are endless streams of content being uploaded daily, opportunity is knocking. It’s not as impossible as it sounds, we promise. It just takes a bit of tech know-how and a well trained eye.

Taking High Quality Travel Photos

The good news, you don’t necessarily need an expensive camera set up to take brilliant photos, although it is easier with equipment that is specific to your style or the types of content you’re trying to create. Cell phones have come a long way; some of our best Unsplash photos were even taken on a mid-range Huawei smartphone! It’s viable for anyone to create valuable photos from a phone with a little time and consideration. 

smartphone travel photography

First and foremost,pay attention to technical details of your photos. To be accepted by a stock agency your photos will need to be high resolution, free of too much noise and the subject must be in clear focus. If this basic criteria is not met, stock agencies may not add them to your portfolio or theirs.

Even if your photos meet a platform’s requirements, keep in mind that commercial guidelines are there to ensure your success making a living as a photographer.

While creating stock photos, try to imagine what a potential buyer could use them for. Buyers are most often using stock photos to market their business. Here are a few more ways you can optimize your photos for commercialization.

  • Ask yourself what you would use the image for. Is it a postcard, wallpaper, etc? 
  • Quality over quantity. Take a lot of photos because hey, it’s fun! Only select images that represent your highest quality work. We often choose 3-5 images from a set or subject to upload to Wirestock.io
  • Variation. Make sure to photograph your subject for a variety of angles or perhaps switch out props, styling or foreground. This will be helpful later when choosing photos to upload, you will end up with more usable content.
  • Stay sharp. Images need to be clear and in focus for you or the buyer to crop, edit and resize images.
  • Keep it clean. Aim for great composition. Using colour and light to achieve a nice balance will make your photos more attractive to the eye and more importantly potential buyers. Remember the rule of thirds!
  • If possible, leave some space around your subject for text or logos that may be added to the image later.

How to Sell Stock Photos Online 

Wirestock.io

Simply put, Wirestock.io makes selling stock photography online easy as pie. It’s an aggregate of other stock photo sources like Shutterstock, Adobe and more. What does this mean for you, a travel photographer? You’ll only need to upload your photos to a single place and get the maximum visibility across all the major platforms. Trust us when we say this makes selling your travel photos 100x easier and faster!

Wirestock automated image submission
Wirestock’s automated image submission is powerful! Graphic source.

Reasons Why We Love Wirestock.io

  • They pay out higher royalties.
  • You only have to upload photos to one place.
  • You maintain 100% ownership of your photos.
  • The easy to use dashboard makes uploading photos and tracking earnings effortless.
  • The submission process is well-moderated. If submissions are rejected, they provide information on why. You’ll have the option to correct flaws and resubmit any images.
selling stock photos on Wirestock.io
Wirestock’s dashboard is easy for anyone to use.

Start a Travel Blog Featuring Your Photos and Monetize It

Behind every photo is a story, so why not tell your travel stories online? Starting a travel blog may sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually become much easier in recent years. We’ll be writing a blog series on how to start and grow travel blogs soon so stay tuned.

4 Ways You Can Monetize a Travel Blog

  • Banner Ads (Google AdSense, Ezoic, Mediavine)
  • Affiliate Marketing (Amazon Associates, CJ Affiliate, Rakuten Marketing)
  • Selling Sponsored Posts
  • Brand Collaborations

Promoting Travel Photography on Social Media

No matter how you try to make money as a travel photographer, you’ll have to first get your photos in front of eyeballs. Regardless of how good your photos look, you won’t be generating revenue until there are people ready to buy. It’s a good thing social media is such a visual experience, since it makes promoting travel destinations a breeze.

What social media platforms should photographers promote on? Instagram marketing should be your top priority! To many, photography and Instagram are synonymous, but your social media efforts shouldn’t stop there. Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook are also great places to share travel photos.

How to Get More Instagram Views

  • Use 30 well-curated hashtags that are relevant to your photo.
  • Tag the location of the photo in your post.
  • Plan out your Instagram profile in 3×3 grids to build consistency.
  • Leave well-thought out comments on others’ travel photos from the same destination.

Read More: How to Steal Your Competitors’ Instagram Followers

promoting travel photos