How to make money from your travel content
Have you ever taken a photograph while travelling and thought ‘… I could frame that’?
Or perhaps you’ve posted something on social media and got a fair few likes?
Well good news…there could be money to be made.
Selling photographs online is now easier than ever and in a world where a picture says a thousand words, and where Instagram rules, stunning travel content is in high demand for brands, editorials and digital outlets.
But how do you go about selling your content?
Luckily for you we’ve spoken to a fellow explorer, Emad Al-Jumah, who shoots beautiful photography while travelling alongside his day job.
First and foremost, what is the most photogenic destination you’ve been to so far?
In terms of cities, Italy has so many amazing places to capture. But landscape-wise, the Himalayas, Nepal, Darjeeling, Skim, Bhutan and Tibet are my favourite places to get vista shots.
When did you sell your first photograph and how did you do it?
I sold my first photo about 6 years ago on Getty Images. I posted a photo on Flickr and at that time, there was agreement between Getty and Flickr to sell selected photos from Flickr on Getty with the photographer agreement. After the agreement ended, Getty asked if I wanted to become a member and since then I’ve been selling photographs directly on Getty.
The photograph was taken at Masai Mara in Kenya while on a group trip many years ago; here is where I captured my most sold photograph named ‘Masai men doing the warrior dance’. Although years have passed, I am still in contact with some of the people that were on the trip.
What are your thoughts on group trips as a photographer?
I have been on a few group trips that I’ve enjoyed as they provide an opportunity to meet people and make lasting friendships, it’s also cheaper. The one thing I would highlight though is that you don’t have the flexibility of going alone, as you have to stick with the group schedule.
As a photographer this can be a little frustrating as I often want to spend more time in a location or visit a place at a specific time to capture an amazing shot. Try and factor in a couple of extra days of solo travel if you can and spend time capturing moments on your time.
What should new photographers be thinking about when creating travel photography?
Location is crucial and the time of day too. From what I’ve captured, the best photos are taken at sunrise and sunset.
How do you negotiate cost (if at all)?
I’ve never negotiated as the cost is determined by the buyer. On Getty I get 20% or 30% of the sale price.
Which country are you desperate to explore that you haven’t been to yet?
South America. I think it will be a really interesting and diverse place to explore and shoot different kinds of photography.
Can you give us 3 top tips for taking the ‘money shot’:
- City panoramic views sell well as they are often used for editorial pieces
- Take photos of iconic buildings
- When taken really well, beautiful landscape photos can sell for a very high price.
On a standard day Emad is a senior IT manager at a major bank in Kuwait but when he’s not working, you’ll find him taking all of his vacation days to explore and photograph beautiful locations. Emad posts his photos on social media sites including Flickr, Instagram and Facebook and sells his photos as stock photos on Getty Images.