“Travel photographer” or “how to make money as a travel photographer”… These are the phrases I used to write in Google some year ago looking forward to my bright future. Yes, I’ve always wanted to travel the world and combine it with work. Fortunately, nowadays, having a laptop and Internet it can be considered a lot of types of earnings, but meeting new people from different countries attracts me no less than the journey itself. 

I think these are the main, but not the only reasons why the profession of photographer abroad has become very interesting to me. And, before leaving my country, I worked in completely different areas. So, this was the first experience for me and I want to share it with you, telling the whole story!

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My main island where I live about 7-10 months in the year

I have to say that 6 years ago I found nothing specific in Google. And now I understand that it was absolutely OK not to find answers about how much photographers earn. Only after 5 years of travelling and working as a photographer I knew something more about this kind of business. 

How do travel photographers earn money?

Nowadays photographer has a lot of areas for earnings. And prices for their service are formed on the basis of a large number of components. So, let’s first analyse the main factors that can affect income, other words – travel photographer jobs. And then I will announce the average earnings of a photographer of my field abroad.

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Area of Khao Sok Park, Thailand

Stock photographer

Once you read this article, it is likely that you have never ever make money on any stocks. And in this case, I would not recommend to choose this direction because of the long period of time between you start and then get your first earnings. According to the statistics of my friends, they came out for the income of 500-800 dollars a month after 6 months of hard work. And of course there is no guarantee that you will also succeed.

Basic moments: 

– You need to study and understand what kind of photos are sold on the stock. Put the filter on the top sales and go forward!

– Learn rules of photo uploading, get ready for hashtags and other monotonous work. Although the optimization has not been cancelled.

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View of Melasti Beach, Bali

How to become a travel photographer working in agencies

As a rule, they are everywhere. I don’t think it is easy to become a member of really good agency, although it all depends on your portfolio. And of course there are some exceptions – you got at the right time and in the right place. I mostly live and travel to tourist places in Asia, there are usually popular travel agencies. Working with them you’ll certainly get below the average. But don’t forget that in exchange you get additional income and experience in a new place. That’s the main thing!

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Flight Koh Samui – Bangkok

Online platforms photographer

These are the same agencies, and probably their only difference is that they don’t organize weddings and any other services that require personal presence. To start cooperation with such agencies is easier: just type in Google “photographer + city” where you want to go, the list of platforms will be on the first page.

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Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Working as a photographer abroad for yourself

Got it! This is the aim you should strive for. Of course if there is any possibility or needs you can consider other ways, but first of all your goal is to promote yourself.

It can be any social network, website, advertising and anything that will provide you with orders and motivate you to grow both in photography and in marketing further.

Yes, in this case, be ready to spend a lot of time for marketing, because if you deal with it you will be able not only to grow, but also to live and work anywhere!

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Hotel Wynn Palace, Macau

How to become a travel photographer

So, the main directions are sorted out. Now about prices: what affect on the cost of the services of a photographer abroad and how to earn more. Let’s start with the classics:

– Portfolio: the better it is the higher prices can be. That’s OK.

– Marketing. Nowadays we often meet that quality service is not equal to it price. In this highly competitive world of photographers it depends on marketing. And if you make masterpieces, but don’t understand advertising and your social networks are not optimized for business, then no one will know about you. Conversely, if you are a beginner photographer, but your Instagram takes you to the top, it will be more than enough for first earnings and growth. 

– Country. It is clear that the photographer in Thailand will take for their services less than in America. No more words about it.

– Average cost of competitor service. You should check selectively the prices of photographers from the first pages in Google and the answer is ready.

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Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

More secrets about how to become a travel photographer

That’s it! The last point will give you the answer for any country and city. But remember that before you check prices you have to be ready: have portfolio and time for organising your work. Mainly I live in Thailand and can tell you about prices here: it is about 5000 baht per 1 hour. 

How much does a wedding photographer earn abroad? This is another popular question among people who want to earn money by photo. My answer is the same – just count how many hours you will work with one pair. 

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Sunset, Phuket

Before start you should remember that your experience with traffic in your hometown may not be applicable in other countries, especially tourist locations. There may be other tools to attract customers, so I recommend to prepare in advance. 

Good luck!

If you have any questions or want to share your experience how to be a travel photographer and earn money, please leave your comments below.

More photos from my travel here and in my Instagram. Welcome!