How you can make money from your travel photographs

Got the eye? You can make money from your travel pics. Here’s how …

Travel photos

Your retirement should be spent doing things you enjoy or have put off doing during your working years and, as is often the case, travel and hobbies typically are among the most popular pursuits.

Some retirees will try their hand at amateur photography. Considering today’s digital camera technology, with a steady hand, a good eye and a fair bit of practice, you could become a decent photographer.

Travel also often tops many a retirement to-do list, but it doesn’t come cheap. However, if you’re handy with a camera, there may be a way you can offset some of the cost …

If you fancy yourself a bit of a photographer and you love to travel, then why not combine the two and have a crack at making money from your travel pics?

You can become a contributor to a photo stock library, such as Shutterstock or iStock. These stock libraries accept all sorts of pics from people all over the world. And it’s not just travel pics they’re after: think food, shopping, people at play, landscapes, video and random posed and candid images. It’s really quite a simple process to become a contributor. Here’s how to do it.

Becoming a Shutterstock contributor
So, you’re keen to make some money from your photographs. Head to Shutterstock and open a contributor account. You’ll have to enter some basic details, then confirm your email address and identity. Shutterstock also asks you for photo identification so it can protect your copyright and intellectual property rights.

Now, you’re ready to start uploading your photographs and earning some money!

You can also try your luck and become a contributor to any of the following libraries:

Once you’re approved, you can expect to make, on average, around 15 per cent on the purchase price of the image. For example, if you set your sale price at $1 per image, you’ll make 15 cents, but, over time, you may sell 5000 licences for that image. Whereas, if you decided to sell your photograph at an art show in a gallery, you may make $150 off the sale, but you may only make one sale. By contrast, on a stock library, your image sits on the shelf forever and you never know when someone may want to pay to use it.

So, volume is the key. Set your price low and watch the cents turn into dollars.

Now, dig out that box of vintage holiday photographs, because anything vintage is hot right now. Find your favourite landscapes, landmarks and all your best travel pics and upload them. Pics of things people won’t find anywhere else will do well, as will one-off happy accidents and random people doing well, anything really. Just be aware of model releases and be wary of the rights of the people you photograph, as privacy issues may ensue.

The secret is not to make it look too ‘stocky’. Natural, every day, candid pics will be your point of difference and will put dollars into your account.

Now, you may not be able to quit the Age Pension, but it could turn out to be a handy little earner – one that could bolster your retirement income or help you save for your next holiday.

Would you be keen to try and sell your travel photographs? Do you know of any other ways you can make money from travelling? Why not share your suggestions with our members?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    7th Jun 2017
    Thanks leon. I have now found a reason to stop blogging.
    7th Jun 2017
    Thanks Leon. I'm going to do that. I really do need to sort out all those images anyway.
    7th Jun 2017
    Just make sure you put a copyright mark across the photos. National Geographic just took my niece's professional photographs of the lost tribes of the Amazon and used it in their advertisement. AFTERWARDS a letter was sent to ask if it was OK. Which it wasn't of course.
    7th Jun 2017
    Send them a bill. Make it a big one.
    7th Jun 2017
    You ask about other ways of making money from your travels. You can write about them - not just travel articles, but as backgrounds for stories. One of my travel stories won me more than enough to cover my return flights to London :-)
    7th Jun 2017
    what a wonderful idea!! I do have an iPhone and I have managed to snap some pretty decent shots.

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