Whether you're just on vacation or taking a formal photography tour at a popular destination, travel always presents wonderful photo opportunities. With planning, preparation and the right approach, those opportunities can be turned into income. That's a pretty awesome concept, and it gets a lot of people interested in the idea. Not everyone succeeds at it, and there are some common reasons that may be holding you back. Let's take a look at a few of them, so you can increase the odds in favor of your own success.
1. Failing to “Do Your Homework”
In the excitement and hustle to get ready for a trip, it's easy to just decide to “play it by ear” or leave the tour in the hands of the guide when you get to your destination. If you want to be sure to get the most out of the experience in a photographic sense, you're going to want to do some research. The most powerful subjects are often off the beaten path and without knowing where to find them ahead of time, chances are you won't find the time.
Get a good head start by doing some online research of the areas you'll be visiting. Look for places of interest and find out what's close to your lodgings. Talk to your travel planners and the staff at your hotel. Take the time to learn what you can about the local customs and if you're going to be in a foreign country, knowing how to speak at least a few phrases will come in handy.
2. Taking the Same, Old Postcard Shots
One of the most common and most damaging mistakes is failing to shoot something other than the well-known and over-photographed landmarks in popular travel destinations, or simply duplicating everyone else's shots of them. Learn to look around for the shots everyone else is missing.
Don't avoid shooting the tourist attractions; simply try to find new and unique ways to photograph them. Look for a different vantage point or camera angle. Zoom in on the details. Check the view from the landmark. If you want the postcard shot for your own collection, grab it and then find the one that says, “Buy me!”
Take the same approach to shooting the rest of the area, from the landscape to the city streets and the crowds. Look for the unique characteristics of the location and shoot them in unique ways. Think art, abstract, contrast, color, juxtaposition and above all, creativity.
3. Avoiding Interaction
Being afraid to speak to the locals or other visitors is a handicap that limits both the richness and the photographic potential of your travel experience. It's not always easy to just strike up a conversation with someone, especially if there's a language barrier. On the other hand, any attempt at communication may open some doors and could earn you some new friends as well as potential clients.
Here's one area where a KeepSnap account may be one of your most valuable assets. With your card as a means of introduction, you'll be able to break the ice easily with locals and fellow visitors. What's more, it gives you the appearance of something other than a tourist, providing you with the opportunity to show and sell your photos.
If you haven't heard about KeepSnap yet or wonder whether it's a good investment for you, you owe it to yourself to go take a look at how it can increase your earning potential and help you promote your photographic works and services. Opening an account is free, so you have nothing to lose. Take a look at their innovative system here.
4. Forgetting Composition
Nothing says “amateur” like photographs that lack thought in their composition. That holds true in any genre, but it may be more pronounced in travel shots, simply because of the thousands of flat, uninteresting vacation shots we see on social media and other outlets regularly. Whatever you're shooting, don't forget the rule of composition. Use them to help pull your viewers into your photos and show them what you want them to see and feel. Nothing is more powerful in connecting viewers to your photos.
Avoiding these common mistakes is a good step in the direction of beginning to earn an income with your photography. Whether you plan to “go pro” or simply pick up a little extra cash with your travel shots, knowing what not to do is often the key. Good shooting!