above photo: Italy, 2022
how to travel the world as a photographer and make money doing it:
My name is Emily (she/her) and I'm a 32-year-old fully self-employed travel enthusiast. I've visited over 25 states, 14 countries, and still counting! I make money through two very different roles that I play- I'm both a licensed mental health counselor as well as a wedding & portrait photographer. I've had a passion for travel since I was about 18 years old, so when I decided to become self-employed (and quit my day job), I knew I wanted to find a way to combine my career with my love of galavanting all over the globe.
It took some time and effort (and I still have a LOT to learn), but I've figured out some ways to travel the world as a photographer/therapist and make a good living while doing it. In this blog post, I'm going to share five of my top tips with you:
1) utilize instagram ads
Once you've booked a trip, you can use "Instagram ads" to advertise your photography business for the dates and locations you'll be visiting. This is such an efficient way to connect with new clients, get your art out into the world, and to make money on the go.
To get started, just create an Instagram ad campaign and, when you choose your target audience, advertise to people who are interested in photography and travel (or you can niche down even more depending on your interests- i.e. engagement, weddings, family, newborn, etc.) in the city or country you'll be visiting.
When you do, you should include high-quality photos and write an attention-drawing description that highlights the benefits of working with you. Make your potential clients want to get on your schedule before you move on to your next location! You're worth it :)
2) join niche facebook groups
Do some research and find Facebook groups that will connect you with locals (or fellow travelers) who might be interested in photography sessions in the places you're visiting. For example, you could join groups like "Expats of (insert city name here)" or "Couples of (insert city, country, etc. name here)."
Once you've joined a few groups, introduce yourself and let people know that you're a photographer who is available for sessions on the dates you'll be present. You can also offer discounts to group members. Be sure to include the same info as you would in an instageam ad (great photos, compelling description of what you do and why they should work with you).
3) chat with tourists & locals
Didn't have a chance to plan ahead and schedule sessions? Bring your camera to some popular tourist spots and chat with tourists/people nearby to see if they might be interested in a free or discounted photoshoot.
This is a great way to build your portfolio, gain experience, make new friends, and maybe even write off your flight- just saying.
4) use hashtags to find gigs
Hashtags are a great way to find clients and fellow photographers to work with while traveling the world. If you were going to Lisbon, you could consider searching for hashtags such as: #justengagedlisbon, #lisbonweddingphotography, #photographersoflisbon, #lisbonportrait, and #lisbonportraitphotographer and about a million more- think outside the box!
Check out the posts that interest you and consider reaching out to the profiles that seem like they may be match the type of photography you're offering. Make sure they'll be local to the area you're visiting, of course.
You can also add these hashtags to your own posts. This could potentially increase your reach and connect you with people who would be interested in your photography while you're in their area.
New client opportunities and collaborations with other photographers while traveling the world?
5) time management & work on the go
If you're open to it, consider setting aside some time on your trip to work on the go. This way, you might not be writing off a flight, but you can continue to make money as you travel.
For example, if you're a photographer, there's more you can do than offer photography sessions as you travel; you could work on blog posts or articles, answering emails, attending styled photography shoots, editing photos, delivering galleries, updating your website, social media posts, and more.
The possibilities are endless. Just get creative and think about how you can use your skills and talents to make money while you travel.
Following these tips will help you travel the world as a photographer and make money. Just remember to be patient, persistent, and creative. And most importantly, make it fun!
Disclaimer: This isn't for everybody or for every lifestyle. I am a single woman who loves to travel and just so happens to have jobs that allow me to do so if I stay creative. I also tend to travel on a budget by finding the cheapest flights, avoiding expensive lodging, and not always paying extra for the touristy things.
Anyway, if you're interested in learning more and getting some one on one help, consider hiring me as your mentor. I'm a patient, understanding, fun, and easy-to-talk-to mentor wit over three years experience as a professional photographer. I am also highly knowledgeable about the photography industry and I am passionate about helping other photographers succeed. I've learned tips and trick that help countless photographers achieve their goals (both professional and personal).
Feel free to get in touch below and see if mentoring might be a good fit for you!