Support Yourself Overseas as a Travel Photographer: 6 Resources to Get You Started

statue of photographer Photography meets our definition of a location-independent career. You can do it anywhere in the world, and in this digital age you can sell your photos from anywhere you find an internet connection. But what if — like me — you’re not an experienced photographer? How do you graduate from taking point-and-click snapshots to shooting photos someone is willing to pay for?

While we all recognize the stunning quality of photos from National GeographicConde Nast Traveler and other high-end magazines, you can support yourself overseas very nicely even if you’re not one of those elite photographers (yet).

All sorts of publications need good images: magazines, newspapers, textbooks, advertising and commercial brochures, and more. Editorial images are used in news stories, articles and the like, while commercial images are used in advertising.

Here are some resources for you if photography pushes your buttons as a way to support yourself overseas.

Free Resources

#1

Digital Photography School is an enormous website with lots of information aimed at beginners. A good place to start is the Tips for Beginners page.

#2

The Photographer’s Life sends out a free email newsletter that’s packed full of useful information.

Programs and Courses

Keep in mind you don’t have to live in an exotic locale to sell your photos. After all, your home town is probably a destination for some travelers already. If you start to develop a portfolio of travel photos now, before you leave home, you’ll find it easier to sell your work once you’re living in your new country.

#3

Turn Your Pictures into Cash is a comprehensive program created by AWAI (American Writers and Artists Inc.). The program teaches you:

  • how to improve your photographs

  • the steps you need to market them and
  • helps you create a photography business

When you sign up for the course, you also gain access to a forum where you can interact directly with other photographers.

Click here for more information.

#4

AWAI also offers several three-day workshops throughout the year and throughout the world. Sessions in Ecuador and Bali in February and March are sold out, but you can still get into the San Antonio workshop in April. If you can’t make it to the live workshop, the material is usually packaged afterwards as a “workshop-at-home” program.

#5

Another program to consider is MatadorU’s Travel Photography Course. It’s a 12-week course designed to take you from raw beginner to working travel photographer within three months. One of their famous grads is Nomadic Matt, who’s been traveling, living and supporting himself abroad for several years.

Click here for more information.

#6

In the US, check out your local community college. Many of them offer photography classes.

Share your photography resources — leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

Photo by Klearchos Kapoutsis on flickr

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