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Microstock Photography Forum - General => General Stock Discussion => Topic started by: Stas77 on April 22, 2013, 02:20

Title: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Stas77 on April 22, 2013, 02:20
I take trips few times a year. i just was in asia now and i have beautiful pictures that i take. my question is travel photos popular? if i post, should i bother tag with the name of place? do people look for name of place? or just say "girl play with dog on sea" or something that describe pictures? sunset in australia or sunset on great ocean road?
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: ShadySue on April 22, 2013, 05:23
If the photo is very generic, i.e. a beach with no distinguising details, no location is needed, but it's not technically wrong to put in a location (but probably not much help to a buyer, unless your photo on a generic beach is of an activity which only goes on in a specific location).
If the scene 'reveals' the location, go ahead and put in the location. Depending on the site, that could be specific feature; town/city; state/area; and country.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on April 22, 2013, 06:30
I take trips few times a year. i just was in asia now and i have beautiful pictures that i take. my question is travel photos popular? if i post, should i bother tag with the name of place? do people look for name of place? or just say "girl play with dog on sea" or something that describe pictures? sunset in australia or sunset on great ocean road?

Everyone takes vacations and shoots pictures and thinks their images are beautiful.  It's unlikely that trying to sell them as stock will be worth the effort, as people already in the area, and professional photographers have likely already spent lots of time and money creating salable works from the area.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: ShadySue on April 22, 2013, 06:42
I take trips few times a year. i just was in asia now and i have beautiful pictures that i take. my question is travel photos popular? if i post, should i bother tag with the name of place? do people look for name of place? or just say "girl play with dog on sea" or something that describe pictures? sunset in australia or sunset on great ocean road?

Everyone takes vacations and shoots pictures and thinks their images are beautiful.  It's unlikely that trying to sell them as stock will be worth the effort, as people already in the area, and professional photographers have likely already spent lots of time and money creating salable works from the area.

In some cases, yes; in other cases, you might be surprised. I know of one area of Canada, very popular with 'wilderness' and 'wildlife' tourists, which has almost no images on iS (haven't looked elsewhere), despite me knowing that at least two iS togs live almost on top of the area (but they're studio-bound). [I'm keeping mum: I might go there one day.]

In any case, it's easy enough to research how well your area is covered at any particular agency/ies.

The unknowable factor is how much interest there might be among buyers at a certain agency in any particular location. For example, I've been surprised on iS to see certain US cities that I've heard of (so must be significant in some way) have plenty of super photos but fewer overall sales than e.g. Glasgow. The stats don't give the reason for the comparative lack of sales, of course.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: WarrenPrice on April 22, 2013, 09:07
I take trips few times a year. i just was in asia now and i have beautiful pictures that i take. my question is travel photos popular? if i post, should i bother tag with the name of place? do people look for name of place? or just say "girl play with dog on sea" or something that describe pictures? sunset in australia or sunset on great ocean road?

Everyone takes vacations and shoots pictures and thinks their images are beautiful.  It's unlikely that trying to sell them as stock will be worth the effort, as people already in the area, and professional photographers have likely already spent lots of time and money creating salable works from the area.

They must not be selling on microstock.  My travel stuff sells just fine ... just not for much.   :D
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Stas77 on April 22, 2013, 09:38
THank you. i have many very unique pictures, but many from asian countries like japan and thailand that don't have a millino pictures out there, but then again there's a limit of how many people will look for them by name. good info, thanks. are there certain sites that are better for travel then others?
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: loop on April 22, 2013, 09:52
Best site is your own area. You know it better than travelling photographers; you are always there, so you don't have to shoot in a hurry, and you can study the best hours and seasons for getting the best light/results.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: ruigsantos on April 22, 2013, 10:05
If the pictures are good, then why not put them online? If I were you I would tag them the best I could even if they are generic. If you have someone at the beach looking at the see and just tag according to that, then you won't reach someone who's looking for a picture of the Maldives or whatever place you took that image in. I have some travel pictures online and even though most of them are far from being unique, they sell from time to time. I even have a pretty standard tourist image of the Empire State Building in NY, that earned me a decent amount of money and there are TONS of images like mine online (and most of them are better). The only certain think is that those images will not make you any money if they are just sitting on your hard-drive.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: roede-orm on April 23, 2013, 17:39
Ask yourself, what are you dreaming off, when you get the chance to travel: empty beaches? modern cities? shopping malls? untouched nature? fantastic landscapes? Even other people dream of these things. And we sell dreams! If your pictures match your own dreams, they will sell. One of my best selling images is a photo of a simple wooden cottage in Sweden  in a beautiful scandinavian landscape. It's a dream for many people, to own a house like this in a peaceful landscape. And they buy at least the photo :-) Good luck with your travel pictures!
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: dbvirago on April 23, 2013, 17:43
I travel a lot and have at least one decent seller from each trip. The problem is identifying which image that will be. Also, keep in mind, what is a distant location to you is just down the street from dozens of photographers who can shoot it at the right time of day in the right season.

Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: cascoly on April 23, 2013, 19:33
I take trips few times a year. i just was in asia now and i have beautiful pictures that i take. my question is travel photos popular? if i post, should i bother tag with the name of place? do people look for name of place? or just say "girl play with dog on sea" or something that describe pictures? sunset in australia or sunset on great ocean road?

travel is very competitive, but images have a long shelf life - I still sell images from 30+ years ago.

for captioning - put as much info as you have -- some buyers want a beach, others want a picture from California, others want a CA beach; you can't go wrong  by being prepared

if you're interested in microstock, be ready to work hard, for possibly micro returns - it's not for everyone, but it might pay for your next trip

here're some additional tips to get you started.

you might also look at the symbiostock forum here - I free program that sets up your own photo sales site

steve
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: shudderstok on April 23, 2013, 20:14
I take trips few times a year. i just was in asia now and i have beautiful pictures that i take. my question is travel photos popular? if i post, should i bother tag with the name of place? do people look for name of place? or just say "girl play with dog on sea" or something that describe pictures? sunset in australia or sunset on great ocean road?

Everyone takes vacations and shoots pictures and thinks their images are beautiful.  It's unlikely that trying to sell them as stock will be worth the effort, as people already in the area, and professional photographers have likely already spent lots of time and money creating salable works from the area.

Really? Good advice from such a distinguished global traveler as yourself.
And yes, you can make a very good living being a travel photographer, and it ain't no vacation i can assure you.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: shudderstok on April 23, 2013, 20:23
Best site is your own area. You know it better than travelling photographers; you are always there, so you don't have to shoot in a hurry, and you can study the best hours and seasons for getting the best light/results.

this is about the best advice i have seen in a very long time in terms of travel photography. two thumbs up!!!
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on April 24, 2013, 05:45
I take trips few times a year. i just was in asia now and i have beautiful pictures that i take. my question is travel photos popular? if i post, should i bother tag with the name of place? do people look for name of place? or just say "girl play with dog on sea" or something that describe pictures? sunset in australia or sunset on great ocean road?

Everyone takes vacations and shoots pictures and thinks their images are beautiful.  It's unlikely that trying to sell them as stock will be worth the effort, as people already in the area, and professional photographers have likely already spent lots of time and money creating salable works from the area.

Really? Good advice from such a distinguished global traveler as yourself.
And yes, you can make a very good living being a travel photographer, and it ain't no vacation i can assure you.

Point being, the OP is not a "travel photographer", he's a "TWAC".
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: enstoker on April 24, 2013, 05:59
TWAC has a lot of meanings.
Please translate.
Thank You.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: ShadySue on April 24, 2013, 06:01
I take trips few times a year. i just was in asia now and i have beautiful pictures that i take. my question is travel photos popular? if i post, should i bother tag with the name of place? do people look for name of place? or just say "girl play with dog on sea" or something that describe pictures? sunset in australia or sunset on great ocean road?

Everyone takes vacations and shoots pictures and thinks their images are beautiful.  It's unlikely that trying to sell them as stock will be worth the effort, as people already in the area, and professional photographers have likely already spent lots of time and money creating salable works from the area.

Really? Good advice from such a distinguished global traveler as yourself.
And yes, you can make a very good living being a travel photographer, and it ain't no vacation i can assure you.

Point being, the OP is not a "travel photographer", he's a "TWAC".
I can't see that a TWAC is at any more disadvantage than someone taking their first foray into a studio with models. There are millions of models in a studio photographs on the micros.

NOTE: the argument that there are already dozens of photographers in a location is only true for certain locations. Remote locations may have no habitation within 100+ miles; people living in remotish areas in developing countries may be able to afford the sort of cameras necessary to get accepted in stock agencies, and/or may not have the computer/software/web connection needed.

Also bear in mind that photographs taken when travelling don't always have to be the 'glamourous models on beaches' type. Images used in modern guide books (at least in the UK) aren't all the cliche'd hotspots, and there is a secondary editorial market too.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: ShadySue on April 24, 2013, 06:01
TWAC has a lot of meanings.
Please translate.
Thank You.
You have to contextualise it: 'Traveller with a camera'.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: enstoker on April 24, 2013, 06:04
Thank You.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on April 24, 2013, 06:06
I can't see that a TWAC is at any more disadvantage than someone taking their first foray into a studio with models. There are millions of models in a studio photographs on the micros.

Which don't sell anymore because there's enough people that know what they're doing these days.  Same for landscapes, aka "travel photography" here.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Phil on April 24, 2013, 06:08
I travel a lot and have at least one decent seller from each trip. The problem is identifying which image that will be. Also, keep in mind, what is a distant location to you is just down the street from dozens of photographers who can shoot it at the right time of day in the right season.

yep, local photographers who can ask people to sign a model release too :)
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: mattdixon on April 24, 2013, 06:21
Travel photography is not the easiest RF genre to shoot. Lots of logo's to remove, people wandering into shot, trucks parking up in front of the landmark you're about to shoot, etc - it's a general copyright minefield with a lot of post production work to do.

If you're in it for the money there are way more forgiving, less problematic RF genres to shoot, if however you like experiencing new places and cultures then go for it. It takes a certain kind of patient and masochistic  personality to persevere with it.

You'll either love it or hate it.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: ShadySue on April 24, 2013, 06:38
I travel a lot and have at least one decent seller from each trip. The problem is identifying which image that will be. Also, keep in mind, what is a distant location to you is just down the street from dozens of photographers who can shoot it at the right time of day in the right season.

yep, local photographers who can ask people to sign a model release too :)
Which in many cases won't be in a language the potential model knows, or the model is illiterate, or the model isn't in a position to be 'fully informed' about all the potential uses,e.g. how can you explain to a person living 100+ miles from electricity how their image can be manipulated by photoshop, even if you know the language, or had a translator, who similarly might not know about computer technology. H*ll, they may have no concept of an advertisement.

After having a long discussion about this with my Malagasy guide, he agreed with my thouights above (that few people out of the towns, in the areas I was visiting, would ever have seen a computer), and decided that he would tell anyone who asked that I was a photojournalist and my photos would be used in articles or guide books which would encourage more tourists. This was AOK with me, because I'm much more interested in editorial uses than advertising. You just have think if a particular type of travel image is remotely likely to be used in advertising or if you're particularly shooting editorial.
And indeeed, the in-uses I know about from Alamy from that trip have all been text books or guide books, though the images chosen / not chosen have surprised me.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: fotoVoyager on April 24, 2013, 06:42
It takes a certain kind of patient and masochistic  personality to persevere with it.

Ha! Never a truer word...
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: ShadySue on April 24, 2013, 07:12
I can't see that a TWAC is at any more disadvantage than someone taking their first foray into a studio with models. There are millions of models in a studio photographs on the micros.

Which don't sell anymore because there's enough people that know what they're doing these days.  Same for landscapes, aka "travel photography" here.
So your real message is, "It's all been done before. Go flip burgers."
Which might not be bad advice, expecially for someone thinking of setting up a studio for the first time.
For people who are travelling, it's not so helpful.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on April 24, 2013, 07:59
I can't see that a TWAC is at any more disadvantage than someone taking their first foray into a studio with models. There are millions of models in a studio photographs on the micros.

Which don't sell anymore because there's enough people that know what they're doing these days.  Same for landscapes, aka "travel photography" here.
So your real message is, "It's all been done before. Go flip burgers."
Which might not be bad advice, expecially for someone thinking of setting up a studio for the first time.
For people who are travelling, it's not so helpful.

No, my message is, unless you're the kind of person who goes to locations at 4am to wait for the sun to rise, or take the time to hike a mountain with the sole purpose of getting the shot, or you hire a local to take you to a certain place (things a "travel photographer" would do), the time spent uploading your vacation pics will probably not pay back.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: ShadySue on April 24, 2013, 08:16
I can't see that a TWAC is at any more disadvantage than someone taking their first foray into a studio with models. There are millions of models in a studio photographs on the micros.

Which don't sell anymore because there's enough people that know what they're doing these days.  Same for landscapes, aka "travel photography" here.
So your real message is, "It's all been done before. Go flip burgers."
Which might not be bad advice, expecially for someone thinking of setting up a studio for the first time.
For people who are travelling, it's not so helpful.

No, my message is, unless you're the kind of person who goes to locations at 4am to wait for the sun to rise, or take the time to hike a mountain with the sole purpose of getting the shot, or you hire a local to take you to a certain place (things a "travel photographer" would do), the time spent uploading your vacation pics will probably not pay back.
Or travel smart. In remote areas of the tropics, it's dark c18.30 and there's nothing else to do after you've had dinner and cleaned/prepped the camera and backed up your images, so you can easily get to bed and be up at 5.00 the next morning ready to be in situ when the light comes up c06.30.
Realise that the best photos are often not from the top of the mountain, but of the mountain.
Having already realised that all the cliche sunrise/sunset/tourist hotspots have already been done to death frees you up to shoot everything else.
Three of my trips, have more than paid for themselves through sales; others nearly so, incuding from trips long before I was submitting anywhere; others not so much, but it still definitely has been worth my time spent uploading, between iS and Alamy.
The ones which haven't sold so well are some combination of competition; lack of interest in a location from buyers (but regions do come into fashion, so worth keeping unless it's a rapidly-changing scene); or in one case, iS best match knocking all the shots into oblivion, necessitating them being removed and uploaded to Alamy months later, so now building up momentum there.
YMMV.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Les on April 24, 2013, 08:23
TWAC has a lot of meanings.
Please translate.
Thank You.
You have to contextualise it: 'Traveller with a camera'.

I thought, it was "'Traveller With A Cause", since all travellers today have either a camera or a phone with camera. Or their kids have one.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: ShadySue on April 24, 2013, 08:52
TWAC has a lot of meanings.
Please translate.
Thank You.
You have to contextualise it: 'Traveller with a camera'.

I thought, it was "'Traveller With A Cause", since all travellers today have either a camera or a phone with camera. Or their kids have one.
I'm sure that was Sean's point.
But I notice that nowadays, many people are ditching dSLRs for tiny compacts. (Except in Florence for some reason, where I had never seen so many dSLRs outside Camera Club outings, but that was 18 months ago.)
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: shudderstok on April 24, 2013, 10:17
I can't see that a TWAC is at any more disadvantage than someone taking their first foray into a studio with models. There are millions of models in a studio photographs on the micros.

Which don't sell anymore because there's enough people that know what they're doing these days.  Same for landscapes, aka "travel photography" here.
So your real message is, "It's all been done before. Go flip burgers."
Which might not be bad advice, expecially for someone thinking of setting up a studio for the first time.
For people who are travelling, it's not so helpful.

No, my message is, unless you're the kind of person who goes to locations at 4am to wait for the sun to rise, or take the time to hike a mountain with the sole purpose of getting the shot, or you hire a local to take you to a certain place (things a "travel photographer" would do), the time spent uploading your vacation pics will probably not pay back.

whatever your genre, if you don't work at it in a disciplined manner you won't have success. i could never shoot the type of images sean does for many reasons mainly due to the total lack of interest on my part in the subject matter, therefore i would be a TWAC "twit without a clue" trying to make a go of it in an area i would not be 100% committed to and even attempting to compete with the expertise that sean brings to the table in this genre would certify me as a TWAC. it's all relative. stick to what you are good at, work it hard, upload and hope for the best. when i travel it is my job to go and shoot travel work, and it's 24/7 for weeks at a time, and it's nice to get back home just to take a few days off. then the horror really begins... editing, cleaning up, keywording, uploading, rejections, images that never take off etc.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Xanox on April 24, 2013, 13:02
why these stereotypes about travel photographes are still so popular ?

if you make travel stock you're working hard every day, it's NOT fun, it's work !
you have often to move from place to place, find a place to sleep, shower, take your camera and make a list of locations to visit, go there on foot or with other means, shoot temples, monuments, people, markets, whatever suits your style, stop for lunche and stop for dinner, and then relax by night for a beer or for a well deserved nap.

can't see how this is so funny especially in tropical countries where you sweat like crazy with two kilos of gear on your neck.

consider also that the weather could turn bad and rain for the whole day, leaving you very few stock opportunities to get interesting shots if you're stuck under a torrential rain for hours inside a bar or in the middle of nowhere.

some of the people you shoot can also turn nasty or becoming a royal pain in the a-ss, many are happy but many have a chip on the shoulder with tourists and photographers, cops and guards can also be equally hard to deal with especially in museums and government/royal/whatever buildings.

i mean, your typical day is walking for hours and shooting, stopping for a quick lunch, moving to the next place, and walking again and shooting.

if you think it's all done on a taxi with aircon you're totally wrong, either you walk or you lose most of the best shots in my experience, i mix mototaxi, taxi, and tuktuks, but there's no way to just avoid the walks and the heat unless you only target the most famous hot spots but in that case why bother ? these places have been already covered to death in any agency.

for anything else, if you like to travel, to see new things every day, to deal with crazy people every day, and you've a sense of adventure then it's a great job and you'll feel rewarded once you're back home editing your new collection as each photo will remind you of a place with the smells and the noise and the music and anything attached.

true, you see millons of tourists with thei nikon and canons bursting shots at every step but none of them is going to join a stock agency and the fools who try will soon give up when they see how difficult is to make steady sales nowadays.

as for the fun side, there's of course time to get fun but then it's up to you and your scheduling.
you cannot get drunk every night and then sleep the next day, you cannot take it easy and go home with just 10-20 saleable images per day, you cannot do crazy things and risk your gear or your neck, it's too easy when in a new country to fell pray of scammers or ending up in the bad place at the bad time for whatever reason especially considering your camera will always attract unwanted attention.

if you hear photographers telling you doing Travel is a lot of fun maybe he's a newbie or he's telling BS or he's just having fun and shooting 1-2 hrs a day, in that case his collection will not be enough to even repay the production costs but that's a whole different story anywayas nowadays very few places can give you the option to recoup the costs with stock alone, let alone making a profit.








Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Firewall on April 24, 2013, 13:55
I agree Xanox.
I don't expect to make any profit with travel stock, it is hard work, but then nothing and no-one can take away the experiences of a lifetime.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: cascoly on April 24, 2013, 17:57




No, my message is, unless you're the kind of person who goes to locations at 4am to wait for the sun to rise, or take the time to hike a mountain with the sole purpose of getting the shot, or you hire a local to take you to a certain place (things a "travel photographer" would do), the time spent uploading your vacation pics will probably not pay back.

while useful advice, it's not as difficult or binary as that - when our drivers' in India find out we're interested in photography, they start actively looking for pictures for us; similarly with most local guides. I've never climbed a mountain or taken a hike with the sole purpose of getting a shot - but my companions know I may not be the first one back to the trailhead.  the one thing to avoid is organized tours, esp'ly those w buses.  exception is sound & light shows - I usually wander around and find good positions while waiting for m y 'lighting crew'
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Mantis on April 24, 2013, 19:19
I can't see that a TWAC is at any more disadvantage than someone taking their first foray into a studio with models. There are millions of models in a studio photographs on the micros.

Which don't sell anymore because there's enough people that know what they're doing these days.  Same for landscapes, aka "travel photography" here.
So your real message is, "It's all been done before. Go flip burgers."
Which might not be bad advice, expecially for someone thinking of setting up a studio for the first time.
For people who are travelling, it's not so helpful.

No, my message is, unless you're the kind of person who goes to locations at 4am to wait for the sun to rise, or take the time to hike a mountain with the sole purpose of getting the shot, or you hire a local to take you to a certain place (things a "travel photographer" would do), the time spent uploading your vacation pics will probably not pay back.

This is correct, for me anyway. This shot required pre-planning, including a weather forecast check, getting to the site at 4:30 am, using a flashlight to maneuver the reefs in the dark, then set up.  Wait patiently until the sun comes up "just enough", test the filter effect to motion blur as this was the make or break for the look I wanted. In this case I wanted early morning so I could use a slow shutter to get the water motion. Normally I would use a big stopper later in the day but I wanted only a hint of light in the sky, slightly overcast so I could make the sky pinkish like typical cold morning inversion (which was the look I wanted, a very cool white balance to look chilly).  I then had to take a second exposure of the tower without the filter because it created a dark red layer across the rock surface.  Then, like was stated, the post processing to blend the two images.  In all, this one shot took around three hours and some pre-planning.  Was it fun? Yea but it was a lot of work too, something that is required in many cases of travel photography.

I'll be going to a remote part of Fiji later this year and am already planning my topside shoots because I want differentiation.  It really is a lot of work some of the times.

Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Xanox on April 24, 2013, 20:31
Was it fun? Yea but it was a lot of work too, something that is required in many cases of travel photography.

I beg to differ.
That photo is LANDSCAPE Photography.

A proper typical postcard image would include people in the beach and would be shot in daytime with sun and blue ski, eventually including a few boats at the horizon.

Of course to make Landscapes you must also travel, that's a given, but they're two very different things !
Your photo is more geared towards calendars or concepts or advertising rather than travel books and travel articles.

On the other side it would be 100% Travel if it was a shot of a famous site at 04.30 AM, like the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, the Potala, the HongKong skyline, the temples of Bagan ...

however if we talk about sales, good luck selling a shot of the Taj Mahal or Angkor Wat, all the agencies including micros are literally flooded by this stuff, and how many millions shots of the Tour Eiffel are already on sale ?
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Xanox on April 24, 2013, 21:13
while useful advice, it's not as difficult or binary as that - when our drivers' in India find out we're interested in photography, they start actively looking for pictures for us; similarly with most local guides. I've never climbed a mountain or taken a hike with the sole purpose of getting a shot - but my companions know I may not be the first one back to the trailhead.  the one thing to avoid is organized tours, esp'ly those w buses.  exception is sound & light shows - I usually wander around and find good positions while waiting for m y 'lighting crew'

it depends on the location and it's up to you to ponder the pros and cons and therefore the costs involved in time and money.

some locations are hard to reach and while on paper they have some potential they can turn out to be wasted time.

in poor countries you can easily rent a taxi for a whole day for 10-15$ but if you're in a big city with 10-20 million people you still need one hour just to reach the suburbs.

while many locations outside the city may look inviting they're rarely worth the hassle, there's a good reason they're not considered "hot spots" and same for the so called "off the beaten tracks" which are certainly worth the trip if you're into trekking and want to relax but for photography they're hit or miss.

same for some markets that open early in the morning and close after a few hours, if they're famous OK go for it, but otherwise dont bother and stick with the famous ones where you're sure there are interesting subjects and lots of people.

take a look at any travel article about Bangkok for instance, despite Bangkok having 10 million people there's not a single "landmark" for which bangkok is famous and so the most used images are about the "bangkok floating market" which in reality is far away from the city, then you have the Royal Palace and the main temples but for one reason or another photo editors keep using these * floating market images that have absolutely nothing to do with the real daily life in Bangkok.

same for Phuket and Samui, the most popular beaches dont look very good, and photo editors pick up images of the most remote beaches trying to make it look like paradise on heart.
problem is, they're hard to reach (eventually only by private boat and it doesnt come cheap) and the tourists will never see them as they also look good only in high season and at the right time and with good weather.

so what you're gonna do ? hire private boats, private taxis, spend a whole day to shoot what maybe 10-20 landscape images and a few other pics with random fishermen ?

i can tell you, if you're into this your production costs will skyrocket and you've no guarantee of making good shots too because the weather can turn bad very quickly, and that's why this sort of images (landscapes) are better suited for magazines with big pockets like National Geographic rather than stockers and microstockers traveling on a shoestring.

if Landscape is all you can do and all you like to do maybe you better stick with your own city and your province, doing so you will save a lot of money but it still takes a lot of time and it's a lot of work.

with the same time it takes to shoot a few good Landscapes you could shoot a 100 or more interesting images in markets and in downtowns, mostly about people and monuments and architecture.

however, considering how cheap some poor countries are, you dont really need a strict pre-planning like you would do in expensive places in europe.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: cascoly on April 24, 2013, 22:01
Was it fun? Yea but it was a lot of work too, something that is required in many cases of travel photography.

I beg to differ.
That photo is LANDSCAPE Photography.

A proper typical postcard image would include people in the beach and would be shot in daytime with sun and blue ski, eventually including a few boats at the horizon.

Of course to make Landscapes you must also travel, that's a given, but they're two very different things !
Your photo is more geared towards calendars or concepts or advertising rather than travel books and travel articles.

On the other side it would be 100% Travel if it was a shot of a famous site at 04.30 AM, like the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, the Potala, the HongKong skyline, the temples of Bagan ...

however if we talk about sales, good luck selling a shot of the Taj Mahal or Angkor Wat, all the agencies including micros are literally flooded by this stuff, and how many millions shots of the Tour Eiffel are already on sale ?

however, several of my best selling images on corbis are of the Taj!  along with a generic image of rocks on the oregon coast.  nobody can predict, or as the crusaders said, 'shoot them all & let god sort them out'
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: cascoly on April 24, 2013, 22:09
 
 same for some markets that open early in the morning and close after a few hours, if they're famous OK go for it, but otherwise dont bother and stick with the famous ones where you're sure there are interesting subjects and lots of people.

who cares about famous?  buyers aren't looking for full moon market in chandarisnagaristan - they're looking for a 'market' image

Quote
take a look at any travel article about Bangkok for instance, despite Bangkok having 10 million people there's not a single "landmark" for which bangkok is famous and so the most used images are about the "bangkok floating market" which in reality is far away from the city,
and actually don't really exist at all,  except or tourist traps -- see my earlier comment -- ANY picture of a sampan or canoe selling something will be used to display the Bangkok floating markets -- we're stock photographers, not photojournalist


Quote
if Landscape is all you can do and all you like to do maybe you better stick with your own city and your province, doing so you will save a lot of money but it still takes a lot of time and it's a lot of work.
you're completely ignoring the concept for those who ENJOY travel & also work in microstock.  there's no reason you can't do both.  it's still highly competitive, but no reason to blow it off entirely
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: gillian vann on April 24, 2013, 22:19
Best site is your own area. You know it better than travelling photographers; you are always there, so you don't have to shoot in a hurry, and you can study the best hours and seasons for getting the best light/results.
+1 for this
so true, I shot some winter sunsets on the Gold Coast about 3 years ago and each year I go back a few times in May (we have a holiday place there) and I've not had anything near as good as that year. being able to shoot outside of tourist season is a bonus too.

outside of that I find it very hard to shoot for stock when travelling. It's such a solitary thing, requiring early mornings, which doesn't work when you're with your family. I always have the Grand Plan that i'll shoot heaps for stock and it'll subsidise the trip, but it never works out that like. Maybe pays for a lunch...
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Mantis on April 25, 2013, 06:46
Was it fun? Yea but it was a lot of work too, something that is required in many cases of travel photography.

I beg to differ.
That photo is LANDSCAPE Photography.

A proper typical postcard image would include people in the beach and would be shot in daytime with sun and blue ski, eventually including a few boats at the horizon.

Of course to make Landscapes you must also travel, that's a given, but they're two very different things !
Your photo is more geared towards calendars or concepts or advertising rather than travel books and travel articles.

On the other side it would be 100% Travel if it was a shot of a famous site at 04.30 AM, like the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, the Potala, the HongKong skyline, the temples of Bagan ...

however if we talk about sales, good luck selling a shot of the Taj Mahal or Angkor Wat, all the agencies including micros are literally flooded by this stuff, and how many millions shots of the Tour Eiffel are already on sale ?

Still traveling to do it, among other sites and shots.  When you see something during your trip and then build a plan around something you see I still consider this travel photography even though there happens to be a landscape I am shooting.  I think we're splitting hairs here.  I have MANY other shots I could post but wanted to highlight this as an example of planning something different during a trip. But your point is still valid, especially when it comes to HOW the image is used. Many places I go are remote and don't have a lot of people, although I do have some market shots.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Stas77 on April 25, 2013, 06:55
Wow, this is very interesting conversation, thanks you! Yes, I am TWAC (traveller with a camera), I don't see me going travel a lot just for pictures for sale.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: luissantos84 on April 25, 2013, 09:18
there is no money in stock, we all know that, must say the usual flipping burgers pays you a lot more ;D
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: gillian vann on April 26, 2013, 07:12
that is true, although I do get to do what I love, and then I get to work from home in casual clothes, no shoes, no make up, messy hair, endless coffee breaks, and dont' have to tolerate other people..... unless I come in here :-*
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Xanox on April 26, 2013, 14:26
however, i don't think it's all doom and gloom.

tourism across the world is still a strong industry and there's no way they can promote tourism without nice photos.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Donvanstaden on May 21, 2013, 15:15
I take trips few times a year. i just was in asia now and i have beautiful pictures that i take. my question is travel photos popular? if i post, should i bother tag with the name of place? do people look for name of place? or just say "girl play with dog on sea" or something that describe pictures? sunset in australia or sunset on great ocean road?

I just uploaded my 'Snaps' from my trip to Egypt and they are selling surprisingly well on SS. not sure how long the run will last though.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Pinocchio on May 21, 2013, 17:07
I take trips few times a year. i just was in asia now and i have beautiful pictures that i take. my question is travel photos popular? if i post, should i bother tag with the name of place? do people look for name of place? or just say "girl play with dog on sea" or something that describe pictures? sunset in australia or sunset on great ocean road?

I just uploaded my 'Snaps' from my trip to Egypt and they are selling surprisingly well on SS. not sure how long the run will last though.

Dit werk; nou, gaan "buck the system" nog 'n keer.....
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Perry on October 25, 2014, 04:36
I just wanted to share this without starting a new thread:

http://news.distractify.com/fun/fails/seeing-these-9-famous-landmarks-from-far-away-might-shatter-your-perception-of-them-forever/ (http://news.distractify.com/fun/fails/seeing-these-9-famous-landmarks-from-far-away-might-shatter-your-perception-of-them-forever/)

(These 23 Far Away Perspectives Of Famous Places Will Change The Way You See Them Forever)

Yes, I'm guilty of making idealistic travel stock photos...
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 25, 2014, 08:53
Some of them still look pretty good, even trying to find a bad angle. Hey they moved the ropes back from Stonehenge even farther? Las Vegas was built at an oasis in the desert. You leave the city and it's nothing but brown and tan for miles and miles.  :)

Thanks Perry, interesting perspective.

(http://s5.postimg.org/um5hnpwfb/pete_hollywood.jpg)
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: images on October 26, 2014, 22:55
From the advice in this thread I suspect there may be some hyperbole on this site:
http://www.thephotographerslife.com/sign-up/ (http://www.thephotographerslife.com/sign-up/)
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: JKB on October 27, 2014, 05:28
... [url]http://news.distractify.com/fun/fails/seeing-these-9-famous-landmarks-from-far-away-might-shatter-your-perception-of-them-forever/[/url] ([url]http://news.distractify.com/fun/fails/seeing-these-9-famous-landmarks-from-far-away-might-shatter-your-perception-of-them-forever/[/url])
(These 23 Far Away Perspectives Of Famous Places Will Change The Way You See Them Forever) ...

This reminded me of Hokusai's famous series http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-six_Views_of_Mount_Fuji (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-six_Views_of_Mount_Fuji) - and why there are always new ways of picturing even famous landmarks.

Some of those far-away viewpoints were a lot more interesting than the idealized, done-to-death view, though that might be just me... :)
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: wordplanet on October 27, 2014, 23:30
Put in the name of the place.

I shoot a lot of travel photography and often travel solely to shoot stock. There's a difference between a well planned shot and a snapshot, but without seeing the OP's work there's no way to know if it's worth uploading - but he might as well take a chance and see how it goes.

Landscape and travel photography are often one and the same. I can think of several photos that I've licensed to travel magazines, websites, calendar companies, and travel books (i.e. the same photo to all of them) that could be seen as "landscapes" or "seascapes" but, like the lovely photo that Mantis posted, these scenics included iconic architecture - like that amazing tower built into the rock, that can't be found anywhere but that location. To me, that means keywords like travel, landscape, seascape, and the actual location all apply.

In fact, a photo of a Saguaro cactus, while not a travel photo per se, could easily be used in a travel guide because they are only found naturally in the Sonoran Desert and nowhere else in the world. Just like a photo of a Koala. It's "wildlife," but "travel" too.

Then again, shutterstock once licensed a most unusual image of mine that has appeared in several Fodor's Travel Guides to Disneyland - I blogged about it here: http://www.travelstockblog.com/uncategorized/is-this-travel-photography/ (http://www.travelstockblog.com/uncategorized/is-this-travel-photography/)
(Please note, I just switched over my blog from blogger to wordpress and the auto feature has erased some of the links and messed up the formatting - didn't realize how badly til I tested this link - another project for tomorrow)
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: wordplanet on October 27, 2014, 23:31
Perry - Your comment reminded me of seeing The Alamo - it's even more surrounded by urban sprawl than when I first saw it about 25 years ago - but my favorite was the Great Wall of China - thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Hobostocker on October 28, 2014, 00:43
yep, local photographers who can ask people to sign a model release too :)

good luck making illiterate street food sellers sign a model release in a backward third world country ... even more funny if they're hilltribes ... for the record i had decent sales with images of people in asian markets, but they're all editorial for obvious reasons.

Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: mojaric on October 28, 2014, 02:35
Everyone takes vacations and shoots pictures and thinks their images are beautiful.  It's unlikely that trying to sell them as stock will be worth the effort, as people already in the area, and professional photographers have likely already spent lots of time and money creating salable works from the area.

i've to agree with him

BUT this dosn't mean that you should stop travelling with your camera and shoot pictures...just maybe you won't get in few hours of visit the best result you can get from one spot...but coming back to the main point,for sure this will be totally UN-economic
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: ShadySue on October 28, 2014, 07:06
Everyone takes vacations and shoots pictures and thinks their images are beautiful.  It's unlikely that trying to sell them as stock will be worth the effort, as people already in the area, and professional photographers have likely already spent lots of time and money creating salable works from the area.

i've to agree with him

BUT this dosn't mean that you should stop travelling with your camera and shoot pictures...just maybe you won't get in few hours of visit the best result you can get from one spot...but coming back to the main point,for sure this will be totally UN-economic

A couple of years ago, not necessarily so: I did an experiment by making a trip to an already reasonably-covered city I'd never been to before and to date have well over covered all my costs; but nowadays probably yes.
There are plenty of places which haven't been done to death, but they don't seem to sell well. You'd need to hope they'd suddenly be the 'next best thing'.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Lightrecorder on October 28, 2014, 09:03
Made enough money from some US city shots, been done to death, for some reason they like my versions.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: ShadySue on October 28, 2014, 10:31
The main disadvantage about being in a place for a short time is that you have to take the weather conditions and light as you find them. That's where the local usually has the advantage.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 28, 2014, 11:11
Yes I suggest you cover everything interesting in Glasgow (for example) next time you are near there.  ;)

What I really mean is, why travel, when every one of us, is already someplace? We don't have to travel to take historic or interesting photos of some destination. We are at a destination, every day.

Better yet, the popular places and sites have been covered and shot to death. If you find something different, there's a good chance of having a ready image and making a sale. Maybe less demand, but there's certainly less competition.

I hope Barry doesn't get mad a me for sharing one of our "Secrets of Microstock" finding fringe areas and under subscribed subjects. Those who scoff at us, will continue to find their images buried under a couple of tons of similar shots.


Everyone takes vacations and shoots pictures and thinks their images are beautiful.  It's unlikely that trying to sell them as stock will be worth the effort, as people already in the area, and professional photographers have likely already spent lots of time and money creating salable works from the area.

i've to agree with him

BUT this dosn't mean that you should stop travelling with your camera and shoot pictures...just maybe you won't get in few hours of visit the best result you can get from one spot...but coming back to the main point,for sure this will be totally UN-economic

A couple of years, not necessarily so: I did an experiment in an already reasonably-covered city I'd never been to before and to date have well over covered all my costs; but nowadays probably yes.
There are plenty of places which haven't been done to death, but they don't seem to sell well. You'd need to hope they'd suddenly be the 'next best thing'.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 28, 2014, 11:32
Better yet, the popular places and sites have been covered and shot to death. If you find something different, there's a good chance of having a ready image and making a sale. Maybe less demand, but there's certainly less competition.
Yep, take average images of low demand subjects and you have a good chance of getting a sale.  Hopefully your sale covers your time, gas, gear etc...  The formula is simple, take great shots of high demand topics.  You aren't going to make any money shooting things that might get you a sale one day.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 28, 2014, 11:39
AFTO of course.  ::)

Pay $5000 to fly to Paris, rent a room and a car, and spend a week shooting things that have been covered for 10 years back to film scans. And then expect to make up those expenses 25c at a time... right. You're right.

I can stop my car, where I live, with the equipment I already own, on the way somewhere I was already going to, and make a shot that will cover the minimal expense, in one sale.

Which one earns more money?


Better yet, the popular places and sites have been covered and shot to death. If you find something different, there's a good chance of having a ready image and making a sale. Maybe less demand, but there's certainly less competition.
Yep, take average images of low demand subjects and you have a good chance of getting a sale.  Hopefully your sale covers your time, gas, gear etc...  The formula is simple, take great shots of high demand topics.  You aren't going to make any money shooting things that might get you a sale one day.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 28, 2014, 11:45
AFTO of course.  ::)

Pay $5000 to fly to Paris, rent a room and a car, and spend a week shooting things that have been covered for 10 years back to film scans. And then expect to make up those expenses 25c at a time... right. You're right.

I can stop my car, where I live, with the equipment I already own, on the way somewhere I was already passing, and make a shot that will cover the minimal expense, in one sale.

Which one earns more money?


Better yet, the popular places and sites have been covered and shot to death. If you find something different, there's a good chance of having a ready image and making a sale. Maybe less demand, but there's certainly less competition.
Yep, take average images of low demand subjects and you have a good chance of getting a sale.  Hopefully your sale covers your time, gas, gear etc...  The formula is simple, take great shots of high demand topics.  You aren't going to make any money shooting things that might get you a sale one day.
Paris will earn you more money but not if you fly first class and stay in 5 star hotels.  You can easily go to Paris for two weeks on half what you are estimating for a flight. 
Stopping on the way somewhere to take a snapshot is not how you make money with travel photography.  Planning, using the right gear, waiting for the shot, etc.. are what's needed.  You are right, with your approach all you can expect is making 25c but that's not what you should be aiming for.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Hobostocker on October 28, 2014, 18:01
i don't have the feeling the ones making good sales with Paris or NYC or London are just photographers based on Paris/NYC/London ... actually they're the ones angry about losing sales from random tourists and snappers coming on holidays.

claiming that all you need is to live there and have lots of time is only true in part, just look at how people shoot weddings, it can be done in so many different ways, some pro wedding guys are absolutely amazing just give them a church and and a bride and the sky is the limit, there are no boring subjects just boring photographers !

Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Hobostocker on October 28, 2014, 18:06
Paris will earn you more money but not if you fly first class and stay in 5 star hotels. 

hahaha and if you're on a tight budget i heard of guys doing couchsurfing or sleeping in a tent or in a van.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Ed on October 28, 2014, 18:52
Paris will earn you more money but not if you fly first class and stay in 5 star hotels. 


hahaha and if you're on a tight budget i heard of guys doing couchsurfing or sleeping in a tent or in a van.


A timely blog post from a terrific photographer

http://www.nomadicdestiny.com/blog/2014/10/28/nomad-questions-answered (http://www.nomadicdestiny.com/blog/2014/10/28/nomad-questions-answered)
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Hobostocker on October 28, 2014, 19:48
A timely blog post from a terrific photographer

[url]http://www.nomadicdestiny.com/blog/2014/10/28/nomad-questions-answered[/url] ([url]http://www.nomadicdestiny.com/blog/2014/10/28/nomad-questions-answered[/url])


i think he's overspending, 200$/week for food and 200$/week for gas ??

as for finding a nomad girl he's spot on but i'm friend with a girl who's now cycling asia/oceania/americas since three years with her boyfriend, they sleep in a tent usually but sometimes they're invited in a local's home in small villages, so far so good, too bad they're not pro photographers as i'm sure they could make saleable images, you can't get any cheaper than that regarding production costs ...
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 28, 2014, 21:30
Cutting costs is only one part of the equation.  In order to make money you have to work hard.  You won't be successful if you look at travel photography as something you do on the way to doing something else.  That's a terrible approach and if you're going to do that you might as well stay at home.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: YadaYadaYada on October 28, 2014, 21:56
Cutting costs is only one part of the equation.  In order to make money you have to work hard.  You won't be successful if you look at travel photography as something you do on the way to doing something else.  That's a terrible approach and if you're going to do that you might as well stay at home.

Taking a trip to do travel photography is a terrible business approach. You'll never recover your expenses.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 28, 2014, 22:02
Cutting costs is only one part of the equation.  In order to make money you have to work hard.  You won't be successful if you look at travel photography as something you do on the way to doing something else.  That's a terrible approach and if you're going to do that you might as well stay at home.

Taking a trip to do travel photography is a terrible business approach. You'll never recover your expenses.
That's not true but you have to work hard and be smart about it, like anything else in this business.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 29, 2014, 04:27
Cutting costs is only one part of the equation.  In order to make money you have to work hard.  You won't be successful if you look at travel photography as something you do on the way to doing something else.  That's a terrible approach and if you're going to do that you might as well stay at home.

Taking a trip to do travel photography is a terrible business approach. You'll never recover your expenses.

Never?
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: mojaric on October 29, 2014, 05:02
travel photography is self-maintanaable ONLY if you have a good sales network....if you sell only in microstock no...

if someone is doing travel photography and living from it selling ONLY on microstock is really welcome to share his/her experience and numbers ;D....until then i stay on my idea
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 29, 2014, 05:32
travel photography is self-maintanaable ONLY if you have a good sales network....if you sell only in microstock no...

if someone is doing travel photography and living from it selling ONLY on microstock is really welcome to share his/her experience and numbers ;D....until then i stay on my idea

So what subject is self maintainable to make a living from microstock?
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: photostockad on October 29, 2014, 06:44
I live in Europe. I have 2-3 travel holidays/year in Europe countries and i earn more money from images that the cost of holidays. So, it is possible to earn more than the cost.
But, i don't stay at 5 stars hotels, i don't eat every lunch at restaurant and i don't fly at first class. I am not a VIP, i am just a tourist :)
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 29, 2014, 10:41
Not a dedicated trip for the purpose of photography. And maybe seldom would have been a better choice by Yada?  :)  How many sales on Micro and how long to make up 1-2,000 in expenses. (people already have the equipment, I'm just counting the trip expenses for a week for example.)

Then there's this:

Paris France Stock Photos
(42,482 results)

Gary Indiana Stock Photos
(21 results)

No I don't think one will beat the other and make someone wealthy but considering if Someone lives in Gary, they have a great place to shoot on weekends.

Milwaukee Wisconsin Stock Photos
(781 results)

Phoenix Arizona Stock Photos
(2,873 results)

Portland Oregon Stock Photos
(5,148 results)

I'm simply saying that people are missing out, if they think they must take a trip or vacation, spend money, or be someplace else, to shoot travel.

Or you could spend money and go to:

Timbuktu Stock Photos
(195 results)

Orkney Islands Stock Photos
(788 results)

Easter Island Stock Photos
(1,608 results)

The question is, does the future return justify the expense?

Cutting costs is only one part of the equation.  In order to make money you have to work hard.  You won't be successful if you look at travel photography as something you do on the way to doing something else.  That's a terrible approach and if you're going to do that you might as well stay at home.

Taking a trip to do travel photography is a terrible business approach. You'll never recover your expenses.

Never?
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 29, 2014, 10:56
I'm simply saying that people are missing out, if they think they must take a trip or vacation, spend money, or be someplace else, to shoot travel.
You will have a very difficult time making any money shooting travel on a vacation.  I think it has to be your primary focus, if like you said you just shoot things on the way to do something else, like a few shots while you're walking to the Eiffel Tower you probably will not make much at all.  You need to plan and spend your time focused on shooting not on being a tourist.  For me if I was going to shoot in Paris I most likely wouldn't visit any museums or do any of the touristy things, I would be getting up before dawn and shooting late into the night, the focus needs to be on shooting not sightseeing. 
You compare Gary Indiana to Paris France and on iStock you can see that the best selling Gary Indiana travel photograph has 8 downloads while the best selling Paris image has over 1700 downloads.  I think it's clear which location has better earnings potential, the image of Paris could have paid for your entire trip while the image of Gary could pay for a tank of gas.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Lightrecorder on October 29, 2014, 11:12
Once I took a business trip to a big city, didnt pay off
Once I took a holiday trip to another country, that did pay off.

Cant say anything about really. Depends on a lot of factors and definitely a bit of luck and good search placement.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: mojaric on October 29, 2014, 11:23
So what subject is self maintainable to make a living from microstock?

from my limited experience i can assume that the only subject that is self maintanable are business/people/office/workers pictures...and i think i'm not that wrong
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 29, 2014, 12:07
Good that you could prove my point Tick. Thanks

42,482 and 1700 DLs = 4%

21 and 8 DLs = 38%

Which is better? 1700 DLs out of 42,000 similar files of a subject that well covered, and has a low DL percentage from the total population (meaning 40,000+ images have no downloads?)  or one that will get you a 38% chance of getting sold? This is where a well produced and shot image will shine, not lost in a morass of 42,000 others.

There are McDonald's stores that go out of business. It's not an automatic. Shooting Paris doesn't seem like a good idea to me, it's been done and overdone.

True, If you want to do a good job, it's not a vacation it's work. But some people have answered that they mix the two, which makes sense. My point which seems to have been lost in, how to go on the cheap, stay with a friend, or who knows what else... was this:

You already live someplace. We don't have to travel, vacation, or spend great amounts to take "travel" photos. Sometimes places that are near, have a better chance of making a sale than going to somewhere which is out of the way or over covered.

Here's one of the flaws in Microstock. People think that the way to make money is copy or imitate what's popular. In other words, make more of what's already been over done. Instead we should look for things that need more representation and shoot that. Like small towns and out of the way places, which might not have the high volume, but you'll have the better exposure than going where every man has gone before.

Didn't anyone watch Star Trek? "boldly go where no man has gone before"  :) or at the least get away from the crowd, the over produced and common? Far From the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 29, 2014, 12:22
Good that you could prove my point Tick. Thanks

42,482 and 1700 DLs = 4%

21 and 8 DLs = 38%

Which is better? 1700 DLs out of 42,000 similar files of a subject that well covered, and has a low DL percentage from the total population (meaning 40,000+ images have no downloads?)  or one that will get you a 38% chance of getting sold? This is where a well produced and shot image will shine, not lost in a morass of 42,000 others.

There are McDonald's stores that go out of business. It's not an automatic. Shooting Paris doesn't seem like a good idea to me, it's been done and overdone.

True, If you want to do a good job, it's not a vacation it's work. But some people have answered that they mix the two, which makes sense. My point which seems to have been lost in, how to go on the cheap, stay with a friend, or who knows what else... was this:

You already live someplace. We don't have to travel, vacation, or spend great amounts to take "travel" photos. Sometimes places that are near, have a better chance of making a sale than going to somewhere which is out of the way or over covered.

Here's one of the flaws in Microstock. People think that the way to make money is copy or imitate what's popular. In other words, make more of what's already been over done. Instead we should look for things that need more representation and shoot that. Like small towns and out of the way places, which might not have the high volume, but you'll have the better exposure than going where every man has gone before.

Didn't anyone watch Star Trek? "boldly go where no man has gone before"  :) or at the least get away from the crowd, the over produced and common? Far From the madding crowd's ignoble strife
That's a bizarre argument, the best selling travel image of Gary has probably made less than $10 per year.  You would have to shoot thousands of best sellers to make any money, that's just not possible.  I'm not sure if you are just kidding around but $10 a year for the best selling image is not a great opportunity.  The top 5 Gary travel images have 20 dls total compared to more than 7400 of the top 5 of paris.  I think your point must be that you don't have a clue?
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Copidosoma on October 29, 2014, 12:54
Good that you could prove my point Tick. Thanks

42,482 and 1700 DLs = 4%

21 and 8 DLs = 38%

Which is better? 1700 DLs out of 42,000 similar files of a subject that well covered, and has a low DL percentage from the total population (meaning 40,000+ images have no downloads?)  or one that will get you a 38% chance of getting sold? This is where a well produced and shot image will shine, not lost in a morass of 42,000 others.



That is one of the most bizarre bits of math/logic I've seen in a long time. How exactly do you figure that 40K + have no downloads?

I'll take a photo that gets me 1400 downloads over one that gets me 8 ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. Who cares what percentage of the total available on that subject is. "boring image of fruit" has only 5 photos on IS. Doesn't really mean that I'd want to fill a port with that. There is a reason why generic images of small towns aren't big sellers. Nobody really needs them.

"you already live someplace" so we should be filling our ports with photos of the boring places we live? By that logic, everyone has feet so we should all be uploading photos of our feet to stock sites. Grand idea. ::)
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 30, 2014, 14:01
Bad math I read the top image as the total.

Here's the point: People who live in Europe should shoot Europe. Don't go fly to Paris to shoot what there's already 42, 000 shots of on IS. Like this person...

I live in Europe. I have 2-3 travel holidays/year in Europe countries and i earn more money from images that the cost of holidays. So, it is possible to earn more than the cost.
But, i don't stay at 5 stars hotels, i don't eat every lunch at restaurant and i don't fly at first class. I am not a VIP, i am just a tourist :)

Same goes for the USA. People who live here have better access.

And the everyone lives someplace is not "shooting boring places" unless you find anything that's not over produced and over covered = boring.

There are interesting things right around the corner from our homes.

It was a pretty simeple point to start with.

There are subjects in your own city or back yard, that can produce good returns and they aren't over saturated with excessive coverage.

But that's OK if people want to spend $2000 to make a bunch of 25 cents DLs, please ignore anything that's unconventional. Go to the National Parks and shoot the same shots that have been taken for 50 years. And come back here and ask, why you aren't getting the DLs you used to.

I really think the agencies should put out requests for more sliced vegetables, more pictures of things they have 42,000 shots of and more bland, nearly monochrome models, in muted tans, against white.

If people are going to just reshoot the same things that are covered and the best sellers and the same interesting and exciting places, same as thousands of others, they should also expect to be buried in the search under the thousands of others.

Now lets be fair with the numbers. Top image all time, Paris France 1700 DLs, (round numbers) it is an Essential which is good and uploaded in 2008, Image #2 is also Essential, circa 2007 by the way, First image on page 2 = 200 DLs, First image on page 3 = 100 DLs page 4 = 90 DLs, Signature - since 2005.

And you say, well what about those other 42,000? At number 2,500 (page 25) The top image of all time for most popular has 10 Downloads. So where does that leave the other 40,000? counting eggs, that's where.

How is this a good investment again? Taking a photo on a travel investment, competing against 10's of thousand similar images, and you can get ten DLs in three years. That's the competition that's already established and well entrenched.

I could make more standing on the corner with a "will work for food" sign, or picking up change under the drive through windows at fast food joints. Heck I could collect cans in the parks and recycle. It pays better than spending thousands to make $5 a year on travel photos. Some people make money on Amway and the other MLMs. Right, some people do. So that's proof that everyone else will?  (Hint: research shows that 99% of people lose money in MLMs)

It's not a good investment to travel exclusively for shooting travel photos. The ROI just isn't in it. And as soon as I say, make it part of a vacation someone else jumps up... you need to be more serious to shoot professional travel. Which is it?

Spend thousands to make hundreds or make money and enjoy the vacation? I prefer the second.

Anyway pointing out the top image of 42,500 as an example of how much someone could make is silly! But apparently me pointing out that image 10,000 has one DL isn't interesting? Or that 27,000 images have ZERO DLs. Doesn't seem to concern anyone?

Better yet if spending a couple grand to go someplace and shoot travel, so you can imagine you'll make $50 a year from it, is a great idea, why not save the time and just buy 2000 lottery tickets?  :)


Good that you could prove my point Tick. Thanks

42,482 and 1700 DLs = 4%

21 and 8 DLs = 38%

Which is better? 1700 DLs out of 42,000 similar files of a subject that well covered, and has a low DL percentage from the total population (meaning 40,000+ images have no downloads?)  or one that will get you a 38% chance of getting sold? This is where a well produced and shot image will shine, not lost in a morass of 42,000 others.



That is one of the most bizarre bits of math/logic I've seen in a long time. How exactly do you figure that 40K + have no downloads?

I'll take a photo that gets me 1400 downloads over one that gets me 8 ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. Who cares what percentage of the total available on that subject is. "boring image of fruit" has only 5 photos on IS. Doesn't really mean that I'd want to fill a port with that. There is a reason why generic images of small towns aren't big sellers. Nobody really needs them.

"you already live someplace" so we should be filling our ports with photos of the boring places we live? By that logic, everyone has feet so we should all be uploading photos of our feet to stock sites. Grand idea. ::)
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 30, 2014, 14:28
Pete, it looks as though you've never sold a travel image on istock in 7 years.  Why should anyone here think you know what you're talking about?  If you could make more money shooting your home town than going to the top tourist destinations in the world how come you haven't followed your own advice?
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 30, 2014, 14:56
What's a "travel photo" so I can check if I every sold one? Since you took the time to look, (and make a half-assed, personal insult) I'll assume you are a travel expert. But since you are anonymous, I can't even return the tasteless attempt at a personal attack. I mean we don't even know if you have a photo on your IS exclusive account, because you don't exist, except on the forum? Right?

Here's my idea. We do a Kickstart fund and send you to Central Africa where there's no Internet, you can shoot travel. I'd pay for a month of that...  ;)

So Mr. travel expert, how far to I have to be from home to make it travel, or how close to make it Not travel, but just scenery or something else? I need some definitions to play your game.

Birmingham Alabama USA - April 10, 2011
(http://i.istockimg.com/file_thumbview_approve/38437360/2/stock-photo-38437360-irl-indycar-racing-barber-birmingham-alabama.jpg)

Wildlife on the shore of Lake Michigan?
(http://i.istockimg.com/file_thumbview_approve/5772175/2/stock-photo-5772175-yellow-rubber-ducky-on-seashore.jpg)

Iowa?
(http://image.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/111418/186663032/stock-photo-pikes-peak-iowa-high-above-the-confluence-of-the-mississippi-and-the-wisconsin-river-border-186663032.jpg)

Holy Hill Wisconsin?
(http://static2.bigstockphoto.com/thumbs/7/3/1/large2/13700972.jpg)

Joliet, IL
(http://c8.alamy.com/comp/B468K7/Milka_Duno_facing_race_ready-B468K7.jpg)

You are correct though, I don't travel much. I'm still working and don't get paid vacations.

(ps hope you liked the stamp scans, they really are terrible and horrid. I'll save you the trouble of pointing out what a misguided effort that was.)






Pete, it looks as though you've never sold a travel image on istock in 7 years.  Why should anyone here think you know what you're talking about?  If you could make more money shooting your home town than going to the top tourist destinations in the world how come you haven't followed your own advice?
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 30, 2014, 15:06
What's a "travel photo" so I can check if I every sold one? Since you took the time to look, (and make a half-assed, personal insult) I'll assume you are a travel expert. But since you are anonymous, I can't even return the tasteless attempt at a personal attack. I mean we don't even know if you have a photo on your IS exclusive account, because you don't exist, except on the forum? Right?
I wasn't trying to insult you.  I think travel photography is photography which shows off  a specific location.  Taking a picture of your feet on the sidewalk in Paris doesn't make it a travel photo even though you were traveling when you took it.  It's not generic, it's specific to the location.  You don't have to travel at all to make travel photographs, your home town can be shot just as well.  Things like landmarks, unique scenery, the people, etc... would fall into that category.  In your examples the church or panoramic would be travel photos, the generic duck on a generic shore wouldn't.

And I'd love to go to Central Africa, I doubt it would make much money though.  Remember that there needs to be demand not just low supply for sales to happen.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 30, 2014, 15:18
Can you link to your portfolio please?

So the claim that I haven't every sold a travel photo, isn't quite accurate. Right?

(now you've insulted my favorite duck model. Will this become a Duck thread? Or a thread to Duck?)

What's a "travel photo" so I can check if I every sold one? Since you took the time to look, (and make a half-assed, personal insult) I'll assume you are a travel expert. But since you are anonymous, I can't even return the tasteless attempt at a personal attack. I mean we don't even know if you have a photo on your IS exclusive account, because you don't exist, except on the forum? Right?
I wasn't trying to insult you.  I think travel photography is photography which shows off  a specific location.  Taking a picture of your feet on the sidewalk in Paris doesn't make it a travel photo even though you were traveling when you took it.  It's not generic, it's specific to the location.  You don't have to travel at all to make travel photographs, your home town can be shot just as well.  Things like landmarks, unique scenery, the people, etc... would fall into that category.  In your examples the church or panoramic would be travel photos, the generic duck on a generic shore wouldn't.

And I'd love to go to Central Africa, I doubt it would make much money though.  Remember that there needs to be demand not just low supply for sales to happen.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 30, 2014, 15:28
So the claim that I haven't every sold a travel photo, isn't quite accurate. Right?
I said on iStock.  I can't see sales on Shutterstock so I can't say how you've done there but with subjects like the two you posted I doubt you can have too many sales.  I've never heard of Holy Hill, Pikes Peak is a better travel subject I would guess. Your skyline of Milwaukee is a better example of travel photography than those two though.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 30, 2014, 16:01
You are correct... for some strange reason it sells? I just re-uploaded it to IS last night. They had issues with some lettering and a logo on one of the buildings.

You doubt I have too many sales with those? How about with anything? You mean this is all about sales?

How about a link to your work? Fair is only fair if you are going to offer free advise, critiques and go check other peoples collections?

Gertie forgives you, she says it's difficult to support a large family on just spare change and quarters for her modeling efforts. She was only briefly insulted...
(http://c8.alamy.com/comp/BAMX0G/Family_of_yellow_Rubber_Ducks-BAMX0G.jpg)

See below = Shazam! (apologies to Gomer Pile) Isn't that exactly what I said to start with!  ::)

You don't have to travel at all to make travel photographs, your home town can be shot just as well.  Things like landmarks, unique scenery, the people, etc... would fall into that category.


So the claim that I haven't every sold a travel photo, isn't quite accurate. Right?

I said on iStock.  I can't see sales on Shutterstock so I can't say how you've done there but with subjects like the two you posted I doubt you can have too many sales.  I've never heard of Holy Hill, Pikes Peak is a better travel subject I would guess. Your skyline of Milwaukee is a better example of travel photography than those two though.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 30, 2014, 16:03
You mean this is all about sales?
I thought it was.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: pancaketom on October 30, 2014, 16:22
You mean this is all about sales?
I thought it was.

but it should be about return vs. cost (and cost = time and effort as well as money).

That is where a local skyline shot on the morning commute with perfect light can have a better return vs effort than traveling a long distance to a destination in the hope of hitting the potentially much more lucrative jackpot.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 30, 2014, 16:25
You mean this is all about sales?
I thought it was.

but it should be about return vs. cost (and cost = time and effort as well as money).

That is where a local skyline shot on the morning commute with perfect light can have a better return vs effort than traveling a long distance to a destination in the hope of hitting the potentially much more lucrative jackpot.
What I've been saying the whole time is that you can't shoot travel photography hoping to hit a jackpot or win the lottery.  You have to plan and put effort into it.  I do agree you'll make more shooting snapshots with no cost than with a couple thousand dollars of cost or maybe it's better to say you'll lose less. 
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: ruxpriencdiam on October 30, 2014, 17:04
DUCKS!

OMG is this another one of those?

Lookout!

DUCKS are fast so I have heard.

Better watch out Pete the DUCKS will getcha! ;D :D :o

(http://www.digital-connector.com/img/projekte/characters/smilie4.jpg)
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: cascoly on October 30, 2014, 18:45
the whole quantity vs quality argument would be simpler if anyone KNEW what would sell -- the agencies certainly don't.  in biology there are 2 basic strategies for survival -- invest energy in intensive care of the young (mammals)  or spread your genome over thousands or millions of offspring and hope a few survive (viruses, insects, mushrooms) (some insects carry this  to the extreme that newly hatched larva are born pregnant so popluations can explode when scarce resources are discovered)

the 'concentrate efforts on a few quality images' approach will only work if you know what will sell.  otherwise you're spending too much time creating images no one will buy.

serendipity is everything -- the best selling image from my Antarctica cruise is a traffic jam picture I grabbed from a hotel rooftop in Buenos aires  (and, as a 'travel' picture it's usually not used in context of location)

Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 30, 2014, 19:01
the whole quantity vs quality argument would be simpler if anyone KNEW what would sell -- the agencies certainly don't.  in biology there are 2 basic strategies for survival -- invest energy in intensive care of the young (mammals)  or spread your genome over thousands or millions of offspring and hope a few survive (viruses, insects, mushrooms) (some insects carry this  to the extreme that newly hatched larva are born pregnant so popluations can explode when scarce resources are discovered)

the 'concentrate efforts on a few quality images' approach will only work if you know what will sell.  otherwise you're spending too much time creating images no one will buy.

serendipity is everything -- the best selling image from my Antarctica cruise is a traffic jam picture I grabbed from a hotel rooftop in Buenos aires  (and, as a 'travel' picture it's usually not used in context of location)
Has the trip made back the money you spent taking it?  I don't have much confidence that I could make back the money from an Antarctica trip, those are pretty expensive even if you try to do it on the cheap (a quick price check looks like it could cost easily $10,000-$20,000 for one person to go on a two week cruise, taking into account hotels and flights and gear, etc..).  Also Shutterstock's search by popular is strange that image shows up on the 30th page of your portfolio, kind of surprising for a best seller.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: cascoly on October 30, 2014, 19:47
the whole quantity vs quality argument would be simpler if anyone KNEW what would sell -- the agencies certainly don't.  in biology there are 2 basic strategies for survival -- invest energy in intensive care of the young (mammals)  or spread your genome over thousands or millions of offspring and hope a few survive (viruses, insects, mushrooms) (some insects carry this  to the extreme that newly hatched larva are born pregnant so popluations can explode when scarce resources are discovered)

the 'concentrate efforts on a few quality images' approach will only work if you know what will sell.  otherwise you're spending too much time creating images no one will buy.

serendipity is everything -- the best selling image from my Antarctica cruise is a traffic jam picture I grabbed from a hotel rooftop in Buenos aires  (and, as a 'travel' picture it's usually not used in context of location)
Has the trip made back the money you spent taking it?  I don't have much confidence that I could make back the money from an Antarctica trip, those are pretty expensive even if you try to do it on the cheap (a quick price check looks like it could cost easily $10,000-$20,000 for one person to go on a two week cruise, taking into account hotels and flights and gear, etc..).  Also Shutterstock's search by popular is strange that image shows up on the 30th page of your portfolio, kind of surprising for a best seller.

you obviously don't know how to find travel bargains - 2 of us traveled to antarctica for 20 days to Antarctica for < $10,000.  I can find similar trips right now for not much more

but the point was never that I expected to make back the costs - this was one of the best trips we've ever taken. the point was that no one can predict which images will sell

as far as numbers, I don't discuss details with trolls who refuse to identify their portfolios
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 30, 2014, 20:00
the whole quantity vs quality argument would be simpler if anyone KNEW what would sell -- the agencies certainly don't.  in biology there are 2 basic strategies for survival -- invest energy in intensive care of the young (mammals)  or spread your genome over thousands or millions of offspring and hope a few survive (viruses, insects, mushrooms) (some insects carry this  to the extreme that newly hatched larva are born pregnant so popluations can explode when scarce resources are discovered)

the 'concentrate efforts on a few quality images' approach will only work if you know what will sell.  otherwise you're spending too much time creating images no one will buy.

serendipity is everything -- the best selling image from my Antarctica cruise is a traffic jam picture I grabbed from a hotel rooftop in Buenos aires  (and, as a 'travel' picture it's usually not used in context of location)
Has the trip made back the money you spent taking it?  I don't have much confidence that I could make back the money from an Antarctica trip, those are pretty expensive even if you try to do it on the cheap (a quick price check looks like it could cost easily $10,000-$20,000 for one person to go on a two week cruise, taking into account hotels and flights and gear, etc..).  Also Shutterstock's search by popular is strange that image shows up on the 30th page of your portfolio, kind of surprising for a best seller.

you obviously don't know how to find travel bargains - 2 of us traveled to antarctica for 20 days to Antarctica for < $10,000.  I can find similar trips right now for not much more

but the point was never that I expected to make back the costs - this was one of the best trips we've ever taken. the point was that no one can predict which images will sell

as far as numbers, I don't discuss details with trolls who refuse to identify their portfolios
Sorry for asking.  Congrats on the deal. 
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Lightrecorder on October 31, 2014, 03:02
Why are people disrupting a good discussion with stupendous big images of smileys !! Seriously.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 31, 2014, 10:33
It's all about ducks and catching them in photos, sharp images are nearly impossible, because they are so fast and stealth. That's why people can't get a sharp duck shot. Don't try to shoot ducks, your photos will be rejected!

As for "Travel" it's been beat to death. Four pages of stupid arguments and contradictions only to end up that we agreed. That is: you can make good travel photos locally, and don't necessarily have to spend a load of money on a trip, to far away places, to get them.

Part two is, the trip may not recover the expenses involved, but it's worthwhile to have done it. Taking a trip for photos only and believing that they will pay for the excursion, isn't really a good business decision. Sure you'll get nice photos and they might sell, but if this is about investment and earnings, Travel exclusively for Travel Photos isn't the best way to make money.

Part three: People who live in the prime places, will be shooting closer to home and can just motor over on a weekend or spend vacation time, without the expense and overhead of crossing an ocean for pictures that will earn pennies in most cases.

Also apparently flying to the UK is much more expensive than flying to France. My error, I over estimated the price of transportation. Looks like I'd be better off, flying to France and taking the Chunnel train $68.  :) For much less.

Why are people disrupting a good discussion with stupendous big images of smileys !! Seriously.


Seriously you ask? Speaking of anonymous trolls. I must ask you LR, when do you drop out and change your October name-of-the-month for November?

And that's why a duck... and why a huge smiley face

(http://s5.postimg.org/m4me61l5z/duckwebsmoke.jpg)
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 31, 2014, 11:03
As for "Travel" it's been beat to death. Four pages of stupid arguments and contradictions only to end up that we agreed. That is: you can make good travel photos locally, and don't necessarily have to spend a load of money on a trip, to far away places, to get them.

Part two is, the trip may not recover the expenses involved, but it's worthwhile to have done it. Taking a trip for photos only and believing that they will pay for the excursion, isn't really a good business decision. Sure you'll get nice photos and they might sell, but if this is about investment and earnings, Travel exclusively for Travel Photos isn't the best way to make money.

Part three: People who live in the prime places, will be shooting closer to home and can just motor over on a weekend or spend vacation time, without the expense and overhead of crossing an ocean for pictures that will earn pennies in most cases.
You are misunderstanding me if you think I'm contradicting myself or that we agree.  Making good photos doesn't mean you'll make money, those are different things.  You can take the best travel photo of Gary - Indiana (to use your example) and you'll make maybe $50 in a year if you're lucky or you can take the best travel photo of say Paris and make many thousands of dollars.  Both would be good photos but one would make you a lot more.  There is no contradiction in that, good photos don't always sell.   More people need photos of Paris than they do of Gary.
I agree with your second point, taking photos while on vacation will not make you much money.  I've been saying the whole time that in order to make money you need to plan and devote your time to shooting, not vacationing.  I take trips for fun and shoot a little bit (actually very little) because I know it's not worth it to miss out on my vacation trying to get shots.  On the other hand I take trips for shooting travel photography and on those I spend many hours preparing, I get up early, stay out late, go without family, don't go to tourist sites or museums, I spend my time focused on working.  On those trips I make money.
Your third point misses the fact that each of us a photographers have our own vision, skill, and aesthetic not to mention work ethic and business sense.  If you put in the effort and have some skill you can take unique and useful images that will make money.   Just like everything else you have to put in the work if you expect to make a good return on your investment. 
In order to do well in this business I think it takes investment.  You could shoot family members for free or you could pay money to get better looking more professional models, I would rather make $1,000 off of a $100 investment than $100 off a zero dollar investment. 
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 31, 2014, 11:06
Link to your port please so I can see what you mean?

As for "Travel" it's been beat to death. Four pages of stupid arguments and contradictions only to end up that we agreed. That is: you can make good travel photos locally, and don't necessarily have to spend a load of money on a trip, to far away places, to get them.

Part two is, the trip may not recover the expenses involved, but it's worthwhile to have done it. Taking a trip for photos only and believing that they will pay for the excursion, isn't really a good business decision. Sure you'll get nice photos and they might sell, but if this is about investment and earnings, Travel exclusively for Travel Photos isn't the best way to make money.

Part three: People who live in the prime places, will be shooting closer to home and can just motor over on a weekend or spend vacation time, without the expense and overhead of crossing an ocean for pictures that will earn pennies in most cases.
You are misunderstanding me if you think I'm contradicting myself or that we agree.  Making good photos doesn't mean you'll make money, those are different things.  You can take the best travel photo of Gary - Indiana (to use your example) and you'll make maybe $50 in a year if you're lucky or you can take the best travel photo of say Paris and make many thousands of dollars.  Both would be good photos but one would make you a lot more.  There is no contradiction in that, good photos don't always sell.   More people need photos of Paris than they do of Gary.
I agree with your second point, taking photos while on vacation will not make you much money.  I've been saying the whole time that in order to make money you need to plan and devote your time to shooting, not vacationing.  I take trips for fun and shoot a little bit (actually very little) because I know it's not worth it to miss out on my vacation trying to get shots.  On the other hand I take trips for shooting travel photography and on those I spend many hours preparing, I get up early, stay out late, go without family, don't go to tourist sites or museums, I spend my time focused on working.  On those trips I make money.
Your third point misses the fact that each of us a photographers have our own vision, skill, and aesthetic not to mention work ethic and business sense.  If you put in the effort and have some skill you can take unique and useful images that will make money.   Just like everything else you have to put in the work if you expect to make a good return on your investment. 
In order to do well in this business I think it takes investment.  You could shoot family members for free or you could pay money to get better looking more professional models, I would rather make $1,000 off of a $100 investment than $100 off a zero dollar investment.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 31, 2014, 11:10
You can do a search for the best selling or most popular travel images and see that for the most part those images don't come from portfolios of people who take snapshots hoping to get lucky.  I think you'll be able to see that the best selling travel photographers portfolios are filled with high quality, well thought out, diverse subjects.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: cuppacoffee on October 31, 2014, 11:17
You can do a search for the best selling or most popular travel images and see that for the most part those images don't come from portfolios of people who take snapshots hoping to get lucky.

You can say that about all subjects. That's the underlying problem and definition of microstock today.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 31, 2014, 11:19
You can do a search for the best selling or most popular travel images and see that for the most part those images don't come from portfolios of people who take snapshots hoping to get lucky.

You can say that about all subjects. That's the underlying problem and definition of microstock today.
I'm not sure that's a problem.  The reality is that in order to make a living at this you have to be professional about it.  You have to work hard and have some skill no matter what your focus is whether it's lifestyle, travel, or anything else.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 31, 2014, 11:29
Darn, I can only click the Agree one time. We need some kind of one time monthly power boost, so I can give it a 10X agree!  :)

Anyone who thinks their casual work and snapshots will be good earning images, is one of those who says "Making money on Microstock is all about luck." Sorry Charlie, and I agree Cuppa, it's about work, planning and trying to produce what the market wants. (in the case of sports, timing and being at the right place at the right time, which is not luck or random it's a skill like knowing where to fish...)

We might not always be right, but it's not random snapping and hoping something works out.  8)

You can do a search for the best selling or most popular travel images and see that for the most part those images don't come from portfolios of people who take snapshots hoping to get lucky.

You can say that about all subjects. That's the underlying problem and definition of microstock today.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: cuppacoffee on October 31, 2014, 11:57
The problem is that "snaps" make up a good portion of the database and when there are millions of images they can dominate a search (if they are keyworded properly). More images should be rejected for low commercial value but no one wants that definition applied to their images and reviewers don't want to take the time to, or have the knowledge to define what should be thrown out. More and more useless and over-covered images are slipping through on the major players.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: tickstock on October 31, 2014, 12:12
The problem is that "snaps" make up a good portion of the database and when there are millions of images they can dominate a search (if they are keyworded properly). More images should be rejected for low commercial value but no one wants that definition applied to their images and reviewers don't want to take the time to, or have the knowledge to define what should be thrown out. More and more useless and over-covered images are slipping through on the major players.
I don't think that's a very big problem.  Look at Shutterstock's most popular search for Paris, I see almost no snapshots in the top thousand results.  Good images should find their way up and snapshots should move to the bottom of the search.  For the most part people submitting snapshots and vacation pics are just wasting their time.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Hobostocker on October 31, 2014, 22:56
the top sellers in Travel are always the typical "postcard" images of the most famous landmarks.

said that, there's a huge amount of second-tier landmarks and hot spots that you can shoot, and then markets, shops, lifestyle, food, whatever.

to really cut costs to the bone you must sleep in cheap guesthouses and eat cheap local food.

western europe can be very expensive now, forget about places like London or Paris but of course you can get lucky, these places have been shot to death from any possible perspective and weather situation, i wouldn't even try unless you're an expert travel shooter or if you've a lot of time in your hands.

taking it to the extreme i know of people couchsurfing or living in a van and only eating a loaf of bread with tuna cans .. that way you can travel even in expensive places like Norway or London without spending too much but you're basically living like a Hobo ... how long can you last, not more than a few weeks or months i guess, maybe i would do it if i was still 20 yrs old just for the experience, but ...

eastern europe is cheaper, but not that cheap, say 30-50% in the best scenario, 70% if you really sleep in godforsaken places.

long story short, you won't get rich with Travel but at least you'll travel and see the world.
for many, this is a good tradeoff, actually i even know some hardcore travellers that claim traveling is "the meaning of life" so to each his own ..

i can agree that no matter the money reward, traveling will definitely change you for the better and give you hands-on experience and a wider perspective in world affair, that's something you just cannot buy off the shelves, of course it has nothing to do with this discussion about production costs but in one way or another if you're a travel photographer you must be a traveller first and foremost otherwise yes you better stick to studio shootings or specialize in your own city.

there's nothing wrong doing only travel pics of your own city as long as it's touristic enough and in demand enough, say you live in paris or london or NYC, and also barcelona, rome, venice, prague, istanbul, delhi, bangkok, sydney, tokyo, HK, singapore .. there will be always demand for these places and if you live there the production costs are minimal.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Hobostocker on October 31, 2014, 23:07
I don't have much confidence that I could make back the money from an Antarctica trip, those are pretty expensive even if you try to do it on the cheap (a quick price check looks like it could cost easily $10,000-$20,000 for one person to go on a two week cruise, taking into account hotels and flights and gear, etc..). 

it can be less than 10K $ but the problem is, what are you going to shoot apart icebergs and wildlife ? there are no cities and no villages and no autoctonous people and no polar bears, just a few dozen base camps where tourists are not usually allowed and if they do it will cost you and arm and a leg to fly there (for instance McMurdo Base to Scott-Amundsen base at south pole).

From all the pics i've seen so far Greenland seems to be a LOT more colorful and interesting than Antarctica, and i could say the same about Alaska which is probably the cheapest and easiest option for polar photography.

so, considering the costs involved i don't think you'll ever recoup the money selling on micros.


Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: cascoly on November 01, 2014, 13:31
  ......
From all the pics i've seen so far Greenland seems to be a LOT more colorful and interesting than Antarctica, and i could say the same about Alaska which is probably the cheapest and easiest option for polar photography.
......


I agree completely about Antarctica as poor choice for stock, but the trip itself is  amazing - most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen -- only close competitors are the khumbu himal and andes cordillera, which are only accessible to trekkers.  stark, ice carved mountains dropping right into the sea, subtle light & colors and ice in incredible forms -- brash, iceberg, glaciers constantly changing.  but again, low demand in the stock marketplace.  we sailed past one huge tabular iceberg at sunset that was more than 3 miles long.   

Alaskan cruise was fun but not in same class  (actually best stock results from that cruise were the seattle skylines as we left port)

Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: cascoly on November 01, 2014, 13:40
.......long story short, you won't get rich with Travel but at least you'll travel and see the world.
for many, this is a good tradeoff, actually i even know some hardcore travellers that claim traveling is "the meaning of life" so to each his own ..

i can agree that no matter the money reward, traveling will definitely change you for the better and give you hands-on experience and a wider perspective in world affair, that's something you just cannot buy off the shelves, of course it has nothing to do with this discussion about production costs but in one way or another if you're a travel photographer you must be a traveller first and foremost otherwise yes you better stick to studio shootings or specialize in your own city.
....

exactly - travel is not my life, but it's a major part of it -- being able to recoup SOME expenses means more travel  -- I've escorted hiking and cultural tours, mostly in Turkey, but also Nepal, Peru, India & China, and one of the pleasures of those trips is watching people's horizons expand.  the opposite is trying to explain that turkey doesn't border on Afghanistan, and dealing with misconceptions about Islam, particularly in Turkey.   on our independent trips it's the non-photographic incidents that become the strongest memories. 
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: wordplanet on November 01, 2014, 14:52
More than half of my stock is travel and I license a lot of it directly - some through my Photoshelter site and some via queries to publishers, some through Alamy and some smaller trad sites, and also sell some on FAA and redbubble, but I also license a lot through Shutterstock and some through the other micros too.

I wouldn't put all my travel on the micros but it's not been a bad investment there. For example, I've got a handful of images of New England tourist places (landscapes with landmarks mostly) that have been "done to death" that are on the first or second page of ss and have been licensed hundreds of times - with many ELs. Different photos from those trips have been in numerous calendars and also do okay on Alamy and through my Photoshelter website.

They are all tourist destinations and destinations in rural areas that won't change, unlike a city skyline, so even those from 2009 still get downloaded weekly on ss.

It's not going to make me rich but I do plan it out and treat it as work, but it's work that includes meeting locals, seeing places I've never been or returning to places I love, and the value of the travel itself is an intangible benefit that can't be measured in terms of money but is worth more to me than a paycheck. After all, as that guy in the blog said, how many of us work our whole lives so we can afford to travel in retirement?

Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: robhainer on November 01, 2014, 15:45
I take trips few times a year. i just was in asia now and i have beautiful pictures that i take. my question is travel photos popular? if i post, should i bother tag with the name of place? do people look for name of place? or just say "girl play with dog on sea" or something that describe pictures? sunset in australia or sunset on great ocean road?

Everyone takes vacations and shoots pictures and thinks their images are beautiful.  It's unlikely that trying to sell them as stock will be worth the effort, as people already in the area, and professional photographers have likely already spent lots of time and money creating salable works from the area.

Cityscapes and popular tourist spots actually sell pretty well. Even editorials of landmarks sell pretty well. Enough to make it worth the time to shoot those kinds of things when you're already there anyway.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Hobostocker on November 01, 2014, 22:55
how many of us work our whole lives so we can afford to travel in retirement?

classic.
they're all deluded and searching excuses to avoid traveling.

besides, do they really think once they hit 60-65 yrs they will still have the mental and physical energy to seriously travel around the globe ? what a joke ... best scenario they will hop on a 5-stars cruise and scammed in the usual tourist traps, i see this sh-it every day as i lived in touristic megacities since the last 20 yrs.

there are a few notable exceptions, i've met crazy oldmen and grannies traveling the world on bicycle, on foot, on a van, on a moto, that's refreshing and inspiring but they're one in a million or even less.

for the average westerners the "dream" is a cruise in the caribbeans, a 30 days trip in europe, 2 weeks across china, a quick holiday in japan and south-east asia, a safari in africa, or if they're cashed up and still in good shape maybe a round the world ticket, that's all.



Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Hobostocker on November 01, 2014, 22:57
I agree completely about Antarctica as poor choice for stock, but the trip itself is  amazing - most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen -- only close competitors are the khumbu himal and andes cordillera, which are only accessible to trekkers.  stark, ice carved mountains dropping right into the sea, subtle light & colors and ice in incredible forms -- brash, iceberg, glaciers constantly changing.  but again, low demand in the stock marketplace.  we sailed past one huge tabular iceberg at sunset that was more than 3 miles long.   

Alaskan cruise was fun but not in same class  (actually best stock results from that cruise were the seattle skylines as we left port)

in fact i would go in Antarctica anyway, no matter if the place has less photo opportunities tha greenland or even the Alps, as a traveler it would be a badge of honour to add Antarctica on my travel CV ! :)

Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Hobostocker on November 01, 2014, 23:12
exactly - travel is not my life, but it's a major part of it -- being able to recoup SOME expenses means more travel  -- I've escorted hiking and cultural tours, mostly in Turkey, but also Nepal, Peru, India & China, and one of the pleasures of those trips is watching people's horizons expand.  the opposite is trying to explain that turkey doesn't border on Afghanistan, and dealing with misconceptions about Islam, particularly in Turkey.   on our independent trips it's the non-photographic incidents that become the strongest memories.

indeed.
we live in a society where almost everything is fake and embellished and trasnformed into a product with bells and whistles, the only glimpse of truth we're allowed to learn is by traveling and touching things with our hands, there's NO exceptions to this.

i'm more and more depressed seeing people dismissing travelling convinced it can be replaced by watching movies or documentaries, especially among my friends and my family back home.

you say Turkey i could say pretty much any country i've been so far, the logic is the same, even super touristic places like Bali and Phuket are quite a different story from how they're painted in the mainstream medias, pretty much anything the average guy in the West knows about the outer world is total bull-sh-it and he'll NEVER KNOW nor accept it.

people who don't travel live in their bubble, at best, and good luck telling them otherwise.

i see many negative comments here about selling travel stock, yes of course it doesn't sell like hotcakes but this is a lifestyle for us, it's a way for us to live the way we want and while there's a big price to pay for it we feel it's well worth it, i would never go back into a cubicle enslaved into a 9-to-5 "job", to each his own.


Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Millionstock.com on November 02, 2014, 18:59
To increase sales on my self hosted site (most of them are travel pics) I'm developing some mobile Travel Guides for smartphones with my pics.
See the first one at www.millionstock.com/rome.htm (http://www.millionstock.com/rome.htm)
In general my advice is to add some interesting material on your site.
Cheers
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: Buffalo Bill on November 02, 2014, 19:05
I feel my portfolio should be just like my diet- a well balanced portfolio having a little bit of everything to cover all bases.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: cascoly on November 03, 2014, 12:49
  i see many negative comments here about selling travel stock, yes of course it doesn't sell like hotcakes but this is a lifestyle for us, it's a way for us to live the way we want and while there's a big price to pay for it we feel it's well worth it, i would never go back into a cubicle enslaved into a 9-to-5 "job", to each his own.

yep - I left the cubicles early in my career - I'm probably one of the few programmers in seattle who never worked for boeing or Microsoft.  from the start a primary goal was 10-12 weeks of travel per year, and I almost always succeeded.
 
no individual trip pays for itself, but by continuing to build a portfolio,  it finances several trips per year.
Title: Re: Travel photography Sales
Post by: cascoly on November 03, 2014, 12:52
To increase sales on my self hosted site (most of them are travel pics) I'm developing some mobile Travel Guides for smartphones with my pics.
See the first one at [url=http://www.millionstock.com/rome.htm]www.millionstock.com/rome.htm[/url] ([url]http://www.millionstock.com/rome.htm[/url])
In general my advice is to add some interesting material on your site.
Cheers


I do similar on my site -- I'm always looking for people interested in exchanging relevant links --  http://cascoly.com/main-travel.asp (http://cascoly.com/main-travel.asp)

also, a quick way to make those thumbnails interactive on your webpages is to create contact sheets & extract the already formatted url, alt, caption, etc
http://cascoly-images.com/pix/how-to-make-interactive-contact-sheets/ (http://cascoly-images.com/pix/how-to-make-interactive-contact-sheets/)