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Author Topic: Travel photography Sales  (Read 18667 times)

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ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2013, 08:16 »
0
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.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 11:31 by ShadySue »


Les

« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2013, 08:23 »
+1
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.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2013, 08:52 »
0
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.)

shudderstok

« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2013, 10:17 »
+2
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.

« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2013, 13:02 »
+5
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.









« Reply #30 on: April 24, 2013, 13:55 »
+3
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.

« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2013, 17:57 »
+1




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'

« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2013, 19:19 »
+1
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.


« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2013, 20:31 »
0
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 ?

« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2013, 21:13 »
+1
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.

« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2013, 22:01 »
+2
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'

« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2013, 22:09 »
+2
 
 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

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2013, 22:19 »
+1
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...
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 22:28 by gillian »

« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2013, 06:46 »
+1
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.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 06:48 by Mantis »

« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2013, 06:55 »
0
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.

« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2013, 09:18 »
0
there is no money in stock, we all know that, must say the usual flipping burgers pays you a lot more ;D

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2013, 07:12 »
+7
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 :-*


« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2013, 14:26 »
+3
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.

Donvanstaden

« Reply #43 on: May 21, 2013, 15:15 »
+2
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.

Pinocchio

« Reply #44 on: May 21, 2013, 17:07 »
+1
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.....

« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2014, 04:36 »
+2
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/

(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...

Uncle Pete

« Reply #46 on: October 25, 2014, 08:53 »
0
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.


« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 08:57 by Uncle Pete »

« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2014, 22:55 »
+1
From the advice in this thread I suspect there may be some hyperbole on this site:
http://www.thephotographerslife.com/sign-up/

JKB

« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2014, 05:28 »
0
... 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) ...

This reminded me of Hokusai's famous series 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... :)

« Reply #49 on: October 27, 2014, 23:30 »
+1
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/
(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)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 23:33 by wordplanet »


 

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