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Messages - travelshouter

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1
Newbie Discussion / Re: Travel Photography - which agencies?
« on: March 03, 2009, 19:18 »
Hello all
Thanks for all the replies and hints you have given me so fair....
After this last year of travelling around, and after this two month of postproduction, key wording, uploading, rejections and acceptance, researches on the web, and while working for my future website, I put the ten golden rules for whoever wants to become a travel photographer" together. I hope they will work for me. I am not talking as an experienced photographer, but as an experienced traveller:

Ten golden rules for all "wanna be a travel photographer!"

1) To be a travel photographer, first of all, you need to be a passionate traveller!
   The stock market doesnt need more pictures of the skyline of Manhattan or of the Coliseum in Rome. If you want to sell something on the web, you need to offer something very special. Be aware that if some areas of this world are not well covered by photographer, this is, most of the time, because of one simple reason: its not easy to get there. So be prepared for nightmare buses on broken streets, flights with companies on the black list, terrific hygienic condition, poverty, general strikes, corrupted police, political instability and, in general, for the unexpected. And while you are getting there, you have to love it! Its not easy to be a traveller, this I can tell you. But if you love it, you can get anywhere...

2) To be a travel photographer, you need to be a devoted photographer!
   Getting to the remote regions of this planet is not enough, if then you are not able to take some professional quality pictures. So keep on practicing even when you are not travelling. Sometimes you will have to spend some time at home anyway, to get some work, and recharge your money. While you are doing this, forget the travelling for a while, and concentrate on photography. Micro stock photography can be an excellent, creative field to get better and better. Through this I'm getting a deeper understanding for light, exposure, focus, colours, composition. It doesnt matter if the first results are horrific. With every rejection and with every picture I'm taking of everyday objects, Im learning more and more about the "art of painting with light". I'm getting aware of all the techniqual mistakes I've done so fair, and next time I will try to avoid them...

3) To be a travel photographer you need to be very patience. It will take ages before you get some income...

4) To be a travel photographer you will have to find the right agencies for the right pictures...
For myself I decided to give up uploading travel pictures on the big micro stock agencies. This doesnt make sense. There are too many pictures of beaches, mountains or lakes up there, and as a newcomer, I cant not compete. I rather try with macro stock and maybe smaller micro stock agencies, which are selling pictures for higher prices. After all I'm selling pictures of specific places, rarely someone will need them, but if so, they won't mind spending a couple of dollar more on it...

5) To be a travel photographer you have to spend many hours doing accurate key wording....
This is the tragic reality of stock photography. No matter how good your work is, if nobody finds it, it wont sell

6) To be a travel photographer you have to become your own travel journalist.
After all your main target is editorial.
By giving a story to your shots, you will increase their value. While uploading give exact description of what is going on!  Build up your own website, with your articles, journals, stories, resources and bring them in relation to your pictures. Use the web to advertise yourself, and who knows?  Maybe, if you are good, some editor will buy your pictures AND your article.

7) To be a travel photographer, you need to give yourself a project.
Travel photography doesnt mean run around the place with a camera just shooting every think you meet on the way. Travel photography needs the same accurate planning as micro stock ph. The destination has to be chosen carefully, the theme you want to report also. You may also decide to stay in one place for a long time, showing the different aspects: lifestyle, culture, animals, landscapes... but it has to be clear what you are doing...

8) To be a travel Photographer, you need to be flexible and able to drop your project anytime.

I remember one of my biggest mistake I did last year in Dharamsala (northern India). In was in April, while all the protests in Tibet were going on. For those who dont know: Dharamsala is the residence place of the Dalai Lama, and in these days it was in the centre of the world news, with a lot of Tibetan on the street protesting against the Chinese repression... Guess what I did?  I was concentrating on picture of mountains, spending my time in the highest altitudes, not realizing that near me some serious events where happening ... to bad, it was a mistake, it could have given some good shots...

9) To be a travel Photographer, you need the support of the local population...
The key of success is deep respect for their culture... as a traveller you will need their support anyway, as a photographer even more. If they dont want you to take picture of a particular person, event, building... dont do it!

10) To be a travel Photographer, you need to be aware that uploading pictures of people, even if sold in editorial, is a big ethical issue.
And its not only a legal problem. You are making money with pictures of people who are getting nothing out of it. For myself I havent found a clear line about it. It's not an easy decision, and I'm deciding picture by picture. But, for myself, I have written down a general line:

Lifestyle picture: for this I mean pictures of farmers, fishers and similar around the world. For this I spend many days living in remote villages, cooking with the local people, eating with them, picking wood for fire with them, in other words, sharing my life with them. To this people I have always been very generous. I have never been this kind of traveller, who bags down the prices all  the time. To be honest: have been often overcharged, I knew it, but I didnt mind. So from my side: Yes, I dont see why I shouldnt upload these pictures.

Picture of poor people/poor children: This is a big issue. Nothing better then the look of a child living in the slums of Mumbai can tell us about the tragedy of poverty. in how many occasion such a picture could be use full to make people aware of what is going on.. But is it ok to make money with it, while this poor kid stays in his ghetto??? What can I do, to use this picture and still be respectful to the child. For sure, giving him some money is not the solution, but only a support for the Bombay Mafia. Taking the kid out of the slum is impossible, since there are too many of them ... For myself, I can just say what I decided to do, once I realized that giving them some money was not the way to go: since I was on the field in a developing country, I decided to use part of my time to look after different development organisation.. Once I found the one which I found serious and competent, I left once for all, a good donation.... this could be the way; use part of the income of these pictures to support some developing projects.

Pictures of people living in totalitarian regimes: Just to give you a concrete example. For now, I decided not to upload any pictures of people in Myanmar. I dont want them to get in relation with articles writing about the brutality of its regime. After all, its a regime! Being on a picture in a European magazine which is critical with the regime can is enough there to be arrested, tortured, killed. I dont want to take the risk to bring this people in trouble

oh.. I almost forget rule number 11:
To be a travel photographer, you need to be very optimistic!

P.


2
Newbie Discussion / Re: Travel Photography - which agencies?
« on: March 01, 2009, 18:40 »
Hello

Anyone has an idea which sides might be more intresting for travel pictures?
I'm a newbie in this field and I'm not a professional photographer.... But still, I spend half of my life travelling, and in this last year I started getting into photography....
So I have some pictures I would like to put on sell, but I realized that I will not be able to sell anything on the big microstocks sites. The quality of my pictures is OK, but they are technically not perfect! (I'm still learning), and not very intresting for microstock use.
So I was thinking about sides that are more specialized in editorial images.
So if there are some travelphotographer on this forum, I would appreciate any suggestion.

thanks

edit: edited subject


Well travel photography does sell, but only if its good - that's the same across all agencies. There is a lot of material currently online, so unless your work is better than what is currently available, or covers areas that aren't currently well covered, the reality is you're probably wasting your time.

One of the reasons travel images don't "sell well" are that many photographers who specialise in other areas think they can go on holiday and simply upload whatever snaps they take as stock. That might have worked in the early days when there was less competition, and though you still do see some average photos that sell, it tends to be because those images became entrenched in search engine popularity rankings when there was less competition. While many on these forums, myself included learned a lot from microstock, its getting harder and harder to build a portfolio that earns enough revenue to make it worthwhile.

The questions you have to ask yourself is whether:
- you're prepared to go to places where most photographers haven't been
- arrange your travel schedule so that you're out shooting when the light is best rather than when its most convenieInt
- go to a location when the season lends itself to photography rather than your vacation
- spend 5 days in a location to get the shots you want or just one
- travel with a laptop and spend hours post-processing, keywording images and uploading


thanks for your intresting replies... I'm aware of what you are saying, and conscious that it will take a long time, bevore I will make my first sellings. I got back from my last trip a couple of month ago, I have reviewed around 2000 picture so fair (5000 more to go), and uploaded maybe two hunderts ... the result? No sales at all! (of course) ;D. But I dont mind. I see this process as a possibility to learn. And every rejection is giving me a new point of view to my pictues...  So I'm using this to learn, hoping to get some better shots on my next trip... Besides that my pictures covers some very remote areas of this planet, where only mad dogs go on holiday.. So, I'm hopefull...
p.

3
Newbie Discussion / Re: Travel Photography - which agencies?
« on: February 16, 2009, 04:20 »
thanks for the replies....

4
Newbie Discussion / Travel Photography - which agencies?
« on: February 15, 2009, 04:12 »
Hello

Anyone has an idea which sides might be more intresting for travel pictures?
I'm a newbie in this field and I'm not a professional photographer.... But still, I spend half of my life travelling, and in this last year I started getting into photography....
So I have some pictures I would like to put on sell, but I realized that I will not be able to sell anything on the big microstocks sites. The quality of my pictures is OK, but they are technically not perfect! (I'm still learning), and not very intresting for microstock use.
So I was thinking about sides that are more specialized in editorial images.
So if there are some travelphotographer on this forum, I would appreciate any suggestion.

thanks

edit: edited subject

Pages: [1]

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