Perhaps you repeatedly had an idea to leave the boundaries of your hometown and start taking pictures in other regions of your country. And, perhaps, you thought about traveling around the world, take pictures, earn money, traveling again and again.
Imagine see the whole world
The most beautiful part of that is to put “taking pictures all over the world” as your job place in your Facebook page. That will give you more trendy look among your friends:) But some photographers just set this as their Facebook status, while others really shoot around the world.
In this article I will try to share all the experience that I’ve managed to collect during the last years of shooting and traveling and tell you how you can implement this to your life.
So, if you’re interesting – let’s start right now!
First question: why do you even need doing this?
Well, in the first place, you can simply get bored of shooting in the same locations of your city, and want to make a variety in your shooting.
The second reason – the love of travel.
The third and all the rest – make it up yourself 🙂 But the meaning of this does not change – you have a great desire to take pictures in other cities and countries.
So, what’s the plan?
Good planning is key to success
Before moving on to specific recommendations let’s clarify the various “technical” moments of this format of the photographer’s work and figure out how to start enslaving the world.
First of all, it’s necessary to determine for yourself in which country you want to photograph. After all, the idea “I want to travel anywhere in the world and take pictures there” often does not correspond to reality. If you think that you will get requests via mail or Facebook and be offered to come for a wedding shooting for hundreds or even thousands of kilometers – it’s unlikely going to happen. There are some exceptions though.
At the beginning of the path, it’s up to you to choose where your footage will be taken. Choose the city from which you will begin. Of course, with time you can expand your geography, and you’ll do your job in a certain region, but this take some time. You will need to establish many contacts with people who live there, which in future will help you in various situations. And only after that you can move for example between two or three cities, from where the bulk of orders will come.
When choosing a country you need to understand its climate, and how big the demand for the services of a photographer is there. For example, Italy is a very beautiful country, but remember that the winter comes there, sometimes 🙂 Although the presence of snow is rarity, but the temperature +3 C can easily destroy all your plans.
Weather change can be unexpected
Therefore, you can start with warmer countries to shoot in winter. Most of these countries are in Southeast Asia, but are not limited to it of course.
Warm climate attracts a large number of tourists – therefore, those who want to make themselves beautiful photographs from the vacation will be enough. Also, weddings are held in a warm climate as well, especially while cold part of the year. And these are at least two options for earning money for a photographer already.
Important thing – it’s a great mistake to think that you can shoot only weddings, portraits and some sort of love stories abroad. And very soon I will tell you why.
To understand how big is the niche of photography it’s enough to google the population of the selected area. After that, study the graph of visitors. If the number of tourists exceeds the local population by at least 2 times – you should not bother yourself with amount of work.
After that, you need to identify for yourself the basic methods of advertising. And there are as much as two of them – online and offline. But any of these methods will not work properly until you arrive at the city of your choice and do not make at least a minimal portfolio there.
Of course, you can have a portfolio from other locations, but if you do not have photos from your chosen region, this will complicate the promotion process.
So the simplest and most reliable way is to make a few TFP shoots in the genre which you would choose for most of your services you will be offering.
Having made an example of works in this country, you and your style will be easier to recognize and it will interest potential customers.
Myths & Reality
As I said before it’s almost impossible to live in one country and shoot around the world. But, it is quite real to live in Spain and shoot in Spain. Even for 2-3 months you can gather around yourself a large amount of people who will help you find new orders in the beginning. If you regularly take photos at least 2 times a week, then the number of your acquaintances will grow. Stylists, makeup artists, decorators and other specialists will also be interested in cooperation with you (in case that the level of your work is really good). They then will be an excellent offline advertising of you and your services.
As a conclusion – you need to start small, do your job good, and only then expect that people will look you up themself via the site, advertising and other promotion methods, which I will talk about a little further.
Thing big start small
Who or what to shoot.
Ok we’ve just figured out where to shoot. Now I want to dispel all the myths that only weddings and love stories are good for taking photos. Here I will share a few examples, but this will not be the most complete list of ideas and working methods.
First you can take pictures of locals. That is, those everyday people who live in the same city where you came to shoot. So if you want to work with such people you need to know English at least. And ideally the local language. After all, to make a photo gestures are good enough, but they not enough for complete mutual understanding.
Photoshooting of natives is a good way to start
After all advertising for local people will work quite differently than for visitors and tourists. If you want to shoot people from your country on vacation, then it will be enough for you to write everything for example in your mother tongue. But if you look at Italy or Spain – there are not so much people who speak even English. And here are the first conclusion and the first complexity – the language barrier.
If you do not even speak English – my advise for you to practise it faster, because this is your future;) Well, after all, English will in general be useful not only for working as a photographer abroad.
Benefits from working with locals – they know more about about their city and surroundings than you do, they have more acquaintances and opportunities (as a rule, but not without exception).
As a conclusion – these people are financially stable and have money. On average, shooting in any country in Europe costs in 2 to 10 times more than e.g. in Ukraine or Russia.
The second type of customers abroad are tourists who came to rest. This is exactly the kind of people who basically order wedding shots, love stories or portraits. You need to look for them in advance and remember that in most cases they begin to be interested in the services of a photographer while still at home. Therefore they are easier to find offline when they arrive.
Tourists – another big group of clients
The third type of customers is the corporate segment: different companies that need promotional photography. For example, they may need photos of their products for the website, portraits of employees and workflow for various printed products and so on. Everything is very individual and depends on the direction of the company (shops, cafes, beauty salons and further on the list). Finding such customers, as in the case with locals, will not be so easy without knowing the language, and in addition you would need to look for them by yourself. In a few cases, they will pay attention to advertising on the Internet.
As you see there are a lot of ways for earning by taking photos – you just need to turn on your imagination. You can photograph even the architecture and landscapes, and then make postcards or calendars out of it and sell them to mentioned earlier tourists (one my friend earns about 5,000 euros a month).
Conclusion – you should decide in advance who or what, and how you will take pictures of. Then think about demand and pricing.
How to promote yourself in another country and advertise your services
In this part, you will find out how to spark and receive the first orders easier and faster.
First of all you need to be able to shoot really good. Your level of camera handling should be much higher than average. Otherwise, it will be difficult for you to cope with competition (not always).
Anyway you need to make very good photos. Without this, you can’t go far.
Having just a small portfolio it’s already possible to start some cooperation with a small number of local business. For example different parties, meetings and other events are held in many hotels, where a photo report is required. Moreover, hotel administrations can offer their visitors the services of a photographer for a small percent of a price. So you can always make a deal with them and find work like filming parties or photo shoots for a restaurant at the hotel.
Everyone want That photo from party
And, of course it is possible to co-operate with the various companies which work in tourist business (e.g. organizing tours). The presence of photographer is necessity there. You can go for interesting places and earn money. And if there is an underwater box for the camera, it’s double deal 🙂
It’s always worth remembering people who are involved in a industry close to photography. Those could be wedding shops, stylists, makeup artists, event hosts and so on. Stay friends with such people, keep in touch and recommend each other on mutually beneficial terms or for a percentage.
The next way of advertising is online and it’s a personal website. How should such page look like I’ve described in detail in this lesson. Naturally, depending on in which sphere and with what kind people you will work the language and style of your site should meet their requests.
A very effective part of the site is a video for customers. A “promo”, if you wish, where you tell about yourself, about how and what you shoot and all the benefits of working with you. This video builds trust between you and your potential customers in a very good way.
You should definitely create a profile on Facebook and link it to your work page. You can find new people interested in you there, as well as advertise your service. Ideally, you need a link your site and your Facebook page. Because people can come both from Facebook to the site and vice versa.
Next in the list there is such an important thing as exhibitions. And you do not need to do solo exhibitions that will take you a lot of time and energy to prepare them – here the main thing is to light up in public and attract attention to yourself.
Believe me, if even a hundred people in the your city find out about you, they are more likely to talk about you and this will create some hype around your person. A friend of mine holds similar exhibitions almost every week in different places around the world. He agrees in advance about the location of such exhibitions with various spots in different cities, and in 80% of time he is even paid for transportation and organizational costs. And after such exhibitions he is interviewed on the radio and invited to other countries.
One of the main trends of 2014-2015 was the social network Instagram. Now almost every person not only publishes photos there, but also searches for them using tags.
The tags are perhaps one of the magic ways to find customers in other countries. All you need to do is attach the necessary words to your photos with the # symbol before the word.
The meaning of tags is following – you can search for people by certain tags, friend them and like their photos. Thus, you will pay attention to yourself and if they need the services of a photographer – they can go to your site and contact you.
Even more often people are looking for a photographer in a certain place, e.g. #cyprusphotographer
Perhaps the most effective (but paid) way is contextual advertising through Google Adwords. If you correctly configure a bond of such advertising with your website or a landing page, you can receive a huge amount of high-level queries on the necessary keywords. Just this single method can give from 2 to 5 orders per week. Naturally, such advertising will pay off without much difficulty.
If you really want to shoot a lot of goodness and to travel at the same time – you need to use the recommendations from this article and try. Everything is much more simpler than it seems. The main thing is desire and action. Without action, something is unlikely to change.
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