Regular readers of my blog will know that I try to make money with my photos and photography skills any way in which I can. Over the years I have spent a fortune on cameras, lenses, flashes and other bits of photography kit so if I can recoup some of the money I have spent, I will.
As much as I like travel photography I have to admit that it is not an area where I have made much money at all. When I go travelling I am always on the lookout for photo opportunities, and I do take loads of different types of travel photos, I just don’t seem to make much money with them.
Obviously I would like to take all of my photography kit when I go travelling it simply isn’t possible, and I have to scale back to the bare minimum for my travel photography trips. Consequently my travel kit comprises:-
Canon 6d camera. The main reason for buying the Canon 6d was for the full frame sensor, however since it is small and light it also makes the perfect travel camera. The Canon 6d doesn’t eat the batteries as much as other cameras, and since it is user friendly I can be ready to take a photo in no time at all. The Canon 6d is awesome and a camera I highly recommend. Check out the pros and cons of the Canon 6d to see just how good it really is.
Canon 28 – 300L IS lens. This lens may be large, heavy and in your face but the wide range of focal lengths makes it very versatile. This lens is the best “one lens” solution although you do have to make some compromises. Some photographers question the image quality of this lens, however I don’t have an issue as the image quality is exceptionally good. Okay, other L series lenses may have the edge on image quality (but the difference is negligible) these other lenses don’t cover as many focal lengths. I can honestly say that the only lens I would use for travel photography is the Canon 28 – 300L IS and nothing else. Take a look at the pros and cons of the Canon 28 - 300L IS to see just how good it is.
Godox Ving flash. There was a time when I used a Canon 600EX flash, but it broke and as I was broke at the time I had to buy a budget flash and ended up with the Godox Ving, and boy am I glad I did. This flash is powerful (just as powerful as the Canon), it has ETTL and HSS technology and it is quick and easy to use. This flash is so user friendly I didn’t even have to read the user guide, unlike with the Canon 600EX. I was so impressed with my Godox Ving I ended up investing in three more for a ganged single light set up for on location portrait shoots. Check out this review of the Godox Ving.
Manfrotto Befree tripod. A tripod is essential for landscape photography and with my Manfrotto being too big and heavy for travel use I decided to invest in the Manfrotto Befree. This is a small and lightweight tripod that is quick and easy to erect and set up, and plenty strong enough to securely hold my camera and lens during long exposures. The Manfrotto Befree tripod packs away nice and small in its own carry bag for easy transportation.
Hitech 100mm filter holder. Screw in filters don’t cut it for photographing foreign landscapes therefore I use a square filter system, and the filter holder I use is the Hitech 100 system. This system is top quality (easily as good as the Lee system) but a lot cheaper, making it exceptional value for money.
100mm square filters. As much as I would like to take my entire collection of filters when I go travelling I can’t, and take the absolute minimum. The square filters I take comprise a 2 stop soft edged ND grad, a 2 stop hard edged ND grad and a Lee big stopper.
I know my travel photography kit is more than good enough to capture photos with decent image quality, so I can’t use my camera equipment as an excuse for not making any money with my travel photography images.
It’s strange that I can take a photo of a sunset at home, put it in my print on demand store and sell several postcards and greetings cards with the photo printed on it, but when I put a sunset taken on my travels in the same print on demand store, and on the same products it doesn’t sell at all. What’s that all about?
My travel photography shots comprise the typical “tourist” shots of famous buildings, landmarks, gardens, structures etc. but also more unusual and creative images. The travel photos I submit to my print on demand store are never of the famous and well known landmarks and buildings because millions of people have taken photos of these before and since my photos are no different to what’s already been done I can’t see any reasons why someone would want to pay good money for my shots of these famous sites. I take photos of famous and well known sites for my own use and not to try and make money with. The travel photography shots I try to sell and make money with are the more unusual photos. When I say “unusual” I don’t mean strange or weird, I just mean photos of things that millions of people haven’t already photographed.
Like all of my photos I do actively market and promote my travel photography shots in a bid to sell them, but this doesn’t seem to work or increase sales one iota. I really don’t know where I go wrong with my travel photography and why I can’t make any money from it – but that’s just the way it goes sometimes, and I am glad I don’t have to rely on my travel photography to put food on the table, clothes on my back and a roof over my head.
Even though I don’t make much money from travel photography, and the amount of time I spend marketing and promoting my travel photos is disproportionate and not (currently) worth the effort but I will continue to try and make some decent money with my travel photography images.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.