How Do I Fund My Travels as a Photographer?

makinmoneyI love to take photos. It’s my passion. It’s my dream. It’s my life. I also have something called wanderlust. I’m a creative person and a change of scenery gets my creative juices flowing. So being able to travel to satisfy my wanderlust and to be able to take photographs at the same time is so perfect, it sounds like a cliché. But it’s true when I say that I am living the dream! I am living the freelance lifestyle and loving it!

Many people are always wanting to know how I fund my travels as a photographer. It’s an enviable lifestyle – being an independent photographer who can pick and choose which assignments to take on, traveling the world doing something I love and selling enough photographs to earn a living. As a wedding photographer, my job allows me to go to many places around the world, staying in exotic locations – some I’d never even heard of, and doing things in a way that suits me.

My job as a wedding photographer means I go where the assignment is. It can be Bali, Thailand or Africa. But the contract pays for my flights, my accommodation and of course I get to attend beautiful weddings. Don’t get me wrong! I work hard for my money. But you know the feeling you have when you do what you love most and it really doesn’t seem like work at all? That’s me.

It also gives me the opportunity to explore the world at leisure. While Friday and Sunday are becoming more and more popular for getting married, most weddings still happen on Saturday. If it’s a morning or lunchtime wedding, I’m on the go from very early. But this leaves me free time to explore whichever city I’m in afterwards. It’s been great to finish a wedding in the early afternoon, walk down to the markets in Singapore and haggle with the locals. The time then becomes my own. If the wedding starts later and goes well into the night, I have the opportunity to add on a few extra days to my itinerary and keep traveling the country while I’m there. It also enables me to add a range of photos to my private collection.

I also supplement my income by selling my stock photos online. They are what I call ‘doing business while I sleep’. These are the photos that people buy online while I am sleeping. It makes for very easy repeat business. I only have to upload a great photo once and then I keep getting paid over and over for that one photo. I sell stock through microstock agencies like istock Photo, SmugMug, Alamy, Shutterstock and Fotolia. It certainly makes life easy if I decide to take a few weeks off traveling and spend time at home. There is still money coming in while I catch up on ‘home duties’.

Sometimes it’s not easy being away in remote areas or experiencing a taste of the not so nice local life – like getting nail fungus in Bali

But the beauty of my job is that I can take photos anywhere in the world. And having the freedom and flexibility to do what I want to do when I want to do it is pure creative bliss!