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Been a member here for a long time, but haven't posted in a while. Quit my corporate job back in 2010 to regain both my freedom and my sanity. Have done a lot of traveling since then, had a lot of amazing experiences, took thousands of beautiful pictures, and overall have had an incredible time.
I continue to live on savings, but sadly those are getting low. I still have a little bit left -- maybe enough to last another year or two. What I do have a lot of though is TIME and PHOTOGRAPHS. My two true passions are travel and photography. So the first thing i decided to do is take my photography more seriously, and turn that into a business. Here's my website:
I have many more photos that I am still working on getting processed and online, but that should give you an idea of the type of pictures I like to take. Mainly travel imagery, landscape, nature, wildlife, scenery, culture, people, etc.
Problem being, I am not yet making a whole lot of cash from my photos. I have done a few local installs (prints) here in California, certainly nothing to live on or call an income. The real money is in advertising, and commercial license/use. I was approached by an ad agency in Australia, they offered me $4300 for ONE PICTURE! I gladly accepted, but sadly they ended up going with another client. But this definitely opened my eyes as to what is actually possible with photos. I really didn't think people paid that much money for licensing pics. But this was for an ad campaign, they wanted it for print, online, outdoor, etc, and for 12 months.
So... in addition to photography, i also want to start a travel website. One full of information, resources, destination reports, and yes, PICS! Lots and lots of pics. Not only will it help me promote my photos, but it will also allow me to write, something I've wanted to do for a long time. And my favorite subject is by far TRAVEL!
SO... QUESTIONS / ADVICE! I'd love some. Here we go:
- Is it possible to start a blog/travel website that is profitable (and potentially could support me) within 1-2 years? In other words, is it possible to start writing now... maybe do some traveling to cheap locations, keep writing, writing writing! Taking pictures, creating content... and in the end, have a resource of content, writing, and photos that is marketable?
- How can I make money with my photography? Anyone have any experience or advice here? Just start cold calling agencies? Sending emails and promo packs? Paid ads?
At this point, my plan is to go live in SE Asia for at least 6-12 months, and just HUNKER DOWN, cheap living style, and WORK. Writing, photos, blogging, promoting, building my businesses up (travel website, photo website). It's not to say that i wont be taking part in the beaches or nightlife etc that this region offers... but the focus is on LIVING and WORKING, not just some vacation style hop around with no plan.
I AM REALLY TRYING TO AVOID GOING BACK TO THE CUBICLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please help a brother out! Feeling a bit lost/confused/scared!
I should note that in regards to monetizing the travel site, it would be affiliate sales and maybe ads at first. I could potentially write some eBooks to sell. And have also thought about offering some tours for small groups of people (under 10).
Travel is a tough niche, as is photography. Photographs don't have much value now that pretty much everybody carries a camera all of the time.
Everything in a place like Thailand has been photographed and blogged about.
Maybe go and blog about Myanmar, but come next Summer you won't be able to move in Mandalay for Aussie backpackers
I quit my boring cubicle slave job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
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I'm gonna have to go ahead and call your post here out as pretty much being a "hater" reply Not a lot of positive input here, my friend! Travel is tough, photos have no value, Thailand is overdone, blah blah.
If photographs don't have much value, why was I offered $4300 for one of mine? I know another person who licensed one of his images for $17,000. One picture. And the guy who made that famous iceberg underwater shot? (google 'iceberg') He has made into the millions. On that one picture. It's all about licensing for commercial use.
And while everyone might carry a pocket camera or have one on their cellphone, I would argue that not everyone is dragging around $10,000+ in pro SLR gear + lenses etc. All those pictures you see in magazines? Those weren't shot with iPhones.
And Thailand might be over-blogged and over-visted, but I'm looking for more of a cheap residence. A place to live while I write about the travels I've already taken, market the photos I've already taken, and just work on building up both my websites. As well as enjoy my surroundings. The whole SE Asia region appeals to me as well as many other writers/photographers/entrepreneurs due to the low cost of living combined with all the amazing destinations the region has to offer. I am actually planning on going to Myanmar and Vietnam this next trip, never been to either.