Turn Your Memories Into Cash: How to Sell Travel Photos
One way to make money while you’re stuck between the four walls of your home: take a trip down memory lane.
If you travelled a lot prior to the pandemic, dig through your old photos. Pause when you find the ones that take your breath away.
You can sell those breathtaking photographs, bringing in a little side income even while your travel plans are grounded. Here’s how to sell travel photos.
Sell Your Travel Photos to a Stock Agency
When you sell your travel photos to a stock agency, you’ll upload a high-resolution version of your image to their website. Then, the agency connects those shopping for images with your work. For each photo sold, you’ll earn a royalty.
Because you’re often signing away some of the rights to your photography when you work with a stock agency, be careful to pick the right agency the first time. You usually won’t be able to list your images on more than one site.
There are many microstock agencies that pay pennies for each photo sold. Instead, check out these five sites that pay $100+ per photo.
Sell Your Photos to Travel Magazines
Before publishing moved predominantly online, selling photos to travel magazines was a lucrative venture. Today you likely won’t be able to build a career on travel magazine photography alone, but you can bring in some side hustle income.
Most photographers aren’t going to break into major magazines like National Geographic, especially on their first try. But a practical alternative is looking for local magazines based in the places you have traveled.
For example, if you took a trip to the Adirondacks and got some gorgeous shots, you could submit them to Adirondack Life. This magazine pays between $75 and $400 per image.
If you have compelling images from your sojourn in the Nevada desert, Nevada Magazine may be interested in them. Here, you’ll make $25-$250 per image.
Get Paid to Photograph Campsites
HipCamp is the Airbnb of campsites. And just like on Airbnb, the people who list their properties on HipCamp could use the help of a photographer. Visually appealing listings get booked more often.
HipCamp works with photographers — including amateurs — to facilitate this photography service. Here’s what photographers get for visiting a campsite and providing their services:
- $75-$100 cash compensation per campsite.
- Free stay on the property.
- Ability to bring others along with you on your trip.
You have to submit 15-20 photos per campsite. Prior experience isn’t mandatory, but the end product must be high-quality, and your equipment has to be quality, too.
Sell Prints or Novelty Items
Another way to make money off of your travel photography is by selling prints or novelty items with your photograph printed on them.
Smugmug, for example, allows you to sell your photography on coffee mugs, magnets, coasters, ceramic tiles and more. You can also sell photo prints, and you get to keep 85% of the profit.
If you want to keep even more of the profits, you can sell your photography on Etsy. Etsy pays you 96.5% of each sale minus $0.20. On Etsy, you’ll either have to make all novelty items yourself or enlist the help of a drop shipper who also offers printing services.
Remember: You can boost your sales on all platforms by marketing your work on social media.
Brynne Conroy is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.