In 2003 at the age of 45, I left my legal career. Since then I have traveled to exotic destinations like Morocco…Turkey…Thailand…and India, as well as closer-to-home locations like the Colorado Rockies, Utah’s great national parks, and the Grand Canyon.
The common theme throughout my travels has been photography.
I make money from my pictures and it gives me the flexibility to pick travel destinations that suit my passions.
Because of my love of history and architecture—for example—a couple of years ago I embarked on a trip to Northumberland, England, an area known for its coastal castles.
Over a period of six days I walked a coastal trail and photographed five different castles along the way. Once home, I sold an article to a photography magazine about my experience, which paid for a portion of my trip.
Then I sent the same pictures to a photography agency I work with and made even more money.
On another trip, I visited Northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, which boasts the highest geysers in the world. The El Tatio Geysers are located more than 14,000 feet above sea level.
During the trip my focus was on photographing landscapes and once again I recovered the trip’s costs by selling an article and placing my images with my photo agency.
Over time I have also taken photos of the lighthouses of Puerto Rico…Patagonia…Istanbul…and Holland in spring (think tulips).
Not only does travel photography give me the flexibility to visit destinations of my choice and make money…it also allows me to be creative.
Unlike most travelers, I take my time when I visit a location. I study the light hitting a particular subject…look at a variety of points of view…determine what time of day it will look at its best…and come back (often more than once) until everything falls into place and I capture the image I have in my mind.
Because travel photography is such a broad genre, I photograph quite a variety of subjects in addition to landscapes and architecture. People, for example, are commonly included in my images to show both scale and a sense of place (especially when they are wearing traditional clothing), and I often photograph food, signs, souvenirs, colorful markets, and much more.
In the end, my goal is to create a collection of images that, put together, will give the viewer a good sense of a particular destination.
And as my work becomes better I am being hired to do assignments like photograph a flamenco festival…snow-shoeing near a winter cabin…and documenting a collection of religious wood carvings for a history magazine.
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