I arrived at the Maasai village, in the north of Tanzania, in the early afternoon. I was free to wander through the camp, snapping images of the villagers in their colorful traditional dress. At dinner time they selected a goat from their herd and barbequed it over a pit, just for us.
After our delicious meal, I joined them in their traditional dance, jumping as high as I could (the tribespeople couldn’t help but laugh at my efforts). When the dust had settled, and the Massai began to retire to their huts, I took the opportunity to snap some photos of the clear night sky. I spent half the night photographing the Milky Way rising behind a fat baobab tree. When I was happy that I had a couple of good photos, I retired to my boma, a traditional Maasai circular house made with mud and cow dung.
For the past few years, I’ve been collecting incredible memories just like these. It’s all thanks to a passion I discovered after randomly deciding to buy a digital camera one day. It’s opened up a world of opportunities travelling to exotic destinations and meeting beautiful people all around the world.
In the morning, we drove east to enter the Serengeti National Park. From an open-top 4×4, I photographed some incredible moments of natural splendor and wildlife, the likes of which you’d only see in National Geographic. I snapped a leopard killing a gazelle and dragging it on top of a tree, and watched in awe as thousands of wildebeest and zebras gathered as part of a mass migration. That night, I fell asleep to the sound of roaring lions in the dark.
The best part of it all? This trip, and many like it, have cost me nothing!
Some travels have been entirely paid for by organizers or tourism boards looking for images. But while I’m out capturing all these memories, I’m also making some passive income from photos I’m selling on stock websites. It requires none of my time or attention.
I used to come home from holidays with thousands of images that ended up forgotten in a hard drive. With stock photography, I can actually upload hundreds of those images on different websites, and not worry about them anymore. They eventually start selling and building up a nice passive income that helps fund even more travels.
Two of my Serengeti images have brought me over $700 so far from stock photo websites, and they still sell every day.
Of course, these days there are many different opportunities to make money from your photographs: I can sell prints online and have them printed and shipped without lifting a finger, I can contact tourism boards and work for them on more assignments, staying in luxury hotels and enjoying excellent food for free. And even when I’m not travelling, I can take small fun jobs like shooting local events or portraits of friends or pets. For the past six years, I haven’t felt like I’ve really worked at all. It’s all just been a lot of fun.
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