People often say I have their dream job. And I can’t disagree. It’s helped fund my travels to 56 countries in the last three years. From Guatemala to Greece, Mexico to Mozambique. (People always ask…my favorites are Syria, the Philippines, Japan and Colombia.)
I travel, take photos, and upload them to online microstock photo agencies. I don’t have to market my images—the agencies sell them for me. It’s something I can do from anywhere in the world there’s an Internet connection.
Microstock photography is open to anyone and it’s easy to get started.
The real advantage of earning money through stock photography is that I continue earning income for work that I’ve already done.
Four years ago I left work to travel. I started selling photos to online microstock photo agencies as a hobby to keep me occupied while I was on the road. At the time, I was still focused on my ”proper” career in law. I’d only occasionally upload images, and the income I was seeing was really only enough to buy a few extra drinks each week.
I remember friends joking about my first few sales of 25 cents each back in 2006. In a way, though, it was these first sales that actually got me excited, because I was able to calculate potential returns based on a much larger—and better—portfolio.
In the first two years, I built up my portfolio to over 3,000 images that are now sold through a variety of agencies. In that time I achieved my income goals.
Not having to devote all my time to a fixed work schedule has meant I’ve been able to take Spanish classes, learn to scuba dive and learn the basics of web design. And my photos sales have helped fund my travels.
Editor’s note: If you have a camera and enjoy taking photos, you could do this, too. We explain how in the newest e-mail newsletter from International Living. It’s called Fund Your Life Overseas. You can get a free subscription here.