The idea sounds enticing and romantic…being heralded as a travel photographer with a passport full of stamps from places that would make the common man green with envy. Add to this eager patrons, who will pay for one of your prized pieces for their home and you are living the dream I created several years ago when I decided I would pursue my passion of travel photography.
Little did I realize within four short years, I could lay claim to having taken a myriad of photographic expeditions to destinations such as Hong Kong, Thailand, Tanzania, Istanbul, Paris, and too many destinations in the U.S. to count.
Imagine walking along the River Seine at the “golden hour,” when the sun is setting and the light is just right and capturing the magnificence of Notre Dame. Can you see yourself watching ominous dark clouds form over the Silver Temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand, as the lights reflect off the layers of pure silver that comprise the exterior of the temple? All you have to do is press the shutter and you have captured a memory for a lifetime.
One of the most magical moments I experienced was being perched high on a balcony of my hotel overlooking the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul after sunset and waiting for the lights to reveal one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.
And all this started with a dream to pursue a passion for photography. But not all of your photographic destinations need to be far away. After all, where you live is someone else’s destination and if you look around, there are endless photographic possibilities right on your doorstep.
I live in Lexington, Kentucky, the heart of horse country. I am literally surrounded by horse farms that are so beautiful, even great photos don’t do them justice. Last year our local racetrack hosted the World Championships of horse racing, the Breeder’s Cup. American Pharoah, who won the elusive Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing, would be running in his last race and could do something that no other horse in history has done—win all four of these championship races. Keeneland Race Course is five minutes from my front door and I knew that if I could capture American Pharoah winning this race, I could sell it for a hefty sum to horse enthusiasts everywhere. He did win and I sold that image for $2,500.
I just completed another trip to Buffalo, NY, for a client that wanted pictures of the architecture of her hometown to hang in her office. I sold five separate images for $400 each and had a great time exploring a city that would have never been on my radar had my client not encouraged me to shoot it for her. So, even though Paris beats Buffalo, there is money to be made if you are willing to learn how to “see what the camera sees.”
My next project is one that I have entitled “Americana” and is going to feature all types of barns from Kentucky and Tennessee. As the leaves turn and paint the landscape with their breath-taking array of color, there are hundreds of unique barns nestled in these idyllic settings. And they all have their own story and potential profit.
So, grab your camera and develop your dream.
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