3 Things I Thought I Knew About Travel Photography

I gave you a few of the tricks I picked up from last year's Ultimate Travel Writer's Workshop that helped me land my first (and many thereafter) paid bylines.

Here it is, in case you missed it.

Today, I thought I'd switch gears and give you some of the pointers I picked up about including photos with your articles.

Here are a few things I thought I knew about travel photography before the Ultimate Travel Writer's Workshop, and why I know better now…



** What I already knew: Including photos with your article can sometimes be its strongest selling point.

** What I learned: Make sure you take both horizontal and vertical photos of the same things so the editor or designer can choose which format works best for their layout.  This came in handy when I started writing for Oregon.com.  It was easy to snap photos in both formats… and it made me look like a real pro when I let the editor know I had both portrait and landscape photos to choose from.


** What I already knew: I knew that photos with people in them were engaging and attractive… but I thought I had to have a model release to sell photos of people with an article.

** What I learned: You DO need a model release to sell photos as stock.  But you DON'T need one to sell them to a magazine or newspaper.

You should always check the writer's guidelines because some of the biggest glossy publications require a model release on the photos they use. But, in general, you can legally sell your photos of people in public places to most travel magazines, newspapers, and e-zines without a release.


** What I already knew: Take your camera everywhere.  That way, if you get a story idea, you're ready to snap a few relevant photos.

** What I learned: You can come at your stories photos-first, too.  When I was in Potosi, Bolivia, I got some really great shots of the silver miners there.  They don't belong in the story I was planning to write on Potosi but, because the pictures are so good, I'm now thinking I can go back to my journal entries from those days and come up with a second story idea about the miners.

The same is true for my last trip to Paris.  As we were walking through the Pere Lachaise cemetery, I took pictures of everything - the stones, the curvy walkways, the tombs, the flowers.  But when I got home I realized that I've also got a lot of pictures of people not just walking through the path and stopping to look, but sometimes sitting on the grass and hanging out.  Who hangs out in a cemetery?  I didn't realize this was the thing to do, but there might just be a story in these pictures somewhere.

If you're a travel writer, you may not consider yourself a photographer.  But there are a few simple things you can learn to make more attractive photos that will help you sell articles.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]