Are you a travel blogger who enjoys photography? While travelling have you built-up a huge collection of beautiful images from around the world. Have you ever thought of selling your photographs to the tourism industry through a photographic library or by approaching the tour operators themselves? And if you already have tried this, but without much success, are you wondering why your photographs aren’t selling?
Having worked within the industry for many years, as a photographer and a photographic editor, I would like to share some hints and tips on how photographs are selected and how you can improve your chances of selling your photographs to the tourism industry. And don’t forget the small independent tour operators who specialise in specific destinations. The Association of Independent Tour Operators has a useful list of UK companies.
1. Blue skies and sunshine
It may seem obvious but the aim here is to sell holidays and tour operators will want their brochures full of glorious sunshine and clear blue skies (maybe with just a few fluffy white clouds). Even a skiing brochure is full of photographs with brilliant blue skies. A moody sky with interesting cloud formations may create a much more artistic image that would look superb hanging in a gallery but in the main it won’t sell holidays.
2. Shoot a variety of subjects
Don’t just limit your photography to landscapes, cityscapes and the obvious iconic symbols of a destination but extend your collection to all the things that represent that destination. Images of traditional cuisine, flower stalls, shop window displays, smiling locals, interesting architectural details and so forth all make useful supplementary images. That doesn’t mean you should not take images of say, crumbling buildings if they are evocative and beautiful, but keep in mind that the aim is to sell the destination.
Tour operators often send photographers on assignment to not only capture destination shots but also images of properties such as hotels, villas, swimming pools and interiors so if this is something you would like to do, build up a selection of appropriate images for your portfolio and then approach companies directly. Perhaps they would like to hire you to photograph some holiday homes in an area you are about to visit.