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Activity: What Are Your Photography Goals?

Lesson 5 from: Becoming a Travel Photographer

Laura Grier

Activity: What Are Your Photography Goals?

Lesson 5 from: Becoming a Travel Photographer

Laura Grier

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Lesson Info

5. Activity: What Are Your Photography Goals?


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


How to Break Into Travel & Destination Wedding Photography


How Are You Perceived as a Photographer?


Brand Yourself Before Others Brand You


Activity: What Are Your Photography Goals?


Owning Your Own Style


Preparing for a Photoshoot


The Importance of Research


Lesson Info

Activity: What Are Your Photography Goals?

This is an exercise that I like to have people dio Um, basically, I want you to write down five ghouls, whether personally or professionally, that you want to dio in your life and take a few minutes right now to do that and I will talk to you about mine. The reason that I like making people do this is that I feel like once you taken idea out of your head and whether you write it down or say it out loud, you're already getting the ball rolling on that thing happening. You're acting, making it actionable. You are making a kinetic. You are already making your dreams come true without sounding super hokey. It's totally true every time I have done this exercise in my life. Um, usually within six months, everything on that list is done, and it's it's funny because it makes you accountable when you start taking it out of your head as a dream and making it in actuality. So my list. I've done this by the way, like many times throughout my career and it's something that I think there's never gon...

na be a ceiling that I reach where I'm like. I've made it. I'm here, You know, there's always gonna be a point where, like, what are my next school was like, What's my next idea? And I think that's one of the reasons why I've been successful travel far, because you have to sort of be an idea person. You have to be a go getter, and you have Teoh be the one that initiates. So writing on your goals and kind of initiating them is really important. The next thing, once you've written on your five goals, is to write down one thing that you can do today towards each of those goals to like it could be anything. It could be super simple. It could be writing an email to somebody and asking questions. It could be researching something. It could be writing your first article. There's so many things that you could do. But just one thing that you could do today and then already you're making these things happen, right? So my list. Speaking of creativelive, which is happening right now that was on my list. It's been a dream of mine for a while. Being a female travel pioneer that's so vague, I think. Try to be a specific is you can. But for me, what that means is, um, in the media, like TV that could be a TV show or out there on a you know, webinar or anything like that. I feel like women are not represented in the adventure travel world. Hardly. It's usually men that are hosting a lot of the discovery, and the Nat Geo shows, mainly male photographers in National Geographic. And so I always felt like I was kind of didn't really have any people to aspire to be in front of me other than, like Jane Goodall, who live with chimpanzees their whole life. And that's not exactly what I want to do with my career. But it's, you know, I want Teoh become like a travel pioneer so other women can hopefully follow my footsteps. So that's something that I've always just done my whole life, and I would like to make that more mainstream, selling my work as fine art. Um, I don't know. I think for me, I the reason I love photography's on such an impatient artists like I want it right now on its instantly and, um, and I always thought of selling my prints of my work as a fine art would make me a really artist or something. Um, but it's for me. It was just sort of I have these beautiful travel images, and I want to share them with the world. That was more than motivation behind Selling my work is fine art, but I don't know. I've never really start like I've never really done. That is the main part of my business. So that's something that I'm growing right now, Teoh. And so I wrote that down and then expand my business globally for me, just getting my work out there and putting it out in lots of different mediums. And we talk a lot about that in this class and how to do that of. I love the wedding industry, and I've done it for years, and it's such a happy industry to photograph. But I feel like it's also very small community on, and it's not as global like I started branching out globally for destination weddings. But then I feel like there's such greater stories to tell and I have greater stories to tell us. So that was what I wrote about expanding my business globally. So any of you want to share something on your list we pick on one of you guys is in the back. Stand up. Okay, um let's see I One of things on my list that I'd like to travel Maurin tell stories about You know, what I see when I travel what I experienced when I travel. OK, so what What is your what? One of the things that you could do today towards that I mean, obviously sitting in this room, you're gonna learn a lot about that today. That's one thing. And I tend to when I'm actually on trips to kind of go silent on social media. And so my thought for today was to post a picture that I took on instagram and tell the story about you know, what was going on, What I was seeing, um, you know, make people feel like they were actually there. That's so great. And I'm actually going to kind of talk about at a similar moment. Ah ha moment about that, too. And I'm gonna show you a video later on. That illustrates that idea. But that's a really good point because all of us have been shooting or if you're a photographer, been shooting for a long time. Even if you're not a photographer, I don't have myself and usually not this far away from my cell phone. But it's like right here. All of us have cameras whether we realize it or not on our phones and our And there's now you know, APS on your on your phones that can edit your images. And there's no reason that you can't put a very professional looking, clean, polished image up on social media pretty much from anywhere. I I did it from an igloo, and Finland's like, You know, you can like post crazy that you can do that. But we all have access to doing that. And we all have libraries of work that we can pull from. Who says that it has to be something you took in that exact minute, right? Um, it's still every image we've taken has a story, so share them, and that's the biggest part about getting in the travel. Photography is being an over share a little bit. You need to start sharing and you need to start writing a lot. It will die right in. Somebody is asking, How have you been able to break into Dustin Destination weddings, when resorts are often trying to keep foreign photographers out? Have you run into anything like that? I've rarely run into resorts trying to keep people out like they do have their own list. But, ah, couple things that I offer. There's a few reasons I always offer promotional images back to the hotels. I tell them, Hey, I'm published a lot in these X Y Z destination wedding magazines. I'm more than happy to share images from this with you. For promotional purposes, they've always been Yes, please eso. I've never had a hotel locked me out. It's nice to be able to offer them that, and they will love you and will refer you. They love the images, so that's been a great way. The other thing, too, is I mean, honestly, it makes sense to bring your photographer on location. I've heard horror stories of people that have gone with a local photographer. Obviously, it's such an intimate thing that you're doing. You're with someone on their wedding day and usually destination weddings air our intimate maybe 40 50 gas something like that and have some, like total random stranger there doesn't really fit. So I always sell the idea that bring your photographer so important you get to meet me beforehand for an engagement shoot and then take me along with you and I already know me and, like part of the family. Uh, and but sometimes I've had people hire me from far away and fly me out. So we'll meet on Skype, and a lot of times I'll even do that with the back to the hotels and the coordinators there. I'll set up a Skype meeting from far away. I think they just I want to feel like they know you a little bit, so I have a couple more from from our Internet audience, this is switching gears a little bit, So we I know we kind of mentioned blogging, so let's dive more into that a little bit. If you don't mind somebody's asking. How often should you update your website blawg and post to social media? So we sort of covered a little bit about. You know, sometimes when people go on vacation, they aren't posting. If much should they be? Yeah, it's especially social media. Consistency is really important. I typically use my blawg as a visual database. So this this is the way. Break it down. So your website is your static gallery. Think of it is super curated. You want literally just the best of your best honor you like you know You know, gallery should have more than, like 40 images in it. Like maybe you have three portfolio galleries. You shouldn't have hundreds of stuff this stream through. You shouldn't have a website that right? When you go to the website, there's like 50 pictures to look at. You want to keep it really clean and curated. I don't feel the need to show everything on your website. Your blog's should be your visual database, and what I mean by that is I blawg every shoot that I dio and and so like sometimes that's like a lot in a week, and sometimes it's less. It doesn't have to be as consistent on the blawg, but I do it that way because if someone's like, do you shoot babies? I don't put babies up on my website. I don't really want to advertise that I do, but I dio Ah, lot of times for my brides that have had babies enough. So but if they go into my block and type in the keyword search babies or baby your newborn or whatever, every shoot that I've tagged that where newborn will come up and that's like having a gallery for them a very curated gallery for a client. So I do that even for hotels that someone like Have you ever shot at the Wayfarers Chapel? When I go to my blogging? Is typing waivers topple? Or I'll do it myself in cinema leak and literally pull up all the shoots have done in that one place, and then I can send it to them. It's a really nice way to have, sort of, like I said it online visual database of my work without it being all on my website and then, uh, for social media. That's a whole other animal. I think you should be posting a lot, and there's a lot of ways to do that. A. I have an assistant that helps me do it, cause I'm traveling a lot and I can't post undermined like a 22 hour flight or something. But there are APS that you can use that will post for you can you can set them in, time them out. It will just automatically post, um or you could Just What I do is I pick out like a month's worth of images. Unless unless I'm doing a real time like right now, the on my instagram I'm in the Czech Republic still like I haven't been there for two weeks, but I have so much work from there that it's spreading out over two weeks while I'm at home doing on the editing. That's not glamorous supposed about. I'm just gonna continue posting the trip that I was on, and then when I go on the next trip, I'll start posting those. And so I kind of do that. And so what I'll do is I'll schedule it out, like with my calendar, like okay, I need I usually post three times a day. It's a lot, but I'm building followers. I would say posting once or twice a day is good, Um, but posting it really is important. So I was like, lay it all out and, like, visually, lay it out and decide like which image they want opposed and will capture them like a whole month's worth at once. And then I have an assistant. Just post them for me every day and it's already ready to go. Yeah, so it's really important to social Media to be consistent and be posting a lot. Yeah, So one more question from the Internet. Kim is saying that they've traveled and photographed extensively for the past decade, and they basically have a whole body of work and they're not sure what to do about it. They're saying, What is the best way to market my photography that has already been captured? Oh my gosh, I really, really dive into that. And it's really like later on, probably the second half of this chorus. But I talk a lot about repurpose ing your images, and I'll just give you kind of bullet points right now. So you like a taste for it. But there's a 1,000,000 ways to repurpose their images, and that was like sort of my ah ha moment that I had in the past two years when I sort of really pushing out writing. One of the reasons I started travel writing was because I have hard drive's full of images from all over the world for the last decade or so, and they're beautiful and I want to share them and they're just living on like a hard drive in my closet, and they could be making money for you and or just helping you get a better outreach. So I use those pictures I'll put together old trips on and write a story about it for different publications. Get that out there like that. Um, I joined a stock agency called Robert Harding, who represents my travel work and so you can license your stuff to stock if you don't want to sign on with a specific agency. There is online stock agencies like and I talk about that later on, so I want to get too deep into it. But there's a 1,000,000 ways you can sell it as fine art. You can, uh, do guest blogger posts for other people, but there's so many ways you can repurpose your images, and you absolutely should be. They shouldn't just be living on your hard drive. So amen to that went to that. How many of us have just tons of photos just sitting on our hard drives. Yes, yeah, I'm so glad you said that. No, it's really true and there's a 1,000,000 ways to reuse them, and it's kind of fun to go through. I mean, it's a lot of work at first, but it's fun to go through old shoots because I'm so used to seeing the pictures that I had pulled from them that were my favorites, that if I go through and shoot the whole thing, sometimes I forget about images that shot like that one was amazing or this is over. That's cool. And it reminds me, and there's so many other ways that you can tell a story and reuses images. We'll dive into that. But they should absolutely be starting to categorize their images. Maybe by trip or by year. I do by continent, sometimes on, and they should start cattle. At least organizing it may be having an assistant or someone start pulling together kind of like visual stories for them.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Travel Gear List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Art, Life, and Business Discount Code
Writing & SEO Guide for Travel Magazines
Sammy's Photo School Discount Code
Novica Discount Code

Ratings and Reviews


I've been listening for, like, two hours. OMG. Like, I could, like, you know, get more from this if, like, she stopped jibbering and get to, like, you know, the topic? She sounds more like a rambling stream-of-thought teenager than a mature adult giving a succinct organized presentation. In two hours, I have, like, learned about two or three things I can, like, use. Like, Ehhhh...? It's like, bor-ing! Like, whutttt? Is she, like, 15 or what? Sheesh.

a Creativelive Student

I have to start by saying that I was lucky enough to be part of the live audience in this class! What Laura has shared this 2 days, is something that will have taken me a few years to learn. Thank you for remanding me that we create our own opportunities and we have to go for what we want instead of waiting for it to happened and will these tips your share in this class, will make it a lot easier to approach editors or potential clients to be able to conquer my goals! Thanks you very much Laura and Creative Live for making all these possible for the photo community all around the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Student Work