Travel Photography: Landscapes, Aerials, and Skylines


Lesson Info

Travel Photo Markets

What are the different places to put your travel images, and what kind of markets are there? This is really important. Before you go out, try and figure out where do you want your images to go. That will really determine what you shoot, and how you go about shooting it, and what those images will look like. There are these. There's many, many different markets. These are the four big ones that I would say are most applicable to me. Can't get it out today. (chuckling) Luxury travel. Luxury travel usually has some sort of, you know, feels higher-end or fancy. Luxury travel usually incorporates lots of buildings, and scenic skylines, and things like that. It might include a pool. Very often times, it might include models if you're producing the shoot, or it will include people. It could be, in general, you think about what does it mean to be luxury, right. So you think about, maybe, it's wine. It could be food, all those other things. We're gonna talk more about what constitutes the actua...

lly repertoire of a travel photographer. But you have the luxury travel. Then you have general travel, right: road trips, anywhere else that you could go that might not be deemed a higher price point. Even might be just, you know, very general. Road trips are a great example that could fall under general travel. But it could be anything else that you might go to, like a trip to the Statue of Liberty. It's not really considered luxury travel, right. It's gonna be general travel, may or may not constitute something that's part of a road trip. Road trips are huge, and especially if you're like me, and you're a landscape photographer or you love nature. Chances are you're probably not getting on a plane. And then more than ever before, people are opting to hit the road. And so the road trip is a great way to think about how to tell that story. And again, I'll keep using the word story, 'cause it's important on all of these things. What kind of story are you tryin' to convey with your luxury travel? What kind of story are you tryin' to convey when you do a general travel story? How to visit a national park, that might be a general travel story. A road trip story could be both! It could be a road trip to a luxury destination or a road trip to a general destination. But road trips are a great way to really get a good start, because they don't cost a whole lot, you can be on your way to go camping, it could simply be a day trip as well. Maybe you're going apple picking or something like that, right. It's probably already a little past the season. But it could be a day trip. I mean, again, travel doesn't have to be a multi-day expensive excursion. It's something that could be done easily and it could be done very affordably, and road trips are a great way to document that. The last one I have on here is camping/glamping. Have people heard of glamping before? That's becoming also a fast-growing area. It means there's a really good market, those luxury canvas tents. Glamping's interesting, and the reason I added it is 'cause it could fall under luxury travel. Camping could fall under general travel. You could almost look at these as different areas. But these are the four things that I personally try to focus on. Luxury travel might have a boat in the foreground, something like that. But camping and glamping are also fun, because you can do it affordably, and it can tie into a lot of different places and give you a lot of different options. So this is the real range. Basically, it's gonna cost a lot more here, and you slowly work your way down to the most affordable way to approach your travel images. So what constitutes a travel image? Story: making people feel like they want to be in the destination, like they're part of it. You wanna make people feel like they almost understand what would it be like to actually experience that place, what is your experience like. It's helpful if you go with people. I was here with a friend. So I was able to get a release, which helps for commercial viability. But this has worked very well editorially. This doesn't say any specific place, so there's a broad market here. It can work for the specific place, which is Grand Cayman, but it can also work as a general image anywhere, for any airline. For essentially any beach or any place that has blue enough water, that could become the destination photo. You know, this is an old image, but it's worked really, really well. It's very, very general. Showing the whole experience. This is a good example of the road trip image, right. And by the way, this is a good example of something that may qualify as luxury travel. And the reason it qualifies as luxury travel is because of how she's dressed, what the location says. It just kinda says something that could work really, really well. I mean, you could very easily see some sort of a, you know, jewelry company or any sort of person who's tryin' to sell a certain kind of lifestyle, right. It doesn't say that you're tryin' to do this, necessarily, on a budget. It doesn't really say much of anything, which was makes it work so well. The more general your image is, the broader the market opportunity that you may have. This is in Utah, beautiful, beautiful location. Probably looks pretty close to this right about now. This was actually to tell the specific story of a road trip. I wanted to say road trip. That was what this whole thing was about. And you know, I work with a lot of these. There's a lot of publications out there that focus solely on road trips. It's a whole genre into itself. There's a lot of different magazines, a lot of regional magazines. There's van magazines, and so on and so forth. And I'll break all those down, but there's just so many different ways to do it. But you wanna keep it generic enough, you know. You don't wanna see a specific license plate. Maybe take that out in Photoshop. But you wanna make it generic enough, but specific to showing the place. So this really is, this could be anything about taking the ultimate destination during autumn. Very, very general, applies across many different things, but it could also work for Utah specifically. So this is a good general image as well. This is what I'm talkin' about when I say the glamping or the luxury camping. Not necessarily the best image in the world, but it shows what the experience was like. It's a little brighter, a little more happy, could work for camping in general. So those are the kinda things that I'm looking for.

Award-winning outdoor photographer Ian Shive shows how to capture the cityscapes and backdrops of your travels. He'll discuss composition, gear and how to successfully capture iconic skylines and viewpoints with a fresh perspective. Round out your portfolio with scenic landscapes that are print worthy.



  • Great class! Lots of useful information on on how to take, market and sell your photographs, including what constitutes editorial vs commercial work.