Travel photography. Dead.

The Secret to Selling your Vacation Photos (here).

What’s sad is people buy this crap.

There Are 19 Comments On This Article.

  1. I agree that article is inane since it seems to aim at the random amateur family vacationer, but the implications of “Travel photography. Dead.” reach much farther. Can you explain a bit further?

  2. Photopreneur just gives some really awful advice sometimes. Check out this gem on being a part-time photographer:
    http://blogs.photopreneur.com/how-to-keep-your-job-and-be-a-part-time-photographer
    The second point about microstock just kills me.

    It gets worse: 52 Ways to Monetize you Photos:
    http://blogs.photopreneur.com/52-ways-to-monetize-your-photos
    #2 Become a Paparazzi. “#18. Put your pictures on microstock sites
    Hey, everyone else is doing it — and some people are making six-figure sums
    doing it!”

    Ugh…

  3. Sometimes, when someone talks about how easy it is to take a picture, I want to hand them a large format field camera and let them have at it.

    Someday…

  4. I feel like there’s nothing good happening in travel photography these days. It’s either the Travel and Leisure style or crappy vacation images. Tons of magazines publish the crap images because of the travel cost associated with shooting original material.

  5. I would love to comment, but after reading that piece I’m now urgently headed to the beach where istock dollar bills litter the sands.

  6. It’s not dead yet but it certainly is’nt feeling well. As a travel photographer, my experience has been that most AD’s really only want the “drive by shooting” style of work and are uninterested in presenting a “sense of place”, unless of course you can cover a huge location in two days, for less than $300 and still deliver unique and compelling imagery. Even then, there are not many taking risks these days. I can think of a couple of formerly top end travel mags that have become so derivative the whole magazine looks like a low level tour company brochure.

    Microstock and the digital age have bred an incredible rush to “monetize” imagery exactly as photopreneur describes and people in the industry are starting to notice the overall lowering of the bar in terms of interesting work. Now we just have to wait for the readers to notice this too.

  7. There are some great travel magazines in europe, but maybe travel photography is dying in this country. I was just looking at the latest Conde Nast Traveler. The photographer Philip-Lorca di Corcia photographed a story in China. I looked at the pictures, and then went back and looked again, because I didn’t want to judge someone else’s work unfairly, especially a photographer of his stature. But to me the pictures were nothing special, technically or aesthetically. If the magazine had said they were taken by an amateur photographer who had sent in some vacation pictures I would have no trouble believing that to have been the case. Who knows? Maybe this is a new “style”, soon to be imitated. But all I can think of is that fairy tale about the Emperor and his new, transparent, wardrobe. And then I found myself wondering what Jay Maisel or Pete Turner, or a younger shooter like Jonathan Torgovnik, might have done, given the same opportunity.

  8. Shooting travel photography is alive and well – the challenge is finding a way to make it pay.

    It is great fun to go to a new place where I’m attuned to all of the new sights and sounds. Ernst Haas liked to walk around for a few days without a camera whenever he arrived at a new place, but I want to take advantage of seeing the place with a fresh set of eyes.

    Part of the fun is going to the places that everyone has shot before and see if it possible to shoot it in a different way. It is annoying to look through the viewfinder only to see a post card image staring back at you.

    I wrote more about my process that you can read at the Stock Asylum. (follow the tinyurl link)

    http://tinyurl.com/abpye

    To view recent photos of S. E. Asia follow the portfolios>new work link on my main website.

    http://www.harmelphoto.com/

    or view my take on the Giza Pyrimids, Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal at the links below.

    http://www.harmelphoto.com/Egypt/

    http://www.harmelphoto.com/France/

    http://www.harmelphoto.com/India/

  9. travel photography is dead b/c our culture killed it

    No one wants to escape through travel images, we escape by dropping into someone else’s life.

    Unless you are doing an at home with ab fab couple x, or a snowboarding trip with super celeb y—you can’t really do travel in a magazine. It needs that exact layer if it’s going to sell magazines, which is too damn bad.

    This is our new fantasy, not travel images. Just check out every cover, even the outdoor titles…they all are looking for the celeb factor

    this is how you monetize your photos right here:

    http://www.pintsizepaparazzi.com/

  10. While we are on the subject, check out this Oct 1 posting for travel images (PDN Online Classified Ads). Sick yet? I guess we can be now!

    Photographers Wanted

    Travel Channel Travel Channel is looking for still photographers to take pictures of landmarks in 30 cities in the United States. A list of landmarks for each city will be provided upon assignment. The vast majority of landmarks are within 10 miles of the cities’ centers. The photographer will be responsible for providing jpeg files of each of the landmarks. The name of the landmark in the picture must appear in the location and caption info fields. Payment will be based upon the number of points of interest in a given city. The minimum number of points is expected to be no less than 40, with the top end being no more than 100. The rate is $30 per landmark with work needing to be completed within two weeks of receiving the assignment. Travel Channel will retain exclusive rights to the images. Through this project, we are hoping to build a network of photographers to draw on for other potential assignments. For more information go to http://www.travelchannel.com/photogs_wanted/, or send an email containing a small sampling of your work to travel.photogs@gmail.com.

  11. Visitors to this site has been viewing my travel photo collections. I recently returned from shooting in London and have a new collection that I can share.

    In the past I was shooting for myself, my portfolio, perhaps the fine art market and for distribution through stock outlets. In the past I considered the income that I could generate from stock to be the main source of financial return on my travel images. But with my stock royalties falling off a cliff in recent months it is harder to find financial incentive to shoot these images.

    Now I shoot them because I can and I find that pursuing photographic treasures is a great way to explore a city. Thanks for listening and looking.

    http://www.harmelphoto.com/London/

  12. I was thinking the same thing but I get Travel and Leisure in the mail for some reason – they used Martin Schoeller in Tanzania. and they did a shoot with Martin Parr that was cool — at least they are sending good people places.

  13. Theme
    “Memorable Travel Moment”
    (Any entry which has been submitted for domestic or overseas competition will be disqualified.)
    Eligibility
    Domestic residents (including foreigners), Koreans and Foreigners residing overseas
    Application Period
    July 25, 2008 (Fri) ~ August 25(Mon), for 31days
    Details
    ■ Photo Size
    -Film Camera Photo : Black and White or Color printed photo, inch
    -Digital Camera Photo : Black and White or Color image, Upload submission after compressing under 500kb
    ※ In case of preliminary winners, original file registration (over 500 million pixel, available for printing)
    ■ Contest Submission
    -Online: Visit to photo.koreanair.com to download the application form. After completing the form, please save it and send as an attachment.
    * Submission is available via mail or in person (For digital camera photos, submission is available
    only via online.
    Reception Office Address : HS Ad & Korean Air Travel Photo Contest Office, 12F LG Mapo Bldg., Gongduk-2dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea (Zip code : 121-721)
    ■ Maximum Number of Submission : Five per entrant (for both film and digital photos)
    ■ Inquiries :
    Results Announcement/Awards
    ■ Announcement : The winners will be announced on September 17(Wed) at our online contest gallery (photo.koreanair.com) and Hankook Ilbo, and notified individually by e-mail.
    ※ Announcement date can be changed due to schedules
    ■ Awards Ceremony : October 1 (Wed), 2008. 10:00 Seoul Sejong Center Annex Hall (Gwanghwamun Gallery)
    ■ Prizes (Combined judging for film and digital entries)
    -Grand Prix Prize (1) : A trophy and two prestige class round trip tickets to any Korean Air destination + two domestic economy class round trip tickets-
    -Gold Prize(1) : A trophy and two prestige class round trip tickets to any Korean Air destination
    -Silver Prize(2) : A trophy and two economy class round trip tickets to any Korean Air destination
    -Bronze Prize(6) : A trophy and two economy class round trip tickets to Japan/China/Southeast Asia Korean Air flies
    -Meritorious Prize (50): A trophy and two domestic economy class round trip tickets

    ※ The grand prix, gold, silver, and bronze prize winners will attend the Awards Ceremony to receive their awards. If the winners cannot attend the ceremony, their family members with entrusted certificate may attend instead.
    Exhibition/ Period
    ■ Seoul -Sejong Center Annex Hall (10.01 ~ 10.07)
    ■ Daegu – Metro Gallery (10.14 ~ 10.19)
    ■ Gwangju – Metro Gallery (10.30 ~ 11.05)
    ■ Busan – Youngdusan Arts Gallery (11.13 ~ 11.18)
    ■ Daejeon- Galleria Department Store (11.21 ~ 11.26)
    Rules
    1) All copyrights of winning photos will belong to Korean Air.
    2) Awards will be cancelled for any entry which is imitated, composed, counterfeited, retouched, or have been awarded at any other competition.
    3) The winning entrants should submit the original film (for film photo) and the original downloaded file (for digital photo) within the requested time period.
    4) All submitted entries will not be returned.
    5) The supplementary prizes (tickets) are non-transferable except for direct family members.
    ※ The above timeline may change and for more information on the contest, visit to
    photo.koreanair.com
    Etc
    Hosted by Korean Air
    Sponsored by Hankook Ilbo
    Organized by Korean Air and HSAd.

    *CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS : Calla0218@indicomm.co.kr

  14. koreanair

    The 16th Korean Air Traval Photo Contast

    [Theme]

    “Memorable Travel Moment”
    (Any entry which has been submitted for domestic or overseas competition will be disqualified.)

    [Eligibility]

    Anyone who likes travel and photography

    [Application Period]

    July 27, 2009 (Mon) ~ August 31(Mon), for 36days

    [Details]

    ■ Photo Size
    -Film Camera Photo : Black and White or Color printed photo, inch
    -Digital Camera Photo : Black and White or Color image,
    ※ In case of preliminary winners, original file registration (over 3000 pixel, available for printing)

    ■ Contest Submission
    -Online: Visit to photo.koreanair.com to download the application form. After completing the form, please save it and send as an attachment.
    * Submission is available via mail or in person (For digital camera photos, submission is available
    only via online.
    – Reception Office Address : HS Ad & Korean Air Travel Photo Contest Office, 12F LG Mapo Bldg., Gongduk-2dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea (Zip code : 121-721)

    ■ Maximum Number of Submission : Five per entrant (for both film and digital photos)
    ■ Inquiries :

    [Results Announcement/Awards]

    ■ Announcement : The winners will be announced on September 22(Tue) at our online contest gallery (photo.koreanair.com) and Hankook Ilbo, and notified individually by e-mail.
    ※ Announcement date can be changed due to schedules

    ■ Awards Ceremony : October 7 (Wed), 2009. 10:00 Seoul Sejong Center Annex Hall (Gwanghwamun Gallery)

    ■ Prizes (Combined judging for film and digital entries)

    -Grand Prix Prize (1) : A trophy and two prestige class round trip tickets to any Korean Air destination + two domestic economy class round trip tickets-
    -Gold Prize(1) : A trophy and two prestige class round trip tickets to any Korean Air destination
    -Silver Prize(2) : A trophy and two economy class round trip tickets to any Korean Air destination
    -Bronze Prize(6) : A trophy and two economy class round trip tickets to Japan/China/Southeast Asia Korean Air flies
    -Meritorious Prize (50): A trophy and two domestic economy class round trip tickets
    – Capture the moment prize (5): Canon IXUS90IS
    ※ The grand prix, gold, silver, and bronze prize winners will attend the Awards Ceremony to receive their awards. If the winners cannot attend the ceremony, their family members with entrusted certificate may attend instead.

    [Exhibition/ Period]

    ■ Seoul -Sejong Center Annex Hall (10.07 ~ 10.13)
    ■ Busan ? Yongdusan Arts Gallery (10.22 ~ 10.27)
    ■ Daegu ?Debec Gaellery (11.04 ~ 11.09)
    ■ Gwangju- Lotte Arts Gallery (11.12 ~ 11.18)
    ■ Daejeon- Galleria Department Store (11.20 ~ 11.25)

    [Rules]

    1) All copyrights of winning photos will belong to Korean Air.
    2) Awards will be cancelled for any entry which is imitated, composed, counterfeited, retouched, or have been awarded at any other competition.
    3) The winning entrants should submit the original film (for film photo) and the original downloaded file (for digital photo) within the requested time period.
    4) All submitted entries will not be returned.5) The supplementary prizes (tickets) are non-transferable except for direct family members.
    ※ The above timeline may change and for more information on the contest, visit to
    http://photo.koreanair.com

    [Etc]
    Hosted by Korean Air
    Sponsored by Hankook Ilbo and Canon
    Organized by Korean Air and HSAd.

  15. People are just crazy, and that’s the truth.
    A depressing article in the LA Times says TIME magazine paid $30 for a cover shot:

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/arts/la-et-onthemedia22-2010jan22,0,4822231.column?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fmostviewed+%28L.A.+Times+-+Most+Viewed+Stories%29

    As fees plummeted in the late 80s and 90s I got into writing/photographing my own guidebooks as a way to have control and income, but lately travel is way down and publishing is in the toilet. Trying to find new ways to make money shooting travel is a real challenge.

    National Geographic Traveler sent hacks to Hawaii’s island of Molokai to reveal all its wonders, and what was featured was crap obviously culled from a standard tourist brochure. Molokai’s wonders were overlooked completely. My own guidebook, available all over Molokai -complete with pinpointed photo locations- should have been a gold-paved road map for these bozos… but with only three days to get the story they probably didn’t have time to shop :-)

    Despite my expertise and that of others, why do magazines insist on sending New Yorkers completely unfamiliar with any given location to “reveal” it, rather than the obvious: those photographers and writers who LIVE there?