Travel photographer Raisa on the job

Travel photography for Print on demand

In my third guest blog for Art Heroes, I want to share some tips about travel photography, and in particular, of course, travel photography aimed at Print-on-Demand (selling your work through a platform like Art Heroes). In case you missed my other blogs, My name is Raisa Zwart a professional photographer, and I discuss social media strategy & improving on artist’s shop pages. Let's just dive right in! Here are my tips to take your travel photography to the next level.

"When I started with travel photography, it was mainly to capture my travels. With wedding photography as my specializations, I wasn’t dependent on my travel images, so they mainly served as personal memories of adventures I experienced. For me, that was a very nice starting point for my travel photography career, as you only want to make those photos for yourself. That's how I found my style. From the bottom up, I started developing myself further and selling through print-on-demand platforms. Occasionally, the perfect setting for a brilliant photo emerges, where I’d walk, visualize an image and capture it. However, sometimes a lot more preparation is involved, and I really enjoy both ways of working."

  1. Summer in Italy on the sea.

Tip 1: Preparation is half the battle

"If you want to grow further with your travel photography, it is very valuable to prepare when you travel. Even if you are travelling in your home country. For instance, do research on interesting places, and see what time the sun rises and sets there. Make a mood board and a shortlist to kickstart your creativity. Dedicate enough time in your holiday to only taking photos. Even when I am on holiday, I get out of bed extra early to walk around with my camera to shoot some photos. I often take pictures with my phone beforehand to save the GPS locations of interesting places, so the next day I can return to shoot in the fine morning light."

Tip 2: Get the best image quality

"With Print on Demand platforms, both the platform and the customers expect you to provide images of high quality. With “high quality”, I am referring to both the creative aspects (the uniqueness of an image, your style, artistic qualities), and the technical aspects. When making technically high-quality photos, make sure you have a camera with a good resolution, pay attention to the sharpness of the image, don’t edit too much, as this can harm the quality and export the files in the end as large as possible.

Increasing the creative quality of a photo is a complex subject, but I would suggest that you achieve this mainly by making artworks that you like. Don't compare yourself too much to other photographers! Let yourself be inspired by music, films, books, people and nature, instead of by looking at what others make. Realize that your creative input (the content you consume) determines your creative output, and deal with it carefully."

  1. mayan temple in Mexico

Tip 3: Follow your curiosity, and keep growing!

"Making money from your travel photography is the best feeling, and I wish everyone could have the opportunity to do this. However, there can be a risk I'd like to warn you against, focusing too much on what does and doesn't sell. As you have read in my earlier blog, I am very strategic in my Print on Demand approach. Even so, I find it important to keep my creative freedom within photography. I want to keep following my curiosity, stepping outside my comfort zone, continuing to grow, and enjoying making photos. I can imagine that this is also important to you! Firstly, always stay focused on your love for photography. Be aware of this and take actions to preserve it, like making personal work. Don’t always shoot photos for sale, and keep playing and experimenting. The interesting thing is that precisely by looking at your photography with that mindset and attitude, you will continue to grow. You will see that vision and quality is reflected in your images. I really believe that!"

Summary: Prepare, but also sometimes allow yourself to be surprised. Think about your equipment, and work towards images of the highest technical but also creative quality. Keep growing as a creative, and photographer: don't let travel photography become a trick but keep challenging yourself, and keep enjoying this special profession!

More tips from Raisa?

"Hopefully, Hopefully, the tips I have given you will be useful in your growth, as well as food for thought regarding your current photography, with this blog. I am curious to hear about your experiences, and see your travel photography. Don’t hesitate to share them with me, you can always send me a DM on Instagram! You can find my (travel) photography account here."

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