Photography falls somewhere squarely in the middle between an art and a craft, but either way it could help you earn your living in your new international location.
For most of us, “photography” means grabbing the point-and-shoot and clicking away at kids, pets, grandkids and special events. That’s not what I’m talking about. Frankly, you may have the cutest grandkids in the world (and I don’t think you do because I know mine have that honor!), but nobody’s going to pay you for taking snapshots.
However, the distance between snapshot and saleable stock photo is not that great, and it’s a distinction you can learn.
Photographers can make a good living taking pictures and selling them through online micro stock sites like iStockphoto.com, Shutterpoint.com and Fotolia.com. Stock photos are used by ad agencies, publishers and all sorts of businesses and need to be generic in nature (no logos on the t-shirts or baseball caps, please!).
A microstock agency generally sells the image more than once, and the photographer earns a royalty each time it sells. Unlike fine art photos which can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars, royalties for microstock might be under a dollar for some images so they’re affordable by almost anyone. As your photograph collection increases, those royalties can add up quickly.
If you think photography might float your boat or pay your rent, do some research.
Shutterpoint offers a free e-book guide for its members called Marketable Photography. It discusses finding a subject for your photos, taking the pictures post processing and uploading them to Shutterpoint.
Many community colleges offer photography courses. Online classes are also available through a variety of individuals and institutions.
American Writers and Artists Inc. in Delray Beach, FL offers a course called “Turn Your Pictures Into Cash.” They also offer photography workshops all over the world. So far this year they’ve been to Ecuador and Morocco, and they have expeditions planned to Paris, Rome and Thailand as well. (I’ve not taken any of their photography classes, but I have taken advantage of some of their other offerings including their Ultimate Travel Writers Program.)
A decent camera, a laptop and an internet connection might just be your ticken to financing your new life overseas.
Are you a photographer? Do you have some suggestions for fellow future expats who might want to explore photography as a way to earn some money overseas? Click on the comment link below to share your thoughts.