From Dishwasher to Photographer – Part 1
About four month have past since I started this website project and my journey to become a successful photographer. In this first blog of an ongoing series, I will reflect upon those first month and give some insides into my business.
As I have mentioned in my first blog entry, I want to deliver a live journal about my experiences in trying to become a successful travel photographer. That does not only include sharing travel stories, but also giving you some information about my achievements in this matter. Let’s start by answering an obvious question:
Have I earned any money with any of this so far?
Definitely no. Not a penny! Did I expect to? Not really… I knew it would be really hard to get this project started. Followers don’t appear overnight and for every like, comment or share you have to work really hard. Especially in the beginning! After all your friends have liked your new Facebook Page, there is a time when it seems to take ages to go forward. But then at some point, numbers start to rise slowly. Let’s have a quick look at some actual statistics about my site here:
We are still talking small numbers here, but I’m confident they will keep rising. Why? I’m always trying to produce regular and high quality content, which is generally supposed to be rewarded with audience. And once there is an audience, there might be potentially customers!
Starting out in this business might not be for everybody. You probably have to be able to live on the cheap for a while and you will most likely find yourself working some other jobs to pay your bills for quite some time. While trying to build myself a portfolio as a travel photographer, I invest most of my money in the trip itself. That means for me that I don’t eat a steak every evening, but there is so much to cook without spending too much money. It doesn’t mean that you have to eat peanut butter sandwiches all day long!
For example: For the time being, I work as a steward in the kitchen. Some might also call this position (for a good reason) a dishwasher. Not exactly a job many people desire, but I don’t mind it at all. In the end it is just another job to get some money into my bank account and provide for the next big trip. It’s nothing I will do forever. To put as much money aside for traveling as I possibly can, I continue to live in my camper. That gives me the opportunity to save most of the money I earn.
The journey is the reward.
Even though this saying might be pretty overused, it couldn’t fit better. Instead of worrying about making money with my photos, I will just enjoy being out here, living my dream. I am already abroad, enjoying what live has to offer. As long as you can afford to keep traveling and practice your art, you can’t be doing the wrong thing can you?! Even if it doesn’t end up in a career in photography, the worst-case scenario is pretty much, that you have some damn good stories to tell when you come home again and you’ll have some amazing images to show your kids one day.
I have decided to focus myself on three things for the moment:
- Getting better at what I’m doing, both shooting and writing
- Keep building my portfolio, to be ready when possible clients visit my website
- Continue traveling and having the best time possible
Using a Work and Holiday Visa, which allows you to work in one of the participating countries for a period of one year, is a great way to start your portfolio. You can travel a lot while you have the possibility to earn money along the way.
So what is stopping YOU from buying a ticket and taking your camera on a plane to a foreign place?