The life of famous landscape photographers can appear to be a glamorous mix of travelling to distant exotic photo locations, taking a few photos in glorious golden light, selling them onto international clients for a fortune before deciding where to travel to next!
The reality is very different. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start living the dream now and selling a few of your best pics to magazines, publishers, calendar companies and more. They might even help you pay for your next lens!
All images and words by Lee Beel
In order to make a success of your landscape photography and to increase the chances of your work being published you should always ask yourself one question when you’re out in the field: how can I photograph the scene before me in order to maximise its earning potential?
Of course, you should strive to capture the scene looking at its best but different clients want different things. Over the next few pages we’ll give you advice and tips for how to really make the most of every photographic opportunity.
How famous landscape photographers make money from photography: 1-3
1 Shoot in the middle of the day
Photographers know that the best light for landscape work occurs in the ‘golden’ hours around dawn and dusk when the low angle of the sun reveals contours and texture in the scene and bathes it in glorious light.
But if you only work for a couple of hours a day how do you expect to make a living? Colours look rich and saturated in harsh light under a blue sky.
It’s worth getting in touch with local interest magazines to see if they can use any of your pictures or if they’d like to keep them on file for future use.
2 Shoot vertical and horizontal
Most of the images published in magazines are in the vertical format. It seems obvious that upright images will be in demand when you know that an A4 page is this shape too.
However, if you look at the vast choice of calendars that are available you’ll notice that most of the use images that are shot horizontally.
This is not to say that each of these markets don’t use images that are shot in the other format. Of course magazines also use horizontal photographs and some calendar companies like to use vertical shots.
So, in order to increase the chances of your work being used you should try to capture a scene in both formats if it’s possible.
I don’t suggest you record both just for the sake of it – only if the scene you’re photographing works in both ways.
3 Compose with text in mind
If you browse the shelves at your local newsagent you’ll notice that most, if not all, magazines (and books for that matter) have the title in a prominent position along the top of the front page and various other text positioned around the cover image.
For this reason it can be a good idea to leave a bit of extra space at the top of your composition and around the edges of the frame so that text can be added if you work is to be considered for the front page of a magazine.
PAGE 1: How famous landscape photographers make money from photography – tips 1-3
PAGE 2: How famous landscape photographers make money from photography – tips 4-6
PAGE 3: How famous landscape photographers make money from photography – tips 7-9
PAGE 4: How famous landscape photographers make money from photography – tips 10-13