The Masterclasses 2022: 10 practical tips for success as a travel photographer

7. Do your preparation and research to line up the best shots

Our experts agreed that good travel photography normally requires hours of research and preparation before a trip, whether you’re researching the best locations or trying to land that all-important interview.

“For the magic to work, most of the time we need to be in the right place at the right time with the right contact,” Yulia explained. “There’s a lot of research going in that direction, as well as logistical things like setting up interviews,” she said. “This is where tourist offices can be very helpful, as they are the people who know a particular area best.”

8. Deliver a well-presented end product

For our panelists, a lot of hard work comes at the end of a journey. Whether it’s editing images or making sure you’ve met your client’s brief, it’s important to think about how you can create a final product that really stands out.

“You want to keep your final card [of images] very tight – think about what will grab attention and stand out,” Francesco said. “[Aim for] 15-20 images, up to a maximum of 30, and collect them all in one file – ideally a PDF. Make sure you start well and end well, with a dynamic presentation that will keep the editor interested.

9. Stay humble and keep learning

A recurring theme in every travel photography session was the need to keep learning and developing your skills. “Be humble,” advised Lauryn. “There’s always someone who does a better job than you, and you should always keep learning. The most important thing for me over the past decade is to keep learning on the job.

Annapurna echoed Lauryn’s advice: “If you’re into photography, you naturally look at a lot of other people’s work,” she said. “It’s really good to get ideas about different ways of using light and different ways of filming stories.”

10. Be persistent and never give up

Finally, our experts emphasized the need to be persistent and patient when building your career as a travel photographer.

“It can be a very long game – you have to be patient,” Yulia said. “People often start throwing and stop when they don’t see immediate results. Those of us who are still in the industry are here because we haven’t stopped featuring our stories and sharing our photos. If we can do it, so can you. If this is your passion, just keep going.

Masterclasses by National Geographic Traveler (UK) will return in 2023.

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