My niece, Moriah, is a dancer… a very good dancer. She is classically trained and has danced the major ballets. She’s also very skilled at jazz, hip hop, and ballroom styles. In addition, she is a sought-after choreographer and teacher. She is truly gifted in dance.
But there are many roles that come up that she either doesn’t win or simply can’t audition for, simply because just being an amazing dancer isn’t enough.
Her friends who win those roles are, what’s called on Broadway, “triple threats.” They’re not just great dancers—they can also act and sing. They aren’t as good as Moriah is at dancing, but they are good enough… and they get the gig because they bring those other skills with them.
It’s much like that in the world of travel writing.
You can be a tremendous writer—you know what publications want and how to pitch them. You are amazing at transporting your reader to the locations you write about just by your deft use of adjectives and your descriptive language. But there are so many publications—both print and online—that want more than just a great article… they want images that go along with your story.
That’s been the role of the photojournalist—someone who can write a great, descriptive story and also take amazing, I’ve-got-to-go-there photos. There is a huge demand for these professionals who combine the ability to write and shoot (and deliver). I do a large amount of work internationally as a photojournalist.
Now, the vast majority of print media publications have an online presence as well, and they crave well-crafted photos and videos to accompany a story and to provide a deeper, interactive experience for the reader of your article. If you can provide those, you’ll enjoy a larger check. Also, in my experience, I’ve discovered that I get more assignments from the outlets for which I not only write, but shoot photos and create videos.
As you visit a resort, restaurant, or tourist attraction for your article, you can also pitch those businesses for photographs or videos either in exchange for free services or for pay. I have friends—a husband-and-wife team—who are traveling around the world, staying in amazing properties, dining at phenomenal restaurants, and making money to travel, simply by always pitching a photography and video project to every business they write about.
This is a wonderful way to create the lifestyle that you dreamed of when you first contemplated becoming a travel writer… but to maximize your travel writing assignments and profits, you should learn and become proficient at photography and video.