travel photography – from passion to profit!

I love to travel, who doesn’t… having the opportunity to explore new places, see new things, taste new foods and ultimately meet new people and create life long friendships.

From an early age photography has been a passion, and while spending my grade school years reading and re-reading (ok… really just looking at photos) my grandfather’s collection of National Geographic magazines… I realized that I wanted and needed to explore the world.

Fast forward to my 30s… I am a successful photojournalist for a major news media conglomerate, but that urge to travel has been eating away at me for years.  As a photojournalist, I job-hopped across the nation, Oregon to Florida… when my bride pleaded with me to NOT move again in the next 18 months….

Florida became the home base! Then children and a mortgage solidified my Florida lifestyle.

Early in the 2000’s I could see the changing face of the newspaper industry, ethical standards were starting to be questioned, and then nationally, poor decisions were being made that jeopardized a career that I loved.

So with that, I walked away…. filed for a business license, hung my shingle and opened Steven Martine Photography Inc.

Then came the big question – as a freelance photographer – what kind of work did I want to do? Profitable work of course, but what direction did I want to steer my career.

My heart is in travel, my passions center around seeing new things, meeting new people and creating images worthy of being seen.

A few years of being in business, finances were good enough to sign up for and travel to a Santa Fe Workshop on travel photography taught by two of the best in the industry (happy to call them both friends/mentors now)… Jim Richardson (National Geographic regular contributor)  and Dan Westergren (former Director of Photography for NatGeo Traveler).

The Santa Fe experience was amazing, sixteen hours a day, butt-kicking great images…. and a real grasp on what I needed to do to pursue a career as a travel photographer.

Since the return from Santa Fe, I have found clients in a variety of industries (NGO’s, Educational, Commercial Resort and Editorial magazine) that have paid for me to travel, shoot stories and create advertising campaigns around the globe. The common thread tie-ing together these diverse clients is that they all need great storytelling, impactful images, regardless of zip code.

I feel it is best as a photographer to find a passion, what would you do regardless of pay… for me – it’s travel…. then add ‘life’ into the mix, family, mortgage, cell phone bills…. and move that passion into profit. Search out clients who need your passions to tell their stories…. be fair, be creative, be nice, and do what it takes to make those passions become a reality!