Photography has been around for almost two hundred years, with growing interest worldwide for the past decades. However, in the last decade, we’ve seen an uncontrollable growth and demand in photography to the point the internet has become oversaturated with photographs and images.
And with the progress of technology, photography has become easier to enter for most people, from those using smartphones to cheap price DSLR cameras, in particular for their travels.
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Looking at the largest microstock websites, we can see hundreds of millions of images for sale. PER WEBSITE! Just thinking about that number wonders ourselves:
Did photography become oversaturated? Is photography a dying industry?
The answer is yes and no. Photography will probably never die as an industry as new demands will be all the time, and it is predicted a continuous growth for the next ten years at least.
However, it is much harder now to succeed as a photographer than ten years ago. The increasing market and demands opened doors for millions of new photographers. The competition in photography is tremendous.
I say is more challenging to succeed in photography, but not impossible. Knowing your business plan as a photographer is imperative if you want to succeed and stand out from the crowd.
Furthermore, learning and sticking to a photography niche (e.g., travel photography) is strongly recommended for the best chances of success in photography.
What about Travel Photography? Is it dying?
Travel photography is by far not dying and is probably one of the easiest ways to get started in photography, increase your personal and portfolio exposure and do this while you travel.
But you may need to make some more sacrifices than you think: You need to travel quite a lot in order to make a good portfolio.
Travel photographs are being searched from microstock websites to large travel companies and blogs. These professional photographs captured in a specific location can highlight the beauty of a place and ultimately increase tourism.
Although there are many photographs covering big cities (really, don’t start with Paris photography), a lot of other places worldwide are not given much attention.
As a travel photographer, the biggest challenge of your life is not to capture photographs but to travel and document every single corner of the beauty of this world.
And now tell me, is this travel photography industry dying?
The photography industry took a significant hit. But recovering
Like most industries worldwide, photography took a severe hit with the beginning of lockdowns due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions in place. Although other sectors may excel at this time, photographers could not travel and perform photography as before due to lockdowns.
Things are getting better as the world slowly returns to normal; however, it will be like never before. People start traveling again (travel photography), attending courses, and returning to their old habits, but within limits.
The idea is that photography is a highly outdoor dependable niche, with only a few photography sub-niches favoring indoor shooting.
But in our case, we’re talking about travel photography. Fewer and fewer restrictions are being held by each country, and it is easier now to travel than ever.
And unless something happens again in the future, much of this world is not being covered by professional photographs that highlight the beauty of these places.
From showing the customs of a village to photographing the unique architecture of a building or the natural habitat of some animal families, travel photography can be split into a series of other photography niches.
But if you have a clear structure on how to use any of these images and how you can monetize them, travel photography can be very rewarding.
Be aware that not many will be able to succeed as travel photographers, and even now, in 2023 and beyond, new travel photographers are emerging, and competition has become more robust.
Photography is far from dead – it is evolving.
Now, there is another methodical theory that photography is in continuous evolution, which appears to be the most ‘right’ answer on the internet, despite some criticism against lower earnings and more challenges getting jobs as a photographer.
Photography is evolving in terms of drone photography, 360 and underwater photography, and mainly DSLR, which appears that the major camera brands are researching and investing in creating new cameras with more powerful sensors and capabilities than ever before.
With all these new technologies in about any industry and not only travel, photography benefits a lot from the new sensors and cameras being released each year by major brands.
And it is not because photography is a dying industry; quite the opposite.
From restaurants to hotels, travel locations, and real estate to the majority of on-location businesses, they all are slowly going digitalized with a website, perhaps an online store and showcase.
Photographers play an essential role in creating epic images and graphics which can represent those businesses, no matter if this happens on or off travels.
Photography is what keeps the visual part of the history alive.
As photographers, we share a story through our images with the world. From a landscape, event to photographing poverty and war, we share more than a story. Without photography, there would be just simple words on paper.
The criteria of photography as an art is getting higher.
If we looked back 15 years ago, we could see that the images taken back then were terrific, but speaking in general, by far not compared to the ones from the day of today.
And I am not talking about the quality of the photographs but about the implication of creating art with photography, and in special travel photography.
With the evolution of Photoshop and similar programs, many photographers spend a lot of time improving their images to perfection.
Creating an artistic image, creating art from a travel photograph, is not anymore related to directly creating art while photographing but to using the post-process software and creating art from simple photographs.
Is travel photography a dying industry? an honest conclusion
In the end, nobody knows what the future holds. But in terms of demands, there will be a future for photography, in special travel photography.
It connects us with stories shared worldwide, with art and creativity, and will be part of our lives for the unforeseen future.
There are many opinions on the internet. From all the research and the information available, photography and travel photography won’t die anytime soon.
In fact, the demand will be increasing; however, the number of photographers is increasing at a higher rate than the demand, which makes the photography industry have higher standards to get in and make a living.
To succeed in travel photography these days, you will definitely need to have a unique portfolio and approach to photography, which can make the difference between you and other travel photographers, for your work to be easily recognizable and to create a personal brand to stand out from the crowd.
It is hard work but not impossible.