Ask a dozen people why they chose to retire overseas and you'll get a dozen different answers.
Some will tell you they want to escape the "rat race" and live a more tranquil life. Others want to leave for political reasons. And for many, it's strictly financial. Your money simply stretches farther in many corners of the world outside the U.S. and Canada.
But setting up a business in a new country can be daunting.
Fortunately, there's an easier way to make some good money on the side.
One that can offer prestige, fun, open doors of opportunity, and give you a chance to make money at something most people consider a hobby.
One that doesn't require any special experience, you won't need a business partner or employees, and you can do it as easily from a condo in Quito or a villa in Tuscany as you can from your home turf in the U.S.
The best part? It involves something you probably already do: taking photographs.
Eighty per cent of the photos you see in magazines, newspapers, books, trade journals, technical manuals, and almost any published material are shot by freelancers. And gone are the days when companies only want to work with professional photographers to get them.
A stock agency can earn you as much as $1 an image per month (send them 800 images from your collection and you might expect $800 a month in passive commission), and glossy magazine photos can earn you anywhere from a couple hundred to $1,200 if you know what photo editors are after.
Plus, gallery owners, small businesses and coffee shops are always on the lookout for new artists to fill their walls with saleable photographs.
The demand is there, and this is easier than you might think.
You don't need to be a Parisian fashion photographer with a $5,000 camera, or a safari guide pro who's been published in National Geographic 17 times. You just need a simple camera and some training in the kinds of photos that sell best.
Here’s what you might expect to make in each of these markets:
- Magazines typically pay $50-$500 per photo and sometimes more for images they use on their cover.
- Websites typically pay $25-$250.
- Microstock agencies take a commission based on your sales and currently average photographers about $.25 to $1.00 per image per month with the photos you host there.
- Fine art photos sell for $400-$700 each (or more if you frame them).
- People photos often sell for $250.
- And coffee table books might earn you as much as $9,000 when you submit images in bulk around a certain city or theme.
Mary Hathaway of Deer Park, Washington, spent the last 23 years of her life being a housewife and homeschooling her children. But when her last child left the nest, she started pursuing her photography dreams in her new spare time at home. And with a little guidance, she immediately got accepted by four microstock agencies. Mary loves that she’s able to make money at home and enjoys the ease of it all. "I'm not the most computer literate person out there, so if I can do this, anyone can," she says.
Lucy Brown loves the flexibility, too, and that she can do it from anywhere in the world. She said, "Although I'm only just breaking into the industry, I've never been happier, working on my own schedule and earning money doing what I love. My income doesn't support me yet, but it certainly helps toward paying for some of my trips and it makes living in Guatemala (or anywhere!) and traveling a much more enjoyable and fulfilling experience."
As Director at Great Escape Publishing, one of the questions I often hear is, "What do I photograph?"
If you're in a new location overseas, travel photography is a good place to start, of course. But it goes beyond the typical beach scenes, cathedrals, or local landmarks.
Travel writer Roy Stevenson of Seattle, Washington, and his wife, Linda who takes all the photographs when they travel, often focus on food, beer, and wine. "Part of the excitement of a new destination is exploring the wide array of foods and restaurants," says Roy. "Why not take pictures along the way as you eat your way through a new city?"
And you can do this wherever you live: You don't have to leave home to take interesting photographs. Helen Murray lives in the tiny historic town of Silverton, Australia, population: 45. "I started looking at this little town in a way no one else had. I have sold four fine art photos and dozens of smaller photos presented purely for the tourist trade. I can't keep up with them."
The fact is, no matter where you are, there are endless possibilities for photography subjects. You're only limited by your creativity!
Lori Allen is a Director at Great Escape Publishing, an EscapeArtist partner. Subscribers, watch your inbox for information from Great Escape about how to generate part-time income from photography.
Click here to continue reading Part 2 of "The Perfect Part-Time Income for Your New Life Overseas," and learn about the many benefits of this venture besides income. Plus, learn the three primary markets that will pay for your photographs.