Imagine living the life you’ve always dreamed about. Is it full-time globetrotting with the excitement of what’s around the next corner, living abroad while enjoying new cultures, secluded beaches and fresh food, or more of your favorite hobbies while living in a special spot you love?
As a young boy, reading about photographers and their assignments intrigued and motivated me to one day live life my way.
After growing up and pursuing a successful career in sales, one day I sort of “woke up” and remembered that old dream to live a life I loved. Today, I pinch myself often just thinking of how fortunate I am to be living out my photography and travel dreams, day-to-day.
As my life gets more “dreamy,” more and more folks ask how I’m able to do it. Here are my four basic secrets to becoming a successful photographer and experiencing a complete life change:
Secret #1: Figure out what success means to you.
Success and happiness for me is quite different from many folks, and once I accepted these differences as OK, my life truly changed.
Surfing consistent quality waves in warm water and spending my time outdoors exploring and storytelling with a camera motivates me much more than money, noisy get-togethers, busy city streets, or cold weather.
So, once I figured out the motivating factors, it was a matter of making it happen.
Secret #2: Give yourself permission to simplify.
Owning less (physically and mentally) enables me to live and work anywhere in the world. While it’s not easy for everyone to simplify as much as I have, taking small steps in removing distractions can be a great start. Once you make a few good decisions about what you actually need and want, it will typically become easier to downsize and you’ll probably become more aware of what’s most important. Definitely keep what’s important in your life, but ask yourself, “How much of it do I actually need?”
Secret #3: Lean in to what you love.
Learning to prioritize what makes me happiest shines through in my photo and video portfolios and has led me on exciting assignments for wonderful clients around the world.
From documenting a week-long surprise birthday party in the Caribbean, to creating lifestyle images for a real estate brokerage in Costa Rica, or filming a promotional video for an outdoor guide along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, prioritizing can make life more enjoyable.
Secret #4: Stay true to you.
Don’t worry about what others say when it comes to income potential and getting paid for your creative services. The potential is in your hands. Charge what you’re worth and what you need to charge. Often, I trade my services with clients, and I’m a believer that if all the details make sense for everyone involved and everyone agrees, it’s a fair deal. Move forward.
So, if you have a desire to live out your dreams as a photographer or videographer, continue to put yourself in places and around people you enjoy. Create images and/or videos that inspire you. These simple thoughts have changed my life and made dreams come true.
Living a happy life is living a rich life and it’s perfectly OK to take care of YOU!
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Five Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]