TRAVEL FOR FREE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY


– So, I get asked a lot. “Chris, how do you get to travel “to all these amazing places? “It must be so expensive.” Well, the thing is, is
that I actually often work with companies that pay
me to go to these places. So, I get to travel to
a lot of these spots for free, essentially. I’m working, but I’m doing it for free. But, it took a long time to get there. So, I’m gonna share with you, a story of how I got to this position. And how you guys can take
the same steps to get there, so that you can start traveling for free. Yeah, cue that hiphop intro. (hiphop music) Now, a few years back, I went
on a family trip to Arizona. And right before that, I had
just seen Ben Brown’s video about Canada and I was super jazzed up about making travel content
and I thought this would be a great chance to start
shooting travel videos. So, I brought my camera along and I shot this video in Arizona. And I remember releasing
that piece of content and it only got 1,000 views. And at the time, I was used
to a few more views than that. Oh, check out these pigeons. 1,000 views, that’s not that many. But, I remember the comment section. There was tons and tons
of meaningful comments. And I thought, “You know
what, this is different “than the other pieces of
content I’ve created in the past. “I think I want to start
making more of this.” And that led to my next
video when I went to Ireland. I wonder how many people
have just tried to do high five to that thing. The next trip was Ireland. And I was going with a friend of mine. I was gonna go visit his
family, but I thought, previous to going on this trip, I would email the Ireland Tourism Board, seeing if they could do anything for me. So, I sent them my Arizona video. I was like, “Hey, look
at what I’ve created. “I’d like to create something
while I’m in Ireland. “Is there anything that
you guys can do for me?” So, I got an email back
from her, and she said, “Chris, attached is a
letter that has your name “signed by the Ireland
Tourism Board, and hopefully, “this will get you support
wherever you present it to. “So, hopefully, if you
go to some activity, “you’ll get that activity for free.” My friend and I were in Ireland. I presented the little piece of paper when we were at the Guinness factory and the Guinness factory said, “Hey, would you like “a free tour “and also, a free Guinness.” I remember thinking to myself,
“There’s value in this.” People actually want to trade
their services for my service. I should start doing more of this. And maybe I could get more
than just a free beer. So, I finished that
Ireland video, released it. And the video got 4,000 views, which was four times as many as the Arizona video. So, I realize, I want to start making more pieces of content, but I
didn’t have any trips planned in the next month or so, so I
thought I’d just make a video about my own country and city. So, I shot a video in Toronto. So, I called my buddy, Kyle, up and said, “Tomorrow, I’m gonna pick
you up at six in the morning “and we’re gonna shoot a
whole video about Toronto. “We’re gonna call it, Show Me Toronto.” He’s like, “Yep, I’m in.” When I was walking around
shooting this video about Toronto, I had my Ronin and this crazy camera setup and we were down by the
harbor front near the water. And this boat captain
came up to me and he said, “Hey, man, that’s a crazy
camera setup you have. “Do you wanna come shoot on a boat?” I know it sounds weird,
like, this random stranger, “You wanna come shoot on a boat?” But it’s like, he had
a legitimate business. He was just going over the island anyways. I was like, “Sweet. “We’re getting a free boat ride.” So, I realized, there was
once again, value in this. I was having unique experiences because I was making travel content. So, we shot that whole video. Edit it, release it, I was like, “Hopefully, this video will
get like, 5,000 views.” Or something like that. Emailed it to two Toronto blogs. BlogTO and some other blog. And both blogs shared it. And the video ended up
going viral in my city. I got 100,000 views in two days, which is like, mindblowing. It was the most amount
of views I’d ever gotten at that point. And I realized, okay, these travel videos, there’s now marketing value to it. It could get shared in press. So, why don’t we take our chances. Let’s book one more trip
and see what we can get. So, my buddy and I went out to Kayak. We looked up the price tag,
wherever the cheapest flight was from Toronto at that time,
I think was like, October. And I was like, “You know what, “let’s just book a flight
anywhere to Ponta Delgada.” So, we booked $325 round
trip flights to Ponta Delgada hoping that, maybe we’ll
get something out of it. So, I ended up doing a bit
more research on Ponta Delgada and realized it was this
place called the Azores. Which, is part of the country of Portugal. So, I did some research and
found out there was this company called Visit Azores, which
is the Azorian Tourism Board. And I was like, “Hey, we’ve
already booked flights. “We’re coming at this time. “Is there anything you can do for us? “P.S. Look, our last
video got 100,000 views “and it got shared in two blogs.” So, I emailed them, they emailed me back. They said, “We’re really interested. “We can’t confirm yet. “We gotta talk to the
board, but hopefully, “this will go through.” So, we kept waiting. So, Kyle and I just kept
waiting and waiting. Until the point where we’re
like we can’t wait any longer. We need to book our own accommodations, or we have nowhere to stay at this point. So, we booked Airbnbs, activities, all the things for our trip. And then two days, literally,
two days before our flight, we get an email from the
tourism board saying, “Your trip’s confirmed. “Here’s your new itinerary
with hotels, transportation, “activities, a whole bunch
of different islands.” Just like, the craziest
trip of a lifetime. So, we went on this trip and literally, it was the most insane
trip of my entire life. I remember sitting on
the edge of this spot called Sete Cidades on an abandoned hotel looking over at sunset,
like, literally about to cry and get emotional, and I
was like, this is real. This is an actual thing that can happen and this can be a part of my life now. I want this to be a part of my life now. So, I’m going to find a
way to incorporate that. I’m gonna start reaching
out to more tourism boards and brands and see if I
can do this more often. So, guys, that’s my story. That’s how I was able to
start getting free trips and then actually start getting
paid to go on these trips. Now, it took a long time. It took like, three to
four years to actually get to this spot where I’m doing this now and this is a part of my life. But, I want to remind you of something. You guys can do this, too. You have to just, learn
the skills along the way. And you don’t need an Instagram following or a Facebook following. I didn’t have that when
I went into these trips. I think that’s a really
important thing to know. I was pretty decent at taking photos. I was pretty good at making videos. And I would just progressively
get better and better and I’d start learning marketing and all these other
skillsets, until eventually, I’m at the spot, now where
I can kind of combine all that knowledge into
one thing and now this is part of what I do, but
you guys can do it, too. Those are just skills, it’s not talent. You can just, learn along the way. So, watch videos, try different things. You guys can do it. If you guys like this
video, please press like. It actually makes a difference. Subscribe, would love
for you to join along and we’ll catch ya next time
for some more knowledge and fun and activities
and all sorts of other stuff like that. Peace out everybody. Okay, remember when I
was talking about Kyle earlier in the video? This is Kyle. Kyle. – That’s me. Hi. – Kyle, is like, one of my
closest friends from university and we’ve done a bunch of
trips and now we’re planning the next trip, hopefully, for this year. Kyle, what, your beard looks nice. – Thank you.
– I’m gonna leave. We’re gonna eat now, peace. (slow jazz music)

60 Replies to “TRAVEL FOR FREE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY”

  1. This would be an amazing full time job! Travel and making videos of travel! I made a road trip travel video with my wife earlier this year. I never thought of reaching out to blogs to have a travel video shared. Thanks for the helpful tips!

  2. I have traveled the world doing something similar….not photography/videos but working on a cruiseship….trade off was tons of great photos around the world….check my instagram @digitalescapades

  3. Chris! I love you man! Thank you for sharing such inspiring content and please don’t ever stop doing it. I’m sure your still growing and learning more.

  4. Thanks a lot for your inspiration man! I'm from a small place in Quebec and i'm new to photography. Sometimes I feel like there's not much to capture around my place, but you give me inspiration to drive around and try to work with companies. Thanks a lot for your advices!!

  5. Those are the best travel moments. Just overwhelmed by what your experiencing the point of tears and joy. haha I had that experience in Iceland last year. Unforgettable.

  6. Hey Chris, Thanks for sharing. Love your vids and ideas. I make little travel videos with my family too and would love feedback.

  7. Those Azores videos were absolutely beautiful. As an Azorean, I very much approve. You can't go wrong with Portugal, the world's most epic little country. And if you want true epic shots and adventure, then go to NazarΓ© on the Portuguese mainland when the big swells role in from the Atlantic. There you will find the biggest, most epic waves on the planet. Look it up on YT if you haven't heard of it. Then pack your gear and go if you dare.

  8. Thanks for the push Chris. I've only recently taken my travel videos seriously. My Europe video was ok at best, my Iceland video I plan to make epic. This video is a good bump in the right direction for me.

  9. thanks man learning a lot from you , what do you think about approaching companies thru insta DM ?

  10. Such a great video, Chris. Love the message behind it! So many people (including myself) get caught up in the "I need a large following on social media". You've helped remind me to do it because I enjoy doing it, and the rest will follow. Thanks!

  11. Thank you for sharing you tips and tricks Chris! Keep being the best channel on YouTube! πŸ™‚

  12. This is top notch Chris! Thank you so much for sharing! Glad to hear all your hard works are paid off πŸ™‚

  13. Nice video! I'm trying to start my youtube channel, and I know I have a very long way to go, but this got me inspired and gave me hope that it's gonna work out if I work hard. Right now, I'm in the learning fase, I'm trying to learn the most I can on videography, photography, how youtube works and I'm actually studying marketing at college. Anyway, I love your channel, thanks for the help.

  14. This has to be one of the most helpful videos I've watched on getting started in the travel-marketing-content creator job sector. When you reached out to places like the Ireland tourism board, how did you market yourself as "valuable" if you didn't have a large following? I am going to Thailand in a few weeks and would love to reach out in the same way you did, but also like yourself, I don't have any following on social media. Appreciate the help!

  15. Sorry if this has been asked before, but how did you make/buy your intro? I'd love something similar for my (upcoming) channel but have been struggling to find resources to help me so I don't have to build every little bit from nothing just to get started. Thanks!

  16. I love the way you share your knowledge! it seems like you don't keep anything to yourself, and because you show us how hard you work for everything, it makes me feel really happy for you! Keep it up and thanks a lot

  17. Thank you for this video. Husband and I just started taking up filming. I also make beauty videos, we have a convention coming up and took your advice to just ask if we can have early entrance into the event to get some detailed shots. Point being that we are starting small starting somewhere and this video inspired us to ask when we never would have. Thank you!

  18. This was a great story. So often the life of a successful youtuber can seem so unreal but you really spelled it out and how you made it happen.

  19. Thank you for sharing! You are so gifted. I love to travel as well:)I just shared my first ever movie – My holiday diary in Queenstown. Eep!Would appreciate your suggestions on my video/editing so that I am able to improve like you!

  20. wow! this video is awesome! i have this idea like you but i don't know how to start yet, I'm learning to your experience its really helpful. Thank you for your videos. πŸ™‚

  21. I love photography and I would love to travel with you….seriously…just came back from Germany visiting my fam,,,,

  22. Chris, thanks a lot for sharing your story! I always though to do what you are actually doing, but I was always afraid to disappoint myself and others. Soon I am going to do a big travel. I hope to get some great photos and videos and start sharing it with other people. You inspired me a lot. Thanks again.

  23. Excellent content, Chris! I've just watched a few of your videos, and I love your storytelling ability πŸ™‚
    Sometimes, social media gives the impression that everyone can be overnight successes, but the reality is people have to be passionate and do actual work to get to that point. Thank you for showing us HOW hard work can pay off and sharing your experiences!

  24. So many youtube videos on this same topic but, Chris, yours truly got into my head. It sounds deadly original. Love your content <3 btw

  25. Thank you for sharing! I would think that just asking tourism board "is there anything you can do for me" is not very specific. These are exact lines that you actually wrote or you were a little bit more specific?

  26. Just watching this a year late… that's kind of how we roll, haha. Another great video Chris. Thanks for sharing your personal story – beyond the tips and tricks route. It does have a lot of value. Thanks again!

  27. Thanks for the inspiration! I'm an expert traveller but an absolute beginner photographer/cinematographer, about to go on a big OE with the dream of documenting it all. This trip will obviously be training for me as I've never done anything with cameras, but you've inspired me to do it anyway and work towards exciting opportunities in the future <3 (only a year late to the comment squad lol)

  28. Thank you Chris! I’m from Portugal and I actually love your videos from Azores! There are so many beautiful places in Portugal… I think I’m going to follow your advice and start by my country!

  29. Only 1k views
    Me: gets about 40 likes on my ig account 😒
    If you see this please follow me @johnston_photos

  30. Just wanna say that you are amazing and doing great job πŸ‘ŒπŸΏ
    Thanks for all the knowledge and motivational words.
    Continously watching your vidoes whenever I get some time here and there.
    God bless πŸ˜‡

  31. GREAT TIPS πŸ‘πŸΎ πŸ‘πŸΎ after watching I figured out how to put my puzzle pieces together. New subscriber for sure!!

  32. Hey, I'm a young photography enthusiast currently still studying photography but I loved this video and all of your useful tips, as I never know where to start with travel photography which is my dream! I'd love to find out more places to contact and get trips of a lifetime so please if you have any suggestions let me know! Thank you!!

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