INTERESTED IN BECOMING AN EL CAMINO PHOTOGRAPHER?
THE EL CAMINO VISION
El Camino is dedicated to capturing candid, dynamic images that leave a lasting impression. We want our travelers to truly live in the moment and remember what pure experience feels like. Thanks to our talented photographers, their adventure will be beautifully documented and cherished for years to come.
Our photography program is a trade for travel program which allows for an exchange of talent and travel experience. This is not a paid assignment, but all travel expenses are paid. This also serves as an opportunity for photographers to build their travel portfolio as well as experience a destination through a unique lens by having the #elcaminotravel experience. Take a look at our Pinterest to see if we have similar editing and shooting styles!
INTERESTED IN BEING CONSIDERED?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with "WILL SHOOT FOR TRAVEL" in the subject line with a link to your portfolio and Instagram.
In the body of the email, please submit 4-6 photos that you feel represent the El Camino Travel editing style and overall feel. We understand that everyone has a different editing style and would love to see how you would edit for us.
In addition, we also require a list of equipment that you presently have and would plan to bring with you to your destination.
Only serious applicants who understand this is a trade for travel program and have an accessible web portfolio will be considered. With the overwhelming amount of applications coming through, we will personally reach out to those applicants who we feel capture our aesthetic in their work.
A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER ABOUT THE TRADE FOR TRAVEL PROGRAM
Hi everyone, it’s Katalina here, the founder of El Camino Travel. We always like to be as transparent as possible about the growth and development of El Camino Travel. We’ve published several articles about the nitty gritty and the ups and downs of starting a travel company, as well as the lessons learned as a small business owner. Our big takeaway? Always remember your North Star.
We are a small and nimble team of five dedicated employees who are passionate about making positive change in the travel industry through responsible tourism. The fact is that even after 5 years, our margins as a small business are extremely tight. We continue to do what we do because we love it so much, and because of the positive impact that we have had not only on our travelers, but on those who we work with, be they partners, vendors, local guides or photographers. We feel fortunate that our work with El Camino Travel has a deep sense of purpose—a purpose that continues to help us push through all the financial uncertainty that comes with running a small business.
We wanted to give some more background into our “Trade for Travel” photography program, why we do it and how it works for the photographers that choose to work with us.
When I first started El Camino Travel I saw an opportunity to provide something unique to our travelers: a trip photographer. This program, and the documents and guidelines that accompany it, have been an ongoing work in progress with the photographers themselves. They have been active partners in the process every step of the way. Our photographers benefit from this program for many different reasons—each reason unique to the individual who makes the decision to work with us.
Every photographer who participates in our program receives an all expense paid trip to the destination: we cover flights, accommodations, travel insurance, all meals and access to the experiences. We do not provide a specific shot list, rather a set of guidelines, and allow our photographers to use their own creative freedom to capture unique shots and build their portfolios. While on the trip, the photographer travels throughout the country with the small group of travelers, forming bonds, seeing the country and enjoying meals and experiences with the group. Our photographers are welcomed (and invited!) to jump in the water, try the food, dance the salsa and enjoy all that the destination has to offer.
We have been lucky to work with many amazingly talented photographers from all over the world. We receive a ton of interest from photographers who find themselves at various stages in their career, who find value in participating in an opportunity such as this. Some find value in having the freedom to express themselves creatively, surrounded by the innate beauty of the destination. Others find value in having the opportunity to travel in exchange for trade and experience a new destination they might not otherwise, while other individuals are trying to break into the travel industry and see this as a chance to bulk up their portfolio.
Here’s what some photographers that' we’ve worked with in the past have to say":
“I work with El Camino Travel because it’s a chance to work in a way that’s more creative. If I have a client, whether it’s an editorial or a commercial client, it’s typically much more defined: There is a shot list, or a specific style that I need to achieve, and certain things that I have to capture, so I spend most of my time chasing those things. With the El Camino trips, it’s different. I don’t have to run around to 12 different restaurants and make it work, rather I can just exercise my creative freedom to get the shots that I want, and that is what makes a huge difference to me. I really value the opportunity to build out my portfolio with the kind of work that I want clients to hire me for in the future.”
"Partnering with El Camino as an on-trip photographer was an incredible opportunity. Travel photography has long been my passion, so I didn't t have to think twice when applying for the photographer program. This trip provided me with the chance to immerse myself fully in the Colombian culture while also expanding my travel photography portfolio, truly an invaluable opportunity. I was encouraged to enjoy the experiences curated by the El Camino team, and constantly felt like an integral part of the group. I feel truly grateful to have my artistic vision trusted to document the trip for the travelers as well as the El Camino brand, as it provided me with a lot of confidence to continue my journey as a travel photographer."
“El Camino’s Trade for Travel Photography Program helped a younger, self-conscious me find my feet in the travel photography world. It’s a great opportunity both for amateur photographers who want to create travel work, or for more experienced photographers who just want to participate. It all depends on your individual situation. For me, I was just starting to explore travel photography as a professional career, and El Camino allowed for me not to only create relevant work that I could share in the future, but introduced me to people who I’ve ended up making lasting professional and personal relationships with.”
Whatever each individual’s reason, we are happy to provide this opportunity which we have found to be beneficial for all parties involved.
Our photographers do one trip per year, anywhere from 5 to 9 days, and then return to their regular lives and careers having gained new perspectives, overcome new challenges and achieved new triumphs. Several photographers have come back to us to do another trip in the following years because they believe in what we are doing and have reaped the rewards of the program on a personal or professional level.
Just like with any of our collaborators, we always work our hardest to maintain an open line of communication with all our photographers that are part of the program so that we can continue to be the type of supportive partners that we strive to be.