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In 2008, after travelling to Ireland and Iceland, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in something I was really passionate about: I wanted to become a Travel Photographer, like Steve McCurry, David Duchemin or Mitchell Kanashkevich, just to name a few.
But I had no idea where or how to start. How do you become a professional photographer? How do you go on assignments, document interesting subjects, write about them and get published in a big national magazine?
Taking good photos is one thing, easily learned by reading books and tutorials. But pursuing a career as a professional travel photographer/writer requires guidance from established professionals. I didn’t know how to properly craft an article, pitch to magazines, get organized, budget my projects, maintain a blog or earn money.
Now I’m the type of person who likes step-by-step instructions. I learn very quickly, but someone has to show me the first time. And that’s the reason I joined the online MatadorU Travel Writing / Photography course.
I usually don’t trust any online courses. I’ve seen many others, promising you’ll become a professional writer/photographer in just a few weeks, with flashy animated gifs and fake testimonials by overly-enthusiastic “students” (who never got published anywhere).
Why did I trust MatadorU? I don’t really know. I’ve been a member of the MatadorNetwork community for a while and liked the articles they published. It sounded genuine, raw, “ground-level”. They weren’t selling anything, they were just telling it as it is.
So I jumped in. I gave them a chance, but I did put a note on my calendar on when the trial ended in case I wanted to cancel and get a refund.
Matador U exceeded my expectations. It doesn’t seem cheap, ($350) but it’s a course available for life with countless benefits. The tutors and fellow students helped me build my confidence, guided me, gave me valuable feedback and helped me achieve my goals. This is where I am now, 3 years later, pursuing my passion and living in Thailand.
Many alumni have successfully completed the course and gotten published in different outlets. Check out their success stories!
And unlike fake websites with unconvincing reviews, here is some feedback from major sources in the travel industry.
Now here’s a disclosure: Some people might think my post is heavily biased. After all, I am a part of the MatadorNetwork team (as an associate editor) and a photography faculty at the MatadorU. But I honestly would recommend this course even if I wasn’t a team member, just because I joined both the photography and writing course BEFORE I even thought of joining the Matador team. I could certainly say that I increased my chances of becoming part of this amazing team THANKS TO what I’ve learned during the course and the confidence I’ve built in the past 3 years.
So jump in if you dream of pursuing a travel writing or travel photography career. It’s certainly not an easy path, but taking the online course would help you make better decisions. It feels more comfortable when we’re all on the same boat, sharing our stories and passion.
Don’t miss this chance. You’ll thank me later. Click on the banner below and see you on the forums soon!
“Matador is more than just a high-quality online travel site. It is a great community of travel enthusiasts who mix expert advice and local knowledge through blogs, forums and destination pages. The network goes beyond creating a place to aggregate eyeballs and cheap user-generated content for advertisers. Its unique MatadorU is aimed at helping get better — and not just more — travel content on the Web. The training and advice in MatadorU is a model that other fields of journalism should examine.”
Faculty, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Journalism – from the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)