How We Make Money ON THE ROAD
Eventually, you come to a point where something’s gotta give.
Our usual routine wasn’t cutting it.
We just were not feeling it anymore.
Boredom, exhaustion, drain — the common symptoms of a life that revolved around work.
We were there. We were burnt out, tired, and felt limited with where we were at.
Traveling full-time, building a remote business and working from anywhere seems like an unattainable dream — But in all reality, it’s completely possible and easier than you think.
With a little bit of discipline and dedication, anyone can easily build a business while traveling full-time. So, let’s talk about how we found a way to work-from-anywhere.
my business journey…
Six years ago I had built my own six-figure wedding photography business and although I was successful, grateful and great at it, it completely burned me out after only four years. Wedding/shoot locations ruled my entire life and schedule; every weekend and most evenings were booked.
I wanted my time back. I needed my time back. There was no way around it. I needed more a career with more freedom and flexibility to spend with my family, enjoying a life we love.
After I found out that a friend of mine was making decent money as a photo editor — I finally found some that was meant for me!
“…becoming a private photo editor was the answer for me.”
Before photo editing, I don’t think I could really wrap my mind around real flexibility. I knew I’d get my weeknights and weekends back, but it completely turned the idea on it’s head.
I had the idea of full-time travel when I stumbled upon some YouTube videos. We love traveling, but could never find the time with my other business. Six months into photo editing, I realized that full-time travel was a realistic option — And we decided to take the chance, because why not?
Photo editing is a real-deal work-from-anywhere career opportunity. I’m writing this from my bed while camping in the middle of the Coconino National Forest.
I make my own schedule, which means I schedule work around my life, and not the other way around.
Wake up, make some coffee, take the dogs on a hike, and then (maybe) get to work. If it’s too cold to get out of bed, I stay there. If there’s a neat coffee shop down the road that bakes (V) donuts in-house — guess where I’m going. See what I mean by “real flexibility”?
I make money on my own terms.
How much work do you want to take on?
When do you want that work?
Primary income, supplemental income, seasonal clients?
Need a week off next month to focus on a family vacation?
With my business I have complete control over my schedule.
What is a private photo editor?
I offer private photo editing services to professional wedding and portrait photographers. I get to edit beautiful weddings and events from all around the world.
I keep the majority of the same clients year after year because I’ve created really meaningful relationships with my clients, and they are truly grateful for my services.
This business changes lives. It’s allowed me the freedom to live my travel dreams and in return I get to help photographers find more freedom in their lives too.
Outsourcing their photo editing gives them more freedom in their life… more time with their families or growing their business.
This is a profitable niche if you have the right training for it! There are thousands of photographers searching for a great photo editor right now. There is a ton of work out there for good photo editors.
I chose photo editing because the pay is scalable and fully in my control!
(Pssst… I’ve created comprehensive online training for anyone looking to become a profitable private photo editor. Go to The Photo Editor’s Guide to learn more!)
okay, but is my business actually sustainable?
How much do I actually make as a photo editor that runs a seasonal service based business?
Let’s do it… let’s talk money and income.
GASP — I know, it’s a little uncommon to talk about money. Well, not for entrepreneurs and especially not for nomads. I love that we are a part of a community that just wants to help each other thrive in this lifestyle.
So, that’s what I’ll do — let’s dive in…
I gross $75k+ per year with my photo editing services.
I really appreciate when online entrepreneurs and digital nomads share their income, because it leaves out the weird financial guessing game if you’re seriously researching a specific business or lifestyle you want to pursue.
Look, this business doesn’t make us rich by any means.
To some people this is life changing money and to others this isn’t much at all. But, that’s not important… it’s more than enough for us to thrive while on the road.
It’s given us the comfortable traveling lifestyle we wanted — and Keegan was even able to quit his job over eight months ago.
My work has a busy season and slow season — meaning, I only work full-time a few months out of the year. During the slow season I work 0-15 hours per week.
Some months I make around five-figures, and some months I make $2k. In case you’re curious to see how much my months fluctuate…
you can view my monthly income report from the past 12 months here
Those higher profit months allow me to build up the bank account so I’m able to pay myself a consistent monthly salary throughout the year, despite the fluctuating gross income!
want to learn how i price my services?
How often do I work?
Photo editing, for me, is full-time income without the year round full-time hours. Even though I pay myself a consistent full-time salary year-round, I only work “full-time” hours a few months out of the year and work part-time the rest of the year.
I’ve chosen to build my business this way. I need primary income, so I’ve chosen long-term, consistent clients.
On average, I can spend 3-6 hours editing — earning around $250-$400 per job.
So, most of the time, my work days are half days.
Typically, I spend less than 10 seconds editing one photo — that’s how easy it can be!
I don’t do any fancy Photoshopping or anything, just fairly basic batch editing.
In my niche of the industry, however, there are seasons that are more and less busy.
January - May: I work anywhere from 5-20 hours/week
July - December: I work on average 15-45 hours/week
3-5 weeks out of the year require me to work a little over 40+ hours/week during those peak seasons
Keep in mind, during those busier months I’m choosing to work that much so I can achieve high profit months and hit $75k per year. These are my preferences.
There are photo editors that choose part-time work or seasonal work as private photo editors because that is what works for them in their life, and that’s great!
If I wanted to work less, I’d just cut down my client list.
It’s all about finding how much work fits the life you want to create and setting a pace for yourself.
How do I run my business while traveling?
It depends on the season, really. January through May (my slow season) I check my email every other day and work anywhere from 0-15 hours per week or 24-60 hours per month.
Most of my work days are half-days.
Photo editing is a true work-from-anywhere occupation. This career is completely location-independent, all you need is your computer and internet.
Have laptop, will travel: My MacBook Pro is my business. My business runs in a similar way to other online service-based businesses. I receive an edit job, my client pays an online invoice, then I do the work. I deliver the edited catalog back to my client online within a designated turnaround time.
Verizon Jetpack for internet access: The Jetpack is crazy fast and the data is unlimited. I need internet to email, to receive my client’s Lightroom catalogs, and to send them back when I’m finished with them. All the transfers are done via Dropbox. We have cellphone service with Verizon, and the Jetpack was only an additional $20 onto our monthly bill.
WeBoost 4G-X RV Cell Booster: We like to roam around, and sometimes our travel spots are pretty far off the beaten path. Just to make sure we have adequate cell service, we have a cell booster — It almost doubles the signal strength, so I have no worries syncing files.
I usually take advantage of free internet when I can. I’ll work at coffee shops, cafes, and public libraries — Really whatever is convenient.
“How much does it cost me to run my business?
What do you need to get started?”
Check out my Photo Editor Tools & Resources Guide to find out what you need to run a profitable photo editing business — I even include a monthly cost/expense breakdown.
How do I find clients?
Okay, the coolest part about my business is:
I keep the majority of my clients year after year.
Seriously, how awesome is that? Unlike many freelancers, this is an industry where most of your clients renew their yearly contracts (if they’re happy with your work and still need you).
There are of course some clients that just change paths; either they can no longer afford to outsource, or they’re slowing down their business — either way, I only need to on-board a few new clients each year.
I do have a waitlist of people that would like to work with me when a spot on my client list becomes available.
Another amazing thing about this industry is you only need around 15 clients for the year to reach a full-time income.
I have clients from all over the world — the Netherlands, Australia, UK, Canada!
Because your business is online you can reach clients all over the world. Trust me, finding clients is the easiest part — it’s keeping them that can be difficult if you’re new to the business.
How has becoming a private photo editor changed my life?
Becoming a private photo editor added an unimaginable amount of value to my life.
When I was first transitioning to photo editing, being able to work-from-home allowed me to spend more time with my family and on myself. Refining my skills and building a new business from home without having to drastically change my lifestyle was amazing.
Once I got into the groove of the business, being able to work-from-anywhere allowed me to make an incredible change to my lifestyle. Adopting full-time travel and being able to roam the states while still maintaining my business is literally a dream come true.
The fact that my work is slightly seasonal was an unexpected benefit. I am able to focus on other aspects of the business in my downtime, and on extracurricular activities with my family, like exploring new places and trying new things.
“I’ve read countless blogs on finding remote work and heard other people’s success stories and thought it was a right place, right time situation, but I’m now convinced that you just have to go and get it.”
With the ability to become remote in this career and work-from-anywhere, I chose to try full-time travel, and we love it, but the potential is huge for anyone just looking to bring in supplementary income, as well.
“There are know editors that choose to edit just 5-10 jobs per month — which could be great supplemental income grossing around $1,200-$2,500 per month.”
Stay-at-home moms and dads that have limited time to spend working but want to earn supplemental income could bring in extra monthly money while maintaining their current lifestyle.
This is a great business to have if you want to be able to work in the mornings before picking the kiddos up in the afternoon or if you need to limit working to a couple days per week.
How would having your own profitable & flexible online business change your life?
Do you dream of travel?
Want more time at home with the kids?
Want more supplemental income to help pay off your house or car?
Would you pay off student loan debt?
Saving for (early) retirement?
Would it fund a much needed vacation?
The possibilities are endless!
What value would a flexible online business add to your life?
What dream will you pursue?
I feel that it’s my calling to help others achieve what I have. I can only imagine how liberating photo editing would have been for me five years ago. I know that if I get this message out, someone else can reap the benefits like I have, which is why I’ve created The Photo Editors Guide — the training and support you need to build a true work-from-anywhere career that serves you and adds more value to your life in a way that fits you best.
You’re in the right place.