Podcast Interview: Got a Passion? Make it a Living

StartupNation podcast interview: Got a Passion? Make it a Living!

Click image to listen to the podcast!


A while back I was interviewed on StartupNation radio about making a business out of my love and passion for photography and travel.

I had just finished 6th in the Highest Vote Getters category (out of hundreds entries), and Top 10 in the Most Slacker Friendly category (strange name, I know, but it’s defined in the podcast), of the annual StartupNation Home-Based 100 business contest.  Rich Sloan, StartupNation’s “Chief Startupologist” and founder, asked me to be a guest on the show to discuss my start in photography.

We initially tried to do the interview from Prague, Czech Republic, where I was guiding a group of photographers on a tour of the Eastern European Christmas Markets, but unfortunately the Internet gods weren’t with us and we had to complete the interview from my home base in Southern California (not quite as exciting as Prague, but a great second choice).

Please have a listen: Got a Passion?  Make it a Living!

A lot has happened since this interview:

  • I’ve released an iPhone app called My Shot Lists for Travel.  The app helps photographers of all skill levels to organize and track their photography while on the road, and so to bring back a more well-rounded and interesting set of images of any destination or subject.
  • I founded The Photography Boot Camp, an all day seminar made up of three parts: Camera Basics, Elements of Composition and an Image Review and Feedback Session.
  • The Professional Photographers of Orange County selected me “Open Photographer of the Year” for 2009 & 2010 (it’s an honor to be recognized by your peers).
  • This blog that you’re reading now, just 3 months after my first post, was selected one of the “11 Best New Travel Blogs of 2011” by consumer advocate and National Geographic Traveler writer Christopher Elliott.
  • My Cultural Photo Tours have taken me, and my students, to Egypt, Chicago, Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Park and many other incredible and photogenic locations around the world.
  • I’ve participated in a number of extremely rewarding humanitarian trips to Cuba.
  • I recently returned from Mexico where I was on assignment to shoot the cultural and travel photos for a cookbook on the regional cuisine of Mexico (more on the details of this adventure in a future post).
  • My good friend Jim Cline asked me to join him and his partner, world-renown photojournalist Karl Grobl, as a tour leader and instructor at Jim Cline Photo Tours.
  • My multiple websites have been slowly combined into just a few, and PhotoEnrichment Programs, which we discuss in the interview, is getting a redesign and has moved away from team building exercises to focus more on fun and informal Group Scavenger Photo Hunts, Corporate Photo Walking Tours, Custom Photo Classes and Public Speaking Engagements.

Businesses, like people, develop, grow and change over time, and my businesses are no different.  You’ll notice that all of what I do has one thing in common and a single goal in mind:

A passion for helping people get better images of their travels.

To continue this topic consider checking out my recent blog post, if you haven’t already:

Passion: Question Your Way to Finding Yours

In the podcast I refer my book:

Ralph Velasco On Travel Photography:

101 Tips for Developing Your Photographic Eye & More 

I’m confident you’ll find some practical tips and extremely valuable information to help improve your travel photography, so please check it out, and I’d appreciate it if you’d share this information with others who might be interested.


  1. Thanks for sharing Ralph!

    Great to see all that can happen by following your passion…

    …we’re passionate about travel more then anything else so your post makes us feel we made the right decision 3 weeks ago when we sold all of our “stuff” and hit the road full time… we know we’ll be able to turn it into a full time business like yours as there’s nothing else we enjoy sharing about more. 🙂


    N & S

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International Cultural Tours, Photo Events, Photo Walks, Photo Tours, Public Speaking, Seminars & Training, Cultural Events, Photography App, Walking Tours, Photography Course, Photo Tips, Photography Classes, Corporate Events, Photo Classes, Photo Boot Camp, Corona del Mar, Orange County CA

Ralph Velasco is a professional photographer and instructor who has traveled extensively and taken photographs in over 40 countries. Ralph Velasco Cultural Tours offers unique cultural touring opportunities that combine compelling locations with breathtaking views, relevant local history, scheduled activities and time to explore on your own. His events are available in dazzling international locations around the globe and his services include public speaking, corporate cultural tours and events, corporate photo walks, photo walking tours, photography eBooks, photography classes and group training seminars. His photo walking tours provide the opportunity for hands-on photography experience with a professional instructor to develop the skills necessary to capture a variety of photo subjects, settings and lighting. Ralph gives private photography lessons and his photography boot camp includes a seminar and training on camera basics, elements of composition, and a personal review of your own photography. United States and international locations; Corona del Mar & Orange County CA.

Ralph Velasco Cultural Tours | Corporate Photo Tours, International Cultural Tours, Photo Events, Public Speaking, Corporate Events, Photo Walks, Seminars & Training, Photography Boot Camp, Cultural Events, Photography Apps, Walking Tours, Photo E-books, Photography Courses, Photo Tips, Photography Classes, Photo Boot Camp, Photo Classes, United States and International Locations, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Huntington Beach, Laguna Woods, Fountain Valley, Laguna Hills, Dana Point, Coto de Caza, Santa Ana, Tustin, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Tustin Foothills, Orange County CA, California | 422½ Carnation Avenue, Corona del Mar CA 92625 | (949) 698-2859 or Toll-Free (888) 974-6869