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We talk a lot in this newsletter about taking pictures of everyday household items — like chairs, curtains, even your pet goldfish — and selling them to online stock agencies.  But not-so-everyday pictures sell well online, too…

Take my upcoming wedding, for instance.  Professional photographer, Shelly Perry, will be there and I’ve already agreed to sign a model release for her.

I’m not paying Shelly to be my wedding photographer, but I know she’ll be snapping a lot of pictures.  As a stock photographer, I suspect she’ll take pictures of my veil, our rings, the flowers in my hand, my shoes, the train of my dress, the mirror I use to put my makeup on, the candles on the table at lunch, our champagne glasses, a slice of wedding cake, etc.

And I have to say — I’m pretty excited about the idea of having pictures of my wedding in her portfolio at Istockphoto.com.  You never know who will buy those pictures and where they might show up.  Pictures from Shelly’s Istock portfolio have appeared on magazine covers, websites, and once she opened up an in-flight magazine to find a picture of hers on an ad inside.

So Shelly’s likely to make a little cash from my wedding.  And you can bet I’ll send my family and friends to her portfolio to order pictures, too.

My point is: You don’t have to be a hired wedding photographer to turn a friend’s wedding into spare dough.  You don’t have to ask the lucky couple to sign a release, either (if you don’t want to, that is).  Most of the pictures I described above — the veil, the flowers, a slice of wedding cake — you don’t need a release for.

Not only that, but taking stock shots is fun.  Before now, I’d have taken my camera to a wedding and possibly snapped a few pictures of friends and a couple of the bride and groom.  Next time I attend a friend’s wedding, though, I’ll have much more fun looking for wedding-specific stock shots. You can bet I’ll keep my eye on the place settings, the gift table, the candy-covered almonds.

So, the next time you’re attending a special event — a child’s baptism, a birthday party, a wedding — think stock shots.  Here are some practical tips for capturing truly salable ones and where to sell your photos. Read…

** Wednesday’s photo tip on photographing themes and concepts

** The March 10 issue on what stock agencies pay and how to break in

And review these simple, easy-to-use tips for improving your photos

Tomorrow, I’m going to send you even more information about breaking into online stock agencies.  After reading one of our articles on that subject, reader Kathy Burns-Millyard put our advice to the test. It worked. In tomorrow’s article, you’ll find out which agencies work best for her… which ones pay the most… and which pictures she thinks you should pay special attention to before you submit them.


— Lori

Lori Appling
Director, Great Escape Publishing

P.S. Don’t forget to scroll down for today’s writing prompt.

PRACTICAL WRITING PROMPT OF THE WEEK:

There’s a good, short article in this month’s National Geographic Traveler titled, “How to Conquer: Long Airport Lines.”

Here’s some of the advice the author offers up…

** Use the kiosks — Infrequent travelers often feel more comfortable talking to an agent than using the automatic machines.  Therefore, you’ll see long lines at the desks but not at the kiosks.

** Join a club — Airlines’ frequent flyer programs often come with the added bonus of being able to use the first-class check-in lines, which are shorter.

** Look for business travelers — Folks traveling on business are often frequent flyers and know all the short-cuts.  Watch what they do and follow suit.

** Use your phone — When your flight is canceled, call the airline rather than wait in line.  They’ll likely rebook you faster and you won’t have to wait with everyone else.

This article, found in National Geographic Traveler’s April 2007 issue, is just eight paragraphs long. Each paragraph is devoted to a separate tip.

You could easily write something like this.  In fact, there’s an article in last month’s Travel Post Monthly just like it, titled, &quo
t;Lost Luggage: Eight Ways to Ease the Trauma” http://travelpostmonthly.com

If you have advice to share, work it into a travel article this weekend and send it to the Travel Post Monthly.  You might just land your next by-line.

READER FEEDBACK:

Hi Lori!

Thanks to what I learned from two travel writing workshops (Paris & the cruise down to Mexico a couple of years ago) and the photography workshop in Greece — I, who had no idea what I was going to do next — am now a regularly published freelance journalist for the Sunday Times of Malta, largest circulation paper in the country.

I live and work on/from Gozo, Malta’s sister island.  And I actually came here thanks to the enticing writing and workshops of Steenie Harvey describing the island for International Living.

Last week, Circle Magazine — largest circulation magazine in the country — published my story on what to do at Easter time on Gozo… in addition to going to church in this 95% Catholic country, of course.

And this Sunday, the Sunday Times is publishing my article on Easter Saturday. What goes on during the one totally non-religious day of the long Easter week?  Good works, efforts to help nonprofit organizations, it turns out, and I’m covering five of them.

Last year, around this time, you may recall, I was assigned to cover the first trip of the new Bishop of Gozo to New York and Washington DC.  What a thrill to return home as a fully credentialed, press pass-protected journalist!

All of these articles are lavishly illustrated with my photographs, for which you all get credit but do not have to take responsibility. Sometimes I cut off part of the Bishop’s hat or somebody’s feet.  At least, now I know better.

Anyway, have a wonderful wedding in Paris that I’m sorry I’m going to miss.  I’m actually traveling back to Puerto Vallarta to see if that’s my next port of call.

Cheers & great fond regards!
Barbara

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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