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If you asked me to give you my top 3 photography tips, today’s would be among them. It’s something everybody can do. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have or what sort of camera you shoot with. And it’ll guarantee you’re taking unique — and potentially very salable — photos. It is…

Concept Photography

I’m prompted to share this tip today because as I was looking through the photo entries in this month’s challenge I was struck by how few there were. I have noticed that when the challenge theme is very specific — something like food, pets, doors, trains, planes, or automobiles — lots of people send in shots. But when the theme is not so straightforward — something conceptual, like January’s “Traditions” or this month’s “Scio – I Know” — many people shy away. You must resist that urge! I firmly believe that to grow in your photography you have to learn to shoot conceptually, or in other words to practice concept photography! Sure, it’s important to learn all the technical stuff — how your camera works and how best to manipulate it. But doing that won’t separate you from the pack. What will is your own perspective. Everybody’s got a camera they work with. But nobody else has your unique point of view. Photography is a personal endeavor — it can be like a visual journal of sorts, like this beautiful shot from this month’s challenge: Concept Photography I am sure it has strong meaning for the contributor, but it also has a more universal meaning that many of us can identify with. Lise Gagne, iStockphoto.com’s top seller, made this point when we were in Austin at our photo workshop a few weeks back. She told us that the best recipe for success in photography is to take your perspective, roll in your passion and tenacity, learn enough technical skills to get rolling… and then learn to shoot conceptually, and practice concept photography. (Remember, the more you shoot the more you learn, so the technical will come if you keep at it.) Start this week. Our theme this month is “Scio – I Know.” Scio is Latin for “I know” — and we all know something. So take a chance and shoot your knitting needles or your remote control… whatever it is you know about. If you’re drawing a blank,  put your camera in your pocket or around your neck one day this week and look around as you go through your day. Concept photography can be simple and easy; just pay attention to what you find interesting and take a few shots of those things. Then show us what you got by uploading your best shot before the deadline, which is Monday. ENTER TO WIN! This month’s photo challenge theme is “Scio – I Know.”  If you have a picture to submit, log on to our website (http://www.thephotographerslife.com) and click on the “Enter to Win” tab.  (Note: First-time users need to register on the “register” link on the right side bar first. Once you have a username and password, click “Enter to Win” to upload your photo. Only one photo per applicant will be considered. No purchase necessary to register.) Photos are due by 8:00 a.m. EST, Monday, February 25, 2008. [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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