“What are we supposed to be shooting, here?” I was dumbfounded when an attendee on our recent photo expedition to Abu Dhabi asked this question in the middle of a colorful spice market. In a place so unlike home, with soaring white domes topped in gold, with gangly camels, with sensuous desert dunes, with shops filled to the brim with shining gold and with the countless colors, shapes, and textures of the spice market… The last thing I’m thinking is, “Hmm… what to shoot?” But her question is actually very valid — especially if you’d like to sell your photos as stock. If you go in knowing more or less what you’d like to photograph, you’ll be more focused. And more likely to come away with photos you can sell. Here’s a quick way to come up with a stock photo shoot list before any trip:

  1. Do some research. Go to a few stock agencies and type in the name of the country and cities you plan to visit. Then go further. Type in the specific activities you’ll do. Then filter the results by “most popular” to see what sells best.

 -> Also notice what’s not there. When you look through the best-selling images, what’s missing? How could you change it up and offer a similar image, with your own twist on it? Could you try a new angle? Could you add a person?

  1. Think about what makes you excited. What do you like to shoot most? Architecture? Details? Textures? Think of ways you could shoot all of your favorite things on your trip.
  2. List off some icons. What is iconic about where you’re going? In the UAE, it was spice markets, mosques, camels, tea, desert dunes, falcons, etc. Just about every place has a number of things it’s known for. List those things and think of a few photos you could take around those subjects.

Once you have a shoot list, you have a purpose. Of course, don’t be afraid to stray from it. My favorite photos on these trips are usually photos I’ll never sell. Like this photo I snapped of a janitor in the Sheikh Zayed Mosque: I can’t sell this, because I don’t have a model release. But I still love it. And for me, love is the whole reason for doing this in the first place. — Bonnie Bonnie Caton Creator, Breakfast Stock Club P.S. Premium members- keep an eye on your inbox for your new Challenge coming out next week! Want to get in on this next Challenge? Learn about all the awesome benefits of becoming a Breakfast Stock Club Premium Member here.

Your Weekly Breakfast Dish

The Latest from Your Breakfast Stock Club Facebook PageFrom Theresa St John:

It was a super busy day on Dreamstime! 22 images bought, 2.00 each. Maybe I am graduating from .25 per image. From Peter Richards: Sent in 6 photos to Yay Micro- 5 accepted.

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