I expected this month’s challenge theme, “Fins, Fangs, Feathers and Fur,” to be popular. But I had no idea we’d get the kind of response we’ve seen so far. More folks have entered than ever before. Here’s a tip that will help you sell your photos — whether they win contests or not… When photographing people (my usual gig) I always go through and pull out the shots where eyes are closed, expressions are off, hair is out of place, etc.  Anything that is not flattering to the person, I delete.  The client NEVER sees them. Here’s why… ** 1.  I know that a client is only going to buy pictures that show  him or her in a good light (no pun intended).  So why waste everybody’s time with bad shots? ** 2.  I only want to present images that both my client and I can be proud of. I want people to look at the photos and say, “Wow, you made me look GREAT!”  Not, “Oh my gosh, is that what I really look like?” When you’re photographing people, you can be sure that your clients will show the pictures you took to their friends.  If you can make your subjects look good, you’ll look good.  And you’ll likely get a referral out of it. But with pet photos it’s not the same. I learned from Master Certified Pet Photographer, Ren Netherland, that a.) pets don’t get hung up on how they look, and b.) pet owners often like to see their pets doing something goofy; animal expressions in photos are great. Ren explained, “If you’re photographing a dog that starts to yawn, take the shot.  Same with licking, blinking, and winking.  And whatever you do, don’t pull those shots from the ones you present to the owner.  People like them.  They think they are cute or funny and they buy them all they time.” So with people, shoot for flattering and pull the blinks and yawns out of your presentation. But with pet photos, be sure to grab all you can of those silly, funny, goofy character shots; the more expressions the animals have, the better. I found several shots in this month’s challenge that illustrate that cute, silly, funny side of animals… some of these aren’t saleable because of the lighting and background but they’re definitely good for a giggle or two and I bet their owner’s love them: animal expressionanimal expression   animal expression Last week, Lori and I took what we learned at the pet photography workshop in Hershey, PA and set up a small studio in Lori’s living room.  Take a look at this photograph I manipulated in Photoshop with a picture we got of a dog yawning: animal expression [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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