I started uploading to iStock 22 months ago. Back then, I was way too cautious. In the first year, I only uploaded 21 photos. I was also uploading to other sites, but my cautious behavior really showed up at iStock. My problem was that I just hate criticism. It scares the dickens out of me! In fact, it took me a week to actually read my first rejection e-mail. And I don’t think I’m alone. So, what changed? This summer, I decided to do things differently. I needed to get serious. I decided to study the stock photography sites that I was on. So I set aside some time each day to simply noodle around on the sites. Then I really took a look at my sales, including what sold better on one site versus another. And I realized that different websites attracted customers with different needs. Next, I looked at the most popular photos on the sites. And that led me to examine the categories available. This was a big eye-opener. Here I was, trying to upload travel shots to one site that hadn’t even a category remotely close to “travel.” No wonder it felt so hard! Then, I turned to my own photography. I’d spent the past two years teaching myself photo editing. But, I didn’t do it often enough. I knew I needed to set goals and stick to them, so that I would get the practice I needed and feel confident that my editing was good. I thought about limiting the types of photos I took, but rejected that idea. While business photos tend to be the biggest sellers, one of the things I love about stock is the diversity. One day, I’ll be shooting an ancient gate in Korea. The next, I’ll be doubled over with laughter, being my own quirky model. In the end, I decided to set a goal of doubling my iStock portfolio, with the reward being a new laptop. I needed a BIG reward to get going! The first week, I uploaded four photos. As usual, it was slow going. The second week, I was able to upload eight. By the third week, 12 uploads took the same time. I was finally catching on! And soon, I had doubled the size of my portfolio. The best part was that the process became its own reward. I haven’t ordered the laptop yet… Here are three of my newest photos on iStock (all taken at AWAI workshops designed exclusively for Breakfast Stock Club members): [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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