When you start to take and sell stock photos, it’s fun to think about who might be interested in your image and why. What will they use it for? It’s cool trying to imagine where a single shot might end up.
I have an old, weathered porch where I live. Its gray paint is peeling, the nails are rusted, and the workmanship is kind of shoddy. I love it! It makes a great background for some of my shots as it’s simple and unobtrusive. I use it a lot for my stock photography.
A bowl of cereal and berries seemed like a natural picture to take there. With a spoon and napkin, without the spoon or napkin. I could “see” it on a billboard or a cereal box. Maybe it would show up in a blog post about eating healthy. I had big dreams for it.
When I was finished shooting, as a last ditch effort, I removed the cereal and just photographed the bowl of blackberries by itself. It went into my collection and uploaded the whole set to each of my stock sites and moved on to my next idea.
That’s the great thing about stock photography: you take the shot, then edit, upload, and keyword it. Once you hit the “send” button, you’re done. It may sell instantly, or a few months down the line, but your initial work is finished. You just wait for a buyer.
My simple photo of blackberries is the one that took off from my morning shoot that day. It has sold on several stock sites and I’ve found it on blogs all over the internet. I’ve even found it on restaurant menus (one was right in my hometown!).
I also researched art shows in the area, took a deep breath and a big chance and brought it there. I have a hard time putting myself out there. What if I fail? What if my image isn’t good enough?
I made myself call to get details on entering and had this blackberry image appear in a small art show. It was a Summer show, so I thought it would fit in well. I titled it “Simplicity of Summer.”
Unbelievably, it sold for $125! I have no idea who bought it or where it ended up, but the thrill in cashing my check was amazing!
So far, this one image has earned me nearly $600 total, and I still shake my head when I think about it. Who would have thought?
The biggest thing I’ve learned from this experience is that you just need to get out there and take chances. If you don’t, you’ll never know if you have a winner.
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