*** Lucky You: $4,000 for His Photos
*** Practical Writing Prompt of the Week: Where the Tourists Are(n’t)
*** Reader Feedback: How Much Can I Expect to Make as a Pet Photographer?
Often, when I look for stories to include in this newsletter, I choose those that include practical details other readers can make good use of.
For instance, a few weeks ago I told you about Kim Hicks. There was a small house fire near her home in Maryland and Kim followed the fire trucks to the scene to grab a few pictures of the fireman at work. She then sent those pictures to her local paper, which not only landed her a byline and a check for $35 — but it prompted the editor to give her another assignment.
When I was on my honeymoon, freelance travel writer, Jennifer Stevens, sent you a story about Reynold Dacon. Reynold approached one of our weekly Featured Publications with his article on five good, off-the-beaten-path restaurants in Tuscany. His article was accepted and soon Reynold will see his by-line in 40 Plus Travel and Leisure.
Both of these success stories are good examples you can model. Get out there and take pictures of happenings in your own home town. That’s what Kim did and it landed her a series of future assignments.
Try your hand at writing for the publications we send you every Thursday in our Featured Publication issues. That’s what Reynold did — and sure enough, he landed a by-line.
But this week I’d like to talk about a different kind of success story… one you can’t model to create your own success but one I hope you’ll keep in mind when you’re out and about taking pictures or gathering details for a story.
It’s the lucky success story. And by that I mean, it’s an inspiring story about creating your own luck…
Here’s what I mean…
David Morgan wasn’t always a professional photographer. In fact, when he boarded the plane to Tokyo for a six-month trip across Asia he didn’t even know how to use his camera. (He had to read the instruction manual on his way there.)
Lucky for him, though, he met a professional photographer along his route who taught him a thing or two about photography… and so when Dave got home, he put a few of his photos up for sale in a local coffee shop.
Then, one lucky day, a text book publisher (who happened to be working on a text book about Asia) happened upon said coffee shop. She saw David’s photos on the wall and asked to buy them for her book. The publisher paid David $4,000 when the book went to print and two years later paid him another $2,000 when the book went into its second edition.
Was David lucky? Of course he was… sort of.
I mean you can call it luck because text book publishers don’t typically buy pictures for their books off coffee shop walls. And, you could argue, David’s photos just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
But really, David set himself up for that luck.
Do you take the time to talk to other writers and photographers and learn more about your craft?
Have you have tried selling your photos on coffee shop walls, in libraries, or to online stock agencies?
What I’m trying to say is: Luck can’t find you unless you put yourself out there where it will see you.
And if you already own our home-study photography program — you have no excuse for hiding in the shadows.
David Morgan wrote chapter 49 for us on how text book companies and guidebooks find pictures for their pages.
And chapter 46 outlines everything you need to start selling your photographs in local coffee shops and libraries — including what size pictures you should print, where you can print them, how you should display them, and what kinds of pictures are destined to sell best.
If you don’t yet own our photography program, you should. You can get started today!
I’m going to send you an article tomorrow from Valerie Young, the editor at ChangingCourse.com. “Are successful people luckier?” she asks. You bet they are. And Valerie’s article includes some really good examples and practical advice for setting yourself up for the kind of luck that really pays off. It’s advice that’ll apply not only to your writing and photography careers, but your daily life too.
In the meantime, get out there are look for story ideas. Scroll down to today’s writing prompt for some in your own hometown.
Have a great weekend!
Director, Great Escape Publishing
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]
PRACTICAL WRITING PROMPT OF THE WEEK: Where the Tourists Are(n’t)
I was disappointed when our guidebook said that the town of Varenna on Lake Como was less touristy than its more famous counterpart, Bellagio. I was disappointed because the book was wrong.
Perhaps the writer meant to say that there were fewer “American” tourists in Varenna. Indeed, I rarely saw another American. But the restaurants were chock full of Brits and Germans.
Truth is, Varenna isn’t really set up to be a local’s town. By the time you squeeze in all the hotels, restaurants, and vacation homes, there’s not room for much else. For a local to work in Varenna, it’s in the hospitality industry or not at all, I’d wager.
So our search for locals led us to Menaggio where, at least at night, the locals flooded the main square. Next time, I’ll stay there. And that brings me to this week’s writing prompt…
Is there a spot in your town where all the locals hang out? Is there a hole-in-the-wall restaurant with a lot of character and a lack of tourists?
If so, write it up for a smaller niche publication. Bigger publications might bring in more tourists, but small web publications and those targeted to a specific niche market, aren’t likely to flood your watering hole.
READER FEEDBACK: How much can I expect to make as a pet photographer?
Well, let’s take Ren, our lead instructor, as an example…
He’s an established pet photographer. And he typically earns $1,380 for a day’s work shooting pets and selling the photos to their owners. So say you follow his lead… and say you decide to limit your “work” to 2 days a week — you make this pet photography endeavor a sideline, really.
Well, at $1,380 a day, times 2 days a week, you’re looking at $2,760 per week. And say you opt for 3 months of vacation so you limit your work weeks to just 40 a year.
Even on that very relaxed schedule, you’re looking at a whopping $110,400. And that’s if you work 2 days a week and take 12 weeks off… not a bad haul for a career that’s enjoyable, stimulating, and easy to get into.