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If these guys are right and chocolate makes you smarter, then I should be a genius by now… According to the New England Journal of Medicine and a doctor at Columbia University, there’s a direct link between a country’s chocolate consumption and its number of Nobel laureates — with Switzerland coming in at the top. Now, I can’t say for sure if chocolate is making me smarter… but it IS making me some extra cash. You may remember my chocolate stock photo shoot from a few issues back. (Read about it here.) One of the images from that shoot sells almost daily as stock. I’ve made about $30 with it so far… and it keeps selling and selling, slowly collecting money. Here’s the simple shot that’s selling so well: And here it is straight out of the camera — before a few quick edits in Lightroom and Photoshop: What did I do to it? Look closely. I…

  • Trimmed off the gray strip to the left
  • “Brightened” the image
  • “Enhanced” the rich color
  • Removed scuffs and crumbs to make the chocolate appear smooth and perfect (see the round piece in the middle of the top row)

With some simple photo editing software, I did it all in just a few minutes.

The differences between these two images might seem subtle, but when you sell your photos as stock, a little processing goes a long way. In fact, you should process EVERY photo you submit, to make the colors pop out and to correct things like crooked horizons and small imperfections. Tomorrow I’ll share another quick trick you can do in Adobe Lightroom that dramatically improves the look and saleability of your image… whether you’re shooting chocolate, people, landscapes… whatever you love the most. We’re also going to announce a big Product Closeout Sale tomorrow on our Quick and Dirty Video Guide to Stock Photo Processing. We’re taking that product out of inventory while we update the videos for Lightroom 4. In the meantime, you can get a big discount on the program that’s already helped so many people get accepted into online stock agencies and secure a free copy of the new version when the videos are out in April, here. — Bonnie Bonnie Caton AWAI Travel Division Breakfast Stock Club P.S. If you want to learn more about stock photography, get hands-on help when you join us in Cape Town, South Africa next month. We’re heading there for our next small-group stock photography expedition March 18-22. You’ll not only learn how to improve and sell your photos, but you’ll also get to shoot with live models, learn lots of processing tricks, and even try your hand at video for stock. Only two seats remain. Get all the details here.

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