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Enjoying the summer with your camera in tow is a great way to document your family outings. Plus, you can make extra money while you’re at it by selling your shots as stock. Scroll down for tips on how and when to sell holiday photos (summer and winter), from professional stock photographer, Shelly Perry… — Lori Lori Allen Director, Great Escape Publishing ********************* July 11, 2009 The Right Way to Travel *********************

Sell Holiday Photos

Why it pays to think ahead By Shelly Perry in Portland, OR We’re in the middle of summer. Kids are out on vacation and families are loading up the minivan with tents, coolers, and Fido to head out of town for a few days of “roughing it.” So, who in their right mind would be thinking of Christmas? Stock photographers, that’s who. You see, designers buy a lot of stock photos. And they typically work three to six months in advance. That means there are designers out there right now who are working on holiday productions. And they’re looking for images to meet those needs. This is a holiday photo that I’m selling on iStock: Holiday Photos It’s not my best shot or my highest seller, by any means, but I can infer a few things by looking at its download history. I know that for stock photographers looking to sell holiday photos, sales generally start in August and peak in November. Which means that if you wait until the stores are filled with the sound of jingle bells, Santas, and bows… you’re too late. Of course, in the middle of summer, you can’t get those action shots of the kids sledding or building snowmen. But you can stage a few things for those holiday shots. That Christmas bauble above, for example, could have been taken any time of the year. Ornaments happen to be among the most photographed holiday subjects (with over 44,500 of them on iStock alone) so I don’t recommend you go that route, specifically. But you can put your own twist on it and sell holiday photos any time of year. For instance, include a child in the composition, like in this example: Do that, and suddenly you have fewer than 1,500 images to compete with. Those are much better odds for your image to be found and bought. While you’re thinking ahead to sell holiday photos of winter themes this summer, don’t forget to do a little “work” on that camping trip. Think ahead to next summer, too. Get out your camera and capture the marshmallow roasting over the campfire at dusk: … the joy on your child’s face as she snuggles into her sleeping bag: … or your spouse brewing up camp coffee in the morning: … any of those things that convey the spirit, emotion, or universal feeling of summer family holidays. Capture times like these in the moment, while you’re doing them. You know you want these shots anyway, to document your family life. But instead of rushing home to process them and upload them to sell as stock… wait. Consider uploading those summer holiday shots around Christmas and New Year’s, when designers will be hot on the trail to find new material for their summer projects. [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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