Retire on $1: Photography News from Paris
Special Paris Dispatch #3
On-The-Ground Reports from the Ultimate
Travel Photography Workshop in Paris
Since you couldn’t be with us in Paris for our workshop, I asked David Morgan — a freelance writer and photographer — to fill you in on what we’ve learned. You’ll find his third report here below.
Dear Travel Writer,
It has been a big day, walking through “les passages de Paris” capturing architectural photos…and getting the iconic “must-have” shots of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame for the articles many of us will write to submit with our photographs.
Hi, my name is David Morgan, and I’m a writer accompanying the Workshop participants — your correspondent on the ground here. And I have to tell you, the biggest pleasure of the day was this:
We spent the morning and evening critiquing one another’s photographs on the “big screen” in our seminar room. All I can say is…
…our workshop participants have taken the professional secrets that Blair Howard and Rich Wagner have been doling out…and RUN with them.
Some of our participants already have taken as many as 20 sellable shots…people talking on a corner…kissing in the Metro…buying fruit and flowers at sidewalk stands…and much more…
Blair himself said he expects to leave with no more than 50 or 60 sellable images, so you can see for yourself how quickly people completely new to photography can learn the secrets the professionals use, professionals like Blair and Rich who have been doing this for decades.
Many participants said that the critiquing session was the most important part of the workshop so far. Rich and Blair made comments about even the “worst shots” (and believe me, none of them we reviewed were bad) that allowed participants to learn from what they’ve already done…then immediately put the secrets of the experts into practice.
That really has been the beauty of this workshop. We learn a new “secret,” then immediately start practicing it. It becomes part of you so you won’t even have to think about it after a few tries. This is an excellent way to learn.
Though I have published quite a few photographs over the years, I have been learning so much about photo composition here in Paris, something I never learned in photojournalism class. My experience with photography education had been concentrated on darkroom technique, the history of the camera, and how film works.
Turns out none of that matters anymore. Digital technology can now do anything a film camera can do. And Adobe PhotoShop can do much more than you could ever dream of doing in a darkroom. Composition is the key, and I’m so grateful Blair and Howard have taught us how to do it — simple secrets the best photographers use but never share.
Best of all, you really don’t need to know every little detail of how your digital camera and Photoshop (a daunting piece of software) work. Blair and Rich have taught us the few things you need to produce images that sell. And that’s all you need to know to start living this “write-your-own-ticket” lifestyle, period.
And we’ve learned it in a matter of days. A beautiful long weekend in Paris.
It is easier than ever for an amateur photographer to turn pro, and by “amateur” I mean someone with no experience at all. I am certain that every Ultimate Travel Photography Workshop participant here who applies what they’ve learned and are persistent can make a good living at travel photography… even build a legacy for their family.
And with that, I’d like to tell you about Blair’s retirement plan…
FREE PHOTO TIP #3: Retire on $1.
This morning, Blair told us how to find markets and create a need for our photographs. He and Rich also told us how to set our fees.
Many people seemed surprised that you can make $400…$500…even $800 or more from the single sale of a single photograph — AND you can make that much again every time someone else buys one-time rights to the same image. One single photo can earn $20,000 for you over a period of time.
But the participants were even more surprised when Blair told us about this:
He and others like him are retiring on $1.
You see, once you get “in” with a stock agent (and Blair told us exactly how — and more importantly — who), they will sell your photos for you. Of course, they take a cut of the profit, but a stock agent takes the “work” out of the picture, allowing you to concentrate only on what you want to do.
Like taking sellable shots. Or, in my case, sitting at a cafe and sipping a “grand creme” while taking pictures of pretty French girls pedaling by on their bicycles, baguettes in hand. (I had to get permission from my wife.)
The stock photo agency then finds markets for your photos and sells them for you…
…and you can expect to average $1 per photo per year. That’s the retirement plan I’m speaking of.
Now, when Blair first announced this strategy, many participants scoffed. One dollar is hardly worth it, right?
But then the reality of it started to settle in. Submit 2,000 sellable shots (it might take a few months), and that’s an extra $2,000 in your pocket. Send 2,000 more next year, and you’ll make $4,000. In time, you could make upwards of $120,000 per year, simply by sending your photos in to your agent. Not bad. Get two agents and double that amount.
Even better, you can also continue selling those same photos yourself. Rich sells his from the wall of his gallery. I’ve sold mine from the walls of coffee shops and restaurants (it’s a great way to sell your photos and start to get known as a photographer in your area, and I told the group how I do it), and Blair keeps sending his photos in with travel articles.
You see, what could eventually be a dependable income of $120,000 or more per year is ON TOP of what photographers do anyway for profit — the things they enjoy, like…
…traveling to exotic countries on someone else’s bill and getting paid for their work to boot…getting invited to the best hotels, restaurants, and resorts in the world, compliments of the owners, for a few minutes’ work…and enjoying the prestige of being a professional artist who actually makes a great living doing what they love.
And that extra $120,000 per year can go to your heirs, too. A copyright on a photograph can be passed down, you see.
Why not build a legacy by doing what you love!
Now, I feel like I should apologize because the last two dispatches have given you free tips that you could immediately put to use from wherever you are right now.
I didn’t do that today, I realize. But the $1 Retirement Plan seemed far too exciting a prospect not to share. So tomorrow I’ll give you some practical ideas about how you can start snapping the shots you can retire on. In fact, I’ll tell you how you can use your own hometown as your photographic goldmine and make $700 a day — right in your own back yard.
Writer and Photographer
[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.]