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Ribbons and wreaths, candles and cookies… if you’ve glanced at the top-selling photos on stock sites over the past couple of months, you surely noticed a lot of red and white. That’s because for designers (and other stock photo buyers), the Christmas rush begins around the beginning of September and continues through December. If you’re uploading Christmas images right now, you’ll probably get a few sales… but you’ll get even more if you upload your seasonal stock photos two or three months in advance. Thanks for telling you this now, right? Well, since we can’t go back in time, here are a few ways to get more mileage out of your holiday shots:

  • Wait it out. Hold onto your winter holiday photos for next fall. Go out and take some GREAT holiday photos this year, then upload them at the beginning of the season next September. Set a reminder so you don’t forget. TIP: Take advantage of after-Christmas sales to get bargain props. Then you can shoot all year until September comes around and it’s time to upload. (Remember to avoid logos and copyrighted elements on wrapping paper and decorations.)
  • Think ahead to the next holiday. Valentine’s Day and Easter are the two big U.S. holidays coming up. You could even shoot for St. Patrick’s Day. Put together a still life set-up in your home and see what holiday shots you come up with. Now is a good time to upload your Valentine shots. And January or February will be good for Easter.
  • Upload them anyway. It’s probably not too late to catch the very tail end of Christmas photo sales. Besides, if you take and upload new photos now, you can keep active and get some practice shooting seasonal photos. Shoot again and add more to your portfolio next September.

Today I’m getting ready for our upcoming small-group Stock Photo Editing Workshop. It’s a three-day Lightroom event this weekend and I’ll be instructing, so I’ll keep my ears open for common questions and issues that come up (so I can share some quick solutions with you). Premium Members: Remember that you have 22 months’ worth of simple, effective Lightroom video tips from professional photographer Shelly Perry archived on your member page at MyTravelPrograms.com. [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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