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I love to look at travel stock photos for inspiration before I go on a trip.

Here’s a stock photo I found before embarking on our photo expedition in Thailand. This shot has sold over 100 times. It’s a simple shot of the decorative light strands you’ll find in markets throughout the country. If you’ve been to markets in Thailand, you’ll recognize it right away. Not only does this photo say “Thai markets,” it’s also a beautiful and colorful shot that could be used as an abstract background. But what I like most about this travel stock photo is the pure simplicity of it. It reminds me to look for similarly simple compositions as I head out into Thai markets. It’s a good reminder that you can get travel stock photos in places that are crowded with people if you focus on photographing objects, instead. Here’s how to find stock photos to use as inspiration before a trip:

  1. With your travels in mind, go to a stock agency such as iStock.com, Shutterstock.com, Fotolia.com, etc.
  2. Type in the name of the place you’re going in the search bar.
  3. Sort the photos you find by “popularity” or by “downloads” to see and compare the best-sellers.

The point is NOT to copy the photos that you find. The point is to see what’s selling, come up with some ideas of things to shoot, and look for similar shots you can take with your own twist.

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