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The experts call it “acceptable risk.” It’s the level of risk we’re willing to take without feeling uncomfortable. I’m sure you’ve heard the term before. It often comes up in reference to people’s illogical behavior. Like when the mandatory seat belt law came into effect here in the States. You’d think it would reduce the number of deaths by car accident — but it didn’t. Or when a farmer near my hometown in Delaware was asked to cut back the cat tails and water reeds around a winding road so that drivers could see around the bend. You’d think the number of accidents would decline. But instead they went up. Some say this is because of acceptable risk. Now that drivers can see around the bend, they don’t slow down and drive as carefully as they did when they couldn’t see. And now that seatbelts are a must (and cars, in general, are safer than they used to be), more and more drivers are confident at higher speeds, and they pay less attention to the road (and the drivers around them) than they did before. Acceptable risk is a factor in photography, too. More and more readers are signing up for our newsletter these days because you don’t have to quit your day job to get started. High-quality cameras are cheaper than they ever have been, too. And new opportunities to sell your photos online (where you don’t have to meet face-to-face with a buyer nor go back-and-forth via email to make a sale) are popping up everywhere. Likewise, it doesn’t cost a lot to get started. No investing in super-fancy equipment, nor in a gallery to showcase your work. So the risk is minimal. That said, just because it’s easier doesn’t mean that everyone who gets started makes it to high sales. Instead, plenty of people crash along the way. Why? Because our level of acceptable risk goes up. If we don’t have to invest a lot of time and money into learning our craft, then, all of a sudden, we feel comfortable uploading photos to stock agencies without first running them through a little post-processing. And, since editors won’t bite our heads off if we send them bad photos with an article, we think it’s OK to send them something that doesn’t follow their guidelines… in hopes that, eventually, no matter how many rejections we suffer, someone will bite. But just because it’s easier to “see around the bend” now, doesn’t mean we should go at higher speeds and ignore everything we’ve been taught about good photography. Watch your composition. Get your exposure right. And absolutely, positively take a few minutes to process your images before trying to sell them to magazines and stock photo agencies. Shelly’s outlined her 10-minute processing tips for stock in our archives, here. Go ahead and take advantage of your good fortune. There’s never been a better time to get started as a photographer — better equipment is cheaper than ever, and the opportunities for profit grow every day. But don’t rush so fast that you ignore everything we’ve been telling you in our programs and through this newsletter. That’s how accidents happen. — Lori Lori Allen Director, Great Escape Publishing P.S. Due to a scheduling conflict, this week’s Photo Tip, with an announcement of next month’s Photo Challenge Theme, will come to you this Friday, so stay tuned. 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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