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Christina here again, writing to you from our photography expedition in Cotacachi, Ecuador. This morning, over our local Ecuadorian breakfast (including a surprisingly delicious quinoa and yogurt cup), I asked attendees what attracts them to stock photography. One attendee, Kelly McDonald likes the fact that it’s a job she can do from anywhere.  She’s about to move to Ecuador and would like to have a portable job they can take with them. Another attendee, Chari Paulson, said it’s the residual income coupled with the fact that online stock agencies do all of the marketing for you, so you can focus on the fun part — taking photographs — that attracts her. Many attendees, in fact, stated residual income as the top reason that attracts them to stock photography. After all, with a nice residual income stream to support you, your possibilities for travel, adventure, and fun open up. The good news is, selling travel photos is easy. They can sell very well as stock (editorial and fine art, too, for that matter). And you don’t need any fancy lights or studio equipment to get started taking saleable photos right away. Professional photographer Shelly Perry, our instructor here in Ecuador, sells a lot of her travel photos as stock… many of them taken right here in Cotacachi. Shelly says that when you’re traveling, you want to look out for these three things when you’re taking pictures: ** ICONIC SHOTS Look for images that define a place. You want your viewer to look at the shot and immediately know where you are. For example, if you’ve ever been to Quito, you’ll recognize it right away in these three photos Shelly took of the city. Together, these three shots of Shelly’s have sold nearly 100 times on iStock and I bet they’d do well as editorial photographs, too: ** FIND THE UNUSUAL Each day here in Ecuador, we taste new and delicious vegetables and fruits that you don’t see in the States. Yesterday we tasted “tree tomatoes,” a favorite fruit dessert in this region of Ecuador.   These are things you just don’t see back home — and they’re the kinds of unusual shots that can work well for stock or to accompany a travel article in a magazine. Here’s Shelly’s stock photo of “tree tomatoes,” that she sells on iStock: And here’s one that Shelly took in Cotacachi, of a woman in traditional dress feeding the colorful peacocks at the five-star Relais and Chateaux hotel and spa where we’re having our spa treatments done. You don’t see this scene much back home, either: At the nearby woodworking village, three brothers still carve large wooden statues by hand, paint them, and insert glass eyes… their work is found in churches across the globe. Here, Shelly found another unusual shot of one of the brothers, carving by hand: Together, these three images of Shelly’s have sold over 35 times on iStock.com. ** CLEAN COMPOSITION Take photos with no clutter or distractions in the background. You want your subject to stand out loud and clear, like this carved angel that Shelly shot in the woodworker’s village. This one has sold nearly 10 times for her on iStock: And again, coupled with the man whittling wood picture above, it would be great to illustrate a travel article on the town of San Antonio where these wood carvings are made. You don’t even have to travel far from home to get started taking stock photographs — in fact, getting started in your town or neighborhood is one of the best things to do, since you’re already an expert on what to see and do there. So take a look at your hometown in a new way, and keep an eye out for iconic shots, the unusual, and clean composition. More photos and tips coming.  Stay tuned. [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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