Always be on the look for interesting images

One lesson you should take to heart – you never know when a chance shot will turn into a nice little earner and so you need to always be ready (with your camera) for those chance encounters. What do I mean by this? I was driving down a small road near my home when I saw a burned out cabin by the side of the road. I’d never really noticed it before, but now it was a burnt out wreck surrounded by yellow tape. I pulled off the road, got my camera out and took both wide and close shots of the damaged building. I removed a few company names on the yellow tape and submitted to all agencies in July this year. Well, early results were not great! One image sold for $0.22 on iStock in August and it looked like they were destined to sink into the “useless shots in my portfolio” collection! Then, early this week I saw two sales of the images on Shutterstock:

The two images sold for $75 each as Single Sales!

More than compensation for the small amount of effort to take, process and upload them! I must admit that I don’t always take these opportunities and sometimes kick myself for not doing so. I was driving through the desert in Southern California earlier this month and saw three men on horses with cowboy hats riding slowly into the distance across the desert floor. I thought about the opportunity – rear view so no model release issues, bit of dust from the horses hooves – but by the time I decided it would have made a good shot I had driven too far and so I ignored it. Probably a mistake, but I will never know!!

On another trip to a local waterfall, I saw this collapsed house:

As you can tell, this time I did stop and will get this online soon – you never know when someone will want some storm damaged or water damaged home pictures!


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Nice post, Steve. We can drive ourselves crazy trying to come up with unique concepts and using the best of light, but sometimes the most random of images captured spontaneously may check all the boxes for a client as in your example! 2 x $75 – impressive!

Great advice to always carry your camera everywhere.

Yes, to some extent you have to just accept that some images you take will just not sell, but then an occasional sale comes along that you would otherwise have missed.

wow! 2 sales of 75 dollars on Shutterstock. I havent ever had a sale for that amount there. You are right though about always being ready to take a shot. Unfortunately I can think of more examples where I have missed the opportunity rather than taken it!

Yes, it is a long time since I have had a $75 sale on SS as well!

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