Category Archives: “How-to” articles

Announcement: How can I sell my photos and make some money???

I asked myself that question over 8 years ago, and decided the answer was to sell my images on stock agencies. Since then I have increased my income to more than $35,000 a year and I share the steps and lessons learned in the newly revised 2017 edition of my eBook – Getting Started in Stock.  You are facing a simple choice – do you want to learn as you go, following the forums and their inconsistent information from people who may or may not know what they are talking about, or do you want to save hours of frustration and learn it all on one easy to follow book?

You can buy the book directly from my site or buy this new eBook from Amazon as a Kindle download and get immediate access to the information you need to make money from your photographs! Now recognized as the Best Seller in Professional Photography Books!

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I try hard to keep this blog informative, but not bombard you with ads that pop-up and spoil the experience. If you find the site useful and have a need for anything from Amazon (a new camera perhaps!), please use this link (or the product bar below) to check out Amazon Electronics, Camera and Photo Best Sellers It won’t cost you anything, but I will get a small affiliate payment if you decide to buy something! Thanks again!


How to take fireworks over a city

This July 4th, I went up to Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania to see and photograph the fireworks display over the city. Although only 70 miles away, we decided to stay for a couple of nights both to get the best idea of where to shoot the fireworks and to get some other images of the city as well. As I started to realize, getting everything right about fireworks, especially if you want to position them with the city itself to give the context, is more complex that it appears! First, I did my research. I found a local professional photographer with a gallery near the hotel so first stop was to visit that and hopefully chat with the photographer. He wasn’t there, but his assistant was very helpful in explaining the lie of the land! He has some great shots of Pittsburgh if ever you are looking for some! He also had some great shots of fireworks over the city on his blog with more details on where he was for the show – so that is the first problem solved – where to go!

Independence day photographs over Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

I chose a location by the Point of View statue on Mount Washington and scouted it out earlier in the day to see where I might plant my tripod. That brings out the next issue – when to arrive? Continue Reading

What to do when the weather doesn’t co-operate?

We have all been there – we travel to some location, perhaps on vacation, and then the weather isn’t really that good for photography. Do you still take your photos and then what do you do with them on your return? I recently went to New York City for a couple of days and although it was generally dry and a partially sunny, we took a trip to Staten Island on the (free) ferry past the Statue of Liberty and then back to Manhattan. I’ll get onto what I took shortly, but my ideas for processing developed when I saw that this:

had earned over $400 since I uploaded it – far more than any of the similar images that have the normal pretty glum water in front of the city. Admittedly, most of those sales were from iStock and Getty, but I’m still not complaining! So back to New York. This is what my image looked like out of the camera: Continue Reading

Stock Video – Part 3. How I do it…

The earlier posts on this subject have covered the basics of what stock video is, and then more detail on the sort of clips I have been producing. Now I’ll focus on some details about how I go about getting the clips taken, edited and uploaded to the five agencies I support: Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Pond5, Storyblocks and iStock.

The first step obviously starts in the camera. I’ve been choosing to shoot in the PAL standard of 23.98. There are many debates about this, some saying that the 30 fps normally used for US television allows you to downscale to the European version if needed, but others point out that movies and high end commercials are normally shot at 24 fps as well. I’m not sure it matters! Continue Reading

Difficult to find the time to start in Stock Photography?

A friend with a deep portfolio on images on his hard drive recently asked me if I had any advice on breaking through the barrier of “just too much to do and not enough time” to get started in selling these images on the various stock agencies. Often, being faced with keywording and describing hundreds or thousands of images, we tend to just put it off for another day! After all, this part of the process is the most difficult for many photographers – they love taking photos and processing them to get a perfect image to share, but then add in the 40 keywords and description etc. and the enthusiasm fades rapidly! I’m not saying it is as simple as ABC, but how hard would it be?

So how could you handle this? The first is to see if you could outsource some of those functions – particularly keywording. Continue Reading

All work and no play…

Did I really need to buy a new camera? Obviously no – the businessman inside me said firmly that the Sony A7r ii that I have (with 15000 shutter activations) is more than adequate for stock photography and the new model (the mark 3) has only a few enhancements. But the inner child knew that a new camera body was just what I needed and that I would be able to take higher speed videos and slow them down (only in HD unfortunately) and transfer my files in my studio to the computer using WiFi (true) and register the locations of my travel images using GPS from my camera (true, although with a struggle!). And so the inner child won out!

A new Sony A7riii was soon on its way to me – and the old one (in very good condition) is now for sale on Amazon.

One thing that I learned along the way Continue Reading

Ideas just keep coming….

I uploaded this image yesterday as an Easter background – cute?

But where did the idea come from? As usual, just browsing through my sales as I do each morning using Microstockr Pro. I came across Continue Reading

Junk Shops – a source of Microstock ideas

I’m always looking for something different to photograph (and keeping my eyes open to what is being used on web sites) and I’ve seen a few images with older typewriters on them – gives a more interesting angle to writing, journalism or blogging than yet another laptop photo. So I go to antique stores (which are really junk shops here in the USA) and see what is around. My most recent purchase was an electric typewriter in pretty good condition:

Now getting it to the beach was a bit of a trek, but with only paying Continue Reading

Getting inspiration for new stock shoots

For travel photographers, the winter can be a downer – cold, wet, snowy weather (depending on where you are of course) and little enthusiasm to brave the cold! Now is the perfect time to improve your portfolio and your skills with some studio shots. But what to take?

I find ideas from just generally browsing news and opinion stories, such as ones about people not saving enough for retirement. It was illustrated by a savings jar with a few loose coins in it, and I thought – I could do better than that! I had previously taken a photo of a dying  Continue Reading

Microstockr Pro – I missed it!

I’ve written about Microstockr Pro before, but it is always difficult to justify spending money on applications for microstock. It seems like we are so conditioned to accepting pennies for our images that we absolutely hate spending money (especially recurring money) on services that might make our lives easier! I know someone who earns more from me from stock photography who will not pay for applications like StockSubmitter and Microstockr Pro even though it is clear that she can easily afford it.

I accidentally let my subscription to Microstockr lapse at the end of December and initially thought – “oh, so what! I can see how my earnings are doing from time to time by visiting the main sites – I don’t need to spend my money on this.” So I didn’t renew. The result was pretty amazing – I really missed the program! Continue Reading

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