Make the Most of Your Stock Travel Photographs

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We all travel. Sooner or later you will get to do some traveling and hopeful it is on a vacation or other leisure activity.

Whenever you are faced with the possibility of traveling and want to make the best of your travel pictures and especially if you want to try to make some sales via the stock photo industry, there are some things to keep in mind that will maximize the chances that your travel photos will be sellable to a stock photo house.

First of all do the research. Know as much as you can about the location, the customs, the people, the weather, and once there interact with the locals. They are more likely to give you intel about the best scenes to capture than what every other tourist sees.

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By doing your research and getting in touch with the locals you are more likely to cover much more material than if you went on your own without doing the proper research. In other words capture as much as you can.

You don't know if a scene will sell today but also do not know if it will sell tomorrow. It is much better to have it now that to regret not capturing the material when you were there in the first place.

A good idea is to make a list of possible targets before you get there and the research will make this much easier. Do not overlook the easy shots, shots that are not planned but often present themselves to you. This is specially true if they cost you nothing.

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Once you get to your destination (the first item on your list and every other in the list too) cover as much material and take as many pictures as you can. Better have too many than too few. Try to take several angles and various perspectives of the scene before moving on to the next one.

Each of your shots must be the best that it can be. You accomplish nothing by having a thousand pictures that are not 100% technically perfect. Every shot counts and you must be at the top of your game for each and every single shot.

Stock agencies feature many photographers so keep in mind that you are competing for a sale with many others who share you passion for photography plus quite a few that make a living from it.

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Every time you are about to take a picture, try to think of what the story is. Think of what makes this shot special to you, how does it make you feel, what emotions or feelings does the scene portray. Capturing a photo with a "message" is what often separates pros from amateurs.

Remember that stock photos are usually sold to a commercial interest and they need to include their text, pictures of their product or any other message. Do not be to eager to crop. It is better to leave room at the sides,top and bottom of every shot so that an advertiser can fit their message.

Also take vertical shots as well as horizontals. Think about what the buyer might want to do and analyze the sht through the viewfinder to accommodate any possible commercial needs.

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Be your own worst critic. Judge the images you took and be ruthless with your selections.

An editor is likely to consider you for future projects, even if they passed you this time , if they know that all your shots are technically flawless, pleasing, well composed, well lighted and perfect in every other way imaginable.

You will not accomplish much by having a bunch of pictures that you like but know for sure will not sell because of one tiny mistake here and there.

I have quite a collection of nice shots that I personally like but know that will not sell.

I keep them as reminders of the location and freely examine them not only to see what 's wrong with each but to try to make it better the next time.


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Your final destination does not have to be a fancy far away one. Even local places have their charm.

Just keep an open mind and take advantage of every opportunity to make a great shot.

Have fun but look at everything with a photographer;s eye and mind set.

You will be surprised at the things that can be composed to make great pictures.

© 2016 Luis E Gonzalez

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