Photographing Your Town
My town's calendar is a project which has a big appeal and can be easily submitted to many photographic publications, the poster industry, calendar industry, local government agencies, tourist boards, photography stock houses and so on.
Other than nudes and pets, a calendar featuring images of a town, state or city is one of the most popular topics and it boasts a much broader appeal than the other two themes plus these images also have a larger number of publications that will feature them.
The appeal comes from photographing many sites that are appealing to anyone who has never visited a particular location and wants to know more perhaps with the intention of making it a future tourist destination, anyone who was born there or is proud to have called this location home. Tourist boards are also always looking for exciting new images from which to develop a marketing plan in order to attract more visitors and calendars can always use this popular theme.
The best project will take some time to develop since it involves recording images within your state, although very good images can be obtained from a local city's perspective a state perspective offers many more samples and carries a broader appeal.
Take for example Florida. There are literary thousands of attractions to visit and photograph. From historic sites, to museums, national parks, natural attractions, tourist locations and the list goes on. Almost every single state in the union boasts it's large list of interesting places to visit.
A well put together photographic project should involve the capturing of various images from the major cities in each state and to record various images within each. It should also include some up to date and relevant information about each site too. Such a project is very easily submitted and welcomed by several photographic publications and editorial boards, especially any that are located within the area of coverage.
Like many photo projects this particular theme can take some time to develop and bring to fruition. A lot of factors will influence the time line and outcome. Not only does one need to research and plan a travel itinerary, but researching addresses, routes, fees, accommodations and so on requires a lot of thinking and effort. It is usually best to record some images of one city at a time and at least one per month. This will make the project manageable and suitable for most individuals and budgets.
Once you have decided on which location to begin your project, then the next step is to map a list of your subjects and their interest value such as only museums, only historical places, or only tourist attractions, natural sites or a combination. The best scheme is to record a variety of images and a few from each category. If you only concentrate on one category you risk reducing your audience appeal to those only interested in museums for example.
Also it is worth keeping in mind what type of audience will be your focus; the young, the old, women, men, family etc. A good selection ensures a good portion from each group and background.
Any potential publication or manufacturer will also look at the creation of a calendar or the use of your images with an audience in mind so it is incumbent upon you to make images that attract a larger group of people. Alternative if you decide that you have a particular publication or purpose in mind for your photos, then the choices of subjects can vary widely.
Regardless of your choice of subjects, a good idea is to plan ahead and communicate with the local tourist board or chamber of commerce from the particular location. In many instances they will be able to offer you great tips and suggestions as well as perhaps offering travel, accommodations and meals discounts, some can even offer free guided transportation from site to site.
This is not solely done out of the goodness of their heart, most are very keen to the possible benefit that their location can receive from the publication of an attractive calendar or any other form of publicity.
Record images from various angles, perspectives, images during the day and some during the nigh. It is not necessary to record the same location or subject in many different ways, unless you have an abundance of time and resources, just some images from various locations in different formats.
If you however have an inclination towards book publishing, then the opposite would hold true and then your emphasis should include the same location done in different formats. Include people in your shots, other smaller interesting details, as well as some dining and accommodation photos.
Have a mindset that you are the sales staff for the location and this mentality will go along way in ensuring that your photos are well received by a interested commercial buyer.
It would also be appropriate to include some interesting details from each location as well as directions or links, and this is especially true if your project will be an Internet based one, although this particular theme is mostly geared towards calendar and print mediums.
Your images must be of exceedingly good quality and pleasing enough to be posted to an international audience, remember that your intention is to entice an audience into taking an interest in your subject selections and eventually visiting them, which is exactly the point of argument for making a sale of your photos.
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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez