Friday, October 10, 2008

Photos That Pay the Bills

Grain Elevator, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

Here is a photo from Seattle. This is a grain elevator that is next to the harbor. Why am I posting such a boring picture? 1) because I didn't shoot anything interesting today 2) to show you how I shoot my bread and butter shots for istockphoto.

To make money at istock you have to have some hero images that get downloaded over 100 times, but you also have some slow and steady earners. This picture falls into the slow and steady category. I bet this photo will sell 3 to 5 times a year. That's not much money, but considering the work involved in taking this photo it is a pretty fair return. I took this photo on the way to get a much better shot. I already had my equipment with me, saw the clear blue sky and an industrial building, and thought there is a quick $5. It's as easy as finding a $5 bill on the sidewalk.

Shooting stock photos like this won't make you rich, but having 100 photos like this in your portfolio means an extra $500/year in income. That's a couple speedlights, or maybe a Carbon fiber tripod. Not bad for five minutes work here and there.

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