Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Microstock: Travel Photos

Travel and photography seem to come hand in hand naturally. When you visit an interesting or beautiful place, you want to capture the beauty of the place to share with family & friends when are back home. Many people start their first journey with photography during their first travel experience. It is natural too to think that travel photos are ideal candidates for stock photography.

The founder of one of the more prominent microstock sites - Shutterstock, was a travel photographer, too. He started selling his own travel photos to various customers. Then he found that being the only contributing photographer, he didn't have enough time & energy to shoot enough photos for his customers. That came the microstock agency - Shutterstock.

Till now, you may think that travel photos must be selling well at all the stock sites. Not true. On the contrary, travel photos in general don't have good sales. Why? How many travel magazines out there in your local bookstore/news-stand? How many travel fairs does your city host every year? Yes, customers do come in to grap photos from time to time, but that is about it.

However, you should not be completely disappointed with travel photos. There are still some tips that can help you improve your sales of travel photos.

1. Have photos of all the HOT spots. World events, especially the rise of some new economy power will attract lots of interest to the place. For example, My Ho Chih Ming City series has been doing pretty well.
2. Get a series of travel photos, instead of sporadic ones. Sometimes customers want to do a story or something about a place, they will just come in and grap everything related to the same place. Voila! You will have sudden jump of sales :-)
3, Be unique. Many tourist hot spots have been photographed zillion times by others. In order to catch some eyeballs, you have to grap attentions. Even photographing a cliche place, try different angles.

Ok, I will stop my mumbling here. Happy shooting :)

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