Hometown Photos: Six Guidelines for Shooting Photography that Sells

Professional photographer Rich Wagner here again with some final tips on selling your photos locally.  Today, I’d like to start with two simple propositions.

First a definition of what fine art photography is. I define it as something, anything, that people want to hang on a wall for decoration.

The second proposition is that people choose to hang things on their wall that they enjoy looking at or have a personal connection to.

I’ve shown you some of my “comfort food” photos. (You can see them again in my article from yesterday on selling your photos locally here.)  How do you know what that means in your world? Believe me, it’s easier than you think. Let me give you some guidelines.

1. First, and most important -- understand that if you find it interesting and/or beautiful, so will others. Sing your own version of “My Favorite Things” and start there...you know, raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Notice I said interesting, not just beautiful. Cows are interesting; maple trees in fall are beautiful.

2. Concentrate on your composition skills. What do you include… what do you leave out… and how will you arrange the elements in the picture? We have a lot of information to help you. Good composition is very, very important. It’s the difference between a snapshot and a fine art photo.

3. Once you find a subject and composition, you need the right light. Usually that’s morning or evening. Often you have to wait and experiment. Some shots happen instantly; some you have to go back again and again.

4. If you’re lucky enough to live in a place where there is a change of seasons, be sure to shoot all year around. I have framed pieces that show all the seasons of the year in one piece that sell well.

Here is an example of that:

5. The best place to start is by shooting what interests you. I know people who love flowers, chickens, mist, rain, dogs, cats, horses, bridges. I frame photographs for an artist that floats drops of oil on water to create beautiful soft patterns. There are no limits.

6. Finally, keep your eyes open as you move through the world you live in. That rainbow is there somewhere waiting for you to discover it.

If you remember, earlier this week, I said that some of my most saleable photos were just a result of my finding the brake pedal in my car.  And stopping to capture the interesting and/or beautiful view before me.

I challenge you now to find the brake pedal in your life. And stop and take a picture. You never know what sorts of masterpieces you might walk away with.

Share on Facebook

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]