One of the Easiest Stock Photos to Take

Pop quiz: What do these photos (all taken by workshop attendees here in Cotacachi, Ecuador) have in common?

Easy Stock Photo

by Peter Canaday

by Lisa Miller

by Nelda Bernal

by Kathleen Uhlmann

If you guessed that they all focus on the details… you’re right!

Detail shots are fun and easy to take -- and they can be very saleable, too.

Bonnie here, again, with your third on-the-ground dispatch from Cotacachi. We’re having so much fun meeting the people here, learning how they live and delving deeper into the culture through the camera lens.

You’d be surprised what three days of shooting and review can do for your photos. Everyone has improved tremendously -- and the workshop’s not even over yet.

Yesterday, we took everyone to Peguche -- the village of the weavers -- where we loaded up on detail shots -- close-ups of yarn bobbins, weaving hands, wooden looms, textures and patterns…

You don’t have to travel to exotic locales to take great detail shots, either. Stock agencies need details of everyday items, too.

Here are some tips Shelly gave us on making your detail shots saleable as stock:

** 1. Get in close. And when you think you’re getting in close enough… get in closer. Fill the frame with nothing but the subject. Really make it obvious what the subject of your photo is, and eliminate any clutter or distractions by cropping them out.

** 2. Shoot odds. When you’re photographing a number of objects -- say some yarn bobbins on the floor of a weaver’s shop… roses floating in a fountain at a spa… or even coconut shrimp on your plate… try to get an odd number of things into your frame. For some reason, viewers (and buyers) are more drawn to images with an odd number of objects. It’s more balanced than an image with an even number.

** 3. Focus. Do you know where you’re focusing in your image? Or is your camera deciding that for you? Before pointing your camera at a subject and pushing the button, make sure that you focus on something in the shot, and that it looks intentional. You’d be surprised how many photos don’t pass stock inspection because they’re slightly blurry.

Today, we head to San Antonio de Ibarra, the nearby woodcarving village. I’ve been so impressed with how quickly everyone’s improving, I can’t wait to see what photos come out of this excursion. And the best part is: we get to take the skills we’re learning here in Ecuador home with us, and continue getting better and better -- and selling more, too.

Stay tuned for your last stock photo tip from Ecuador tomorrow…

Hasta manana,

-- Bonnie

Bonnie Caton
Editorial Manager, Great Escape Publishing

[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.]