Photo Tip: Working the Image

Here’s this week’s photo tip, from professional photographer Shelly Perry, on playing with the angles and focus of your shot to get your most saleable image…

-- Lori

Lori Allen
Director, Great Escape Publishing


When you plan a subject to photograph, or stumble upon one, it’s important to “work the image.” What I mean by that is: Don’t just take one photo and call it good. Amazing images don’t usually materialize in one shot… and if you walk away with just one, you will more than likely leave the best shot on the table.

Here, below, is an example from my own experience. This was a stumble-upon situation at one of our live photography workshops in Paris. Notice all the clutter in the background…

WOrking the image

My first idea for this shot was to include the clutter so the viewer could see that this was taken in a café. I took this shot from several different angles including more of the basket on the right… less of the basket… more of the cups in the back… less of the cups in the back.

And finally, I got in much closer to the cup and eliminated the clutter all together…

Having worked the image for these two different shots, I got the image that buyers prefer (the uncluttered second shot), and also gave buyers more than one option.

Thank goodness I didn’t just stop at the first one or two pictures I took that day. And that’s the point I want you to leave with, too.

Take more than a few shots and experiment with your angles and how much foreground and background you include in your image.

[Ed. Note: If you’re using a camera that allows you to change your aperture and shutter speed, then you can also experiment with your depth of field to blur your items in the background. On Friday, I’ll send you a quick tip on how to easily remember the settings you want when you want to experiment with depth of field in your photos.

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.]


February’s Photo Challenge theme is “Life is Sweet.” If you have a picture to submit, log on to our website and click on the Enter to Win link. (Note: First-time users need to register on the "register" link on the right side bar first. Once you have a username and password, click "Enter to Win" to upload your photo. Only one photo per applicant will be considered. No purchase necessary to register.)