Selling Your Photos Locally: Take Advantage of Your Hometown

Yesterday I told you about three of my photographs that sold last week. Here are those shots:

You’re probably thinking that you can easily take pictures like these.  And you’re right, you can.

I was trying to estimate how much income these three have generated in the past few years. My records are not that detailed, and while these are good sellers, they’re not the best. But there is no doubt that the figure runs into the thousands of dollars.

So let’s talk about what makes them attractive to buyers.

One factor that is common to all is that they are part of the local scenery. Most people who live here and many who just might be here for a visit would recognize them. But that is only a part of the story.

People buy art they find pleasant to look at. No one wants to hang something on the wall that they find upsetting or ugly. Raise your hand if you like sunflowers. Raise your hand if you think cows are cute. How about fall foliage?

These are simple, and hopefully well composed, photographs of ordinary things that we see all around us and we have grown fond of. In some ways, these are the photographic equivalent of comfort food. Warm, homey, and satisfying.

While I’ve paid my dues in learning how to use my equipment, compose and expose well, none of that matters without two other factors. I’m always paying attention to what is going on around me -- as my friend said, I’m always looking for where the rainbow is; and I’m willing to stop the car, or stop what I’m doing at any given moment and take a photograph.

And you’d do well to internalize that idea, too – you’ll never get paid for a photo you never take.

Tomorrow, I’ll send some tips for finding the “comfort food” photos in your own hometown.

Until then, remember – comfort food isn’t always the best food.  It’s simply the food that makes us feel at peace.  It’s something from our childhood or something that brings back good memories and makes us feel all warm and cozy inside.

Local photos work the same way.  They don’t have to be Ansel Adams quality (though I’d love it if you could create your own version of that).  What makes people buy them is the warm and fuzzy feeling they get… that hometown comfort they feel when they look at the images.

Take that idea out with you when you shoot.  And stay tuned tomorrow for a specific list of places that give people that feeling.

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[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.]