The Best Market for Your Photos: Three Questions to Ask

When you’re looking through your photography, ask yourself these three questions to see what would be the best market for your photos:

** Could this photo sell a product or idea?

If you look at a photo and can immediately picture it selling a product or idea in an ad, it might be a good photo to sell as STOCK. Take a look at this photo by professional photographer Shelly Perry, for example:

Shelly snapped this shot in her hotel room, put it up for sale on, and has now sold it over 600 times. It could be used to sell a wide variety of things, from wireless internet service to hotel bookings and hospitality to portable computers.

** Can I see this framed on a wall in a home or business?

Not every saleable photo would look good on a wall. Take the above stock photo, for example. But if you can imagine a photo of yours framed and displayed on a wall, it might be a good FINE ART photo. Take this photo by professional photographer Rich Wagner, for example:

Not only is this photo a beautiful piece of art, but it sells particularly well in Rich’s hometown, where people recognize the scene. This is actually Rich’s best-selling shot, bringing in over $20,000 in income. This photo might work as stock, as it might be able to sell some product or idea, but it’s stronger as a fine art photo.

** Does this photo help tell a specific story?

If you love street shooting and travel photography, you probably have quite a few photos that are part of a specific story. If that’s the case, you should try combining some with a travel article and selling them to a magazine as EDITORIAL.

Have a look at this magazine photo by professional photographer Efrain Padro:

You probably wouldn’t imagine this photo framed on a wall, and you couldn’t sell it as stock since it has logos on the cocktail sauce containers. But it IS part of a bigger story on San Francisco. This speaks to the fresh fish and markets you find when you travel to San Francisco, and is just one of a number of destination photos Efrain put together into an article/photo package.

When you travel, or even when you’re touring around your hometown, there’s no reason why you can’t shoot for all three of these markets. Knowing where each of your shots will sell best will help you target certain markets, so you don’t waste time trying to sell a fine art shot as editorial, or vice-versa.

[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.]

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