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5 Tips for Creating Worthless Photography

September 9, 2013 Business, Creativity, Marketing & Self Promotion 4 Comments

Written by: Charlie Borland

Not every photographer is in the business to license their imagery and earn an income and profit, but for those photographers who are working hard to make a decent living, a strategy for success is crucial.

As we know creating great photography is only one small part of success as a professional nature photographer.  You also need a strategy for successfully marketing and meeting the needs of image buyers.  Images that created with more than the ‘pretty picture’ mindset can and often do perform better in the markets. But maybe that is not important.

Bottom line is if the imagery is not selling it could be that you are creating worthless photography and why it is worthless could be for many reasons and maybe these:

1)      You don’t work too hard! You go out and shoot after the Today show and are back in time for a 6 pm dinner. The same fundamental ideas of technical perfection that make people

The crappy shot might very well be worthless as I stopped and shot it with my phone while in a bad mood and in less than flattering light.

ooh and ahh, can be forgotten. The techniques that create an appreciation whether simply being viewed or purchased can be overlooked. Poor light, poor composition, poor exposure, or poor subjects will create an image that is worthless and will keep you poor.

2)      Skip the costly DSLR. Your phone most likely captures amazingly high quality images and a niche market has developed for that style of imagery. You can also leave out the tripod and variations on lenses as well. Just step out of the car and capture the image, then find the next amazingly worthless digital capture. Much easier right?

3)      Shooting what is already available. If you want to know what to shoot just look at the stock photo agency websites for areas that interest you. Take Yosemite for example. You want to go there and photograph, so search and see what Yosemite features, like El Capitan, are most prevalent on the sites. The more images of a specific location might mean the more demand there is for that location in Yosemite, why else would they all be up there, so go shoot the same as everybody else!

4)      Forget about being different. Every style and niche has been covered by somebody, so there’s no reason to work hard to stand out. Besides being like everybody else provides the opportunity to think you are better than everybody else and believing you are better than everybody else is far more valuable than money to pay the bills.

5)      Build it and they will come! That is a famous line from somewhere and probably from another time. It worked then so why not now? How else would that line still be so prevalent today? Really, if you shoot what you want and only when you are in the mood, believing it is all about volume images acquired as quickly as possible, you have built it. Then you just have to wait for them to come and no doubt, the line will begin forming shortly.

Of course these 5 tips are not serious tips at all. Nobody wants to create worthless photography, but so many do. The markets are saturated with great imagery and are easier than ever to create by an increasing number of photographers and that oversupply forces prices to drop and has made it harder…..period!

Create images worthy of compensation

To create ‘worthy’ photography you have to work hard, very hard. You need to be as creative as your abilities provide. You have to go out and shoot when the times are perfect and not when your mood is perfect.  You need quality equipment and a variety of lenses that allows you to interpret the scene in the perfect way (wide angle vs. telephoto).

You need to use the best light for the scene that creates mood and emotion. You need to take advantage of great conditions and poor conditions to capture the drama that nature provides. You need to focus on subjects that are in demand and it requires substantial effort to make that evaluation. If you are not sure what I mean; go shoot Global Warming! Make sense?

Strive to be different. Strive to be better. Strive to create in a manner never seen before. Strive to standout. Not every subject has been captured in every possible way. There is room for you and there always will be. Just think about all the magazines and books and websites that show images you have never seen before. Someone created them!

You build it and now and to get them to come you have to market, advertise, blog, publish a book, socialize, and work very, very hard, to get noticed. And if you successfully can do all these ‘worthwhile’ steps you will create images that are worthy of monetary compensation.

If you have a worthless comment, please leave it.

Related Posts: Here’s Why You Should Shoot Stock and Assignments, Shooting for the Markets: Humans Impact on Nature






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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Thanks for a good article with some great reminders and tips! The worthwhile ones, not the worthless ones. :-) I especially like your points about hard work and getting out when the light is right – I know from personal experience that its easy to get lazy and not get up early enough or stay out late enough to get the best shots and I am going to bookmark this as a reminder to do better. Thanks!

  2. admin says:

    Thanks for jumping in Mike!


  3. Very effective post!! Though I used to sometimes think how do you get the person, place or thing that is in front of the camera onto the film, chip or paper in just the way you want? Photography is something that makes me happy and feel alive.

  4. […] Posts: 5 Tips for Creating Worthless Photography, Photographing With A […]

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