I will apologize in advance, as my photographs are meant for quality, not fast loading galleries. With resolution very high, and several pictures per gallery, you may have to wait as the galleries load. I hope we all appreciate quality over speed.
Photography began as a hobby for me. I started out just trying to document some of my travel experiences. As I started to travel to more interesting and exotic places, my interest in photography grew. In 2014, I was given a Canon Rebel T4i as a gift. That was the first of two events that conspired to turn my hobby into an obsession. The picture to the right is me and my trusty T4i, and a backpack full of lenses and gear, on a beach in Thailand.
The second event was much more happenstance. I was on a solo trip to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I was photographing an interestingly sculpted wall, when I noticed a woman taking the same photo that I was. We agreed to take pictures of each other, for each other, in front of the wall. Through our conversation around this, she mentioned that she is a freelance photographer from the USA (Illinois, I think). She mentioned that when she goes on vacation, she sells some of her photos when she gets back home. She mentioned that she usually makes enough to pay for her vacation by selling her vacation pictures.
To the left is the picture that the American woman took of me that day. As you can imagine, that revelation set my imagination in motion. I spent 12 hours on the flight home wondering if that was a viable plan. Could I fund some, or all, of my travel by selling photos? I was flying home with several hundred pictures of one of the coolest, and more remote tourist attractions in the world. I decided to investigate freelance photography when I got home.
Even as a hobbyist, I know that raw photos are rarely good enough. Spending a bit of time to ‘polish’ them is well worth the effort. Cropping, alignment, sometimes even light touch-ups are required to make a picture marketable. As with anything worth doing right, the devil is in the details. If you decide to look through my pictures, please bear in mind that I will spend the time to finish them before I try to sell them. That will take some time, but might wind up paying for another vacation.
Note: Since one of my goals is also to sell articles as a freelance writer, this website has been designed and built with that dual purpose in mind. Being published as a freelance writer is not a part of my 2019 goals, but I want the infrastructure in place so that I can pursue writing as a future goal. Perhaps in 2020 writing will be my priority.
So, here is the challenge and the experiment – I have allocated the 2019 calendar year, and a $1000 budget to prepare for this project. The project will include a website to market myself (this website) as a freelance photographer, with the capability to also market myself a freelance writer (freelance writing will be a project in 2020). It will also include software to ‘touch-up’ my images and investigating and joining some stock photography websites. Lastly, success will be achieved if I can sell one photograph by the end of the calendar year. Once the infrastructure and processes are in place, I will begin to market every photograph that I think might sell. I will use a blog post on this site to chronicle my progress throughout the year.
Follow-up Note: – On July 12th I successfully accomplished this challenge. My first picture sold. I am also well under budget. I paid roughly $300 (CDN) for web hosting and roughly $150 (US) for image editing software. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
For the remainder of the year I will endeavor to do the following:
- Get the rest of my existing images finished and posted to Shutterstock.
- Publish all of my finished images to iStock and Adobe Stock.
- Go on an international trip to photograph some really cool place and add those images to the collections.
- Continue to learn about photo finished with Luminar 3.
I should easily have enough time this year to finish off this project and see how much passive income I can generate.