Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)

Yesterday I reached 100 uploads and had my biggest sale to date. I joined June 2, 2011 and am still learning a lot so my approval rate is under 50% but I got to 100 by making the most of every day. “Carpe Diem” (Seize the Day) should be the mantra of stock photographers.

It is easy to remember to take your camera to the zoo, or a classic car show, or flower gardens but the every day life is where the money is!

To give you a small idea, my best seller so far was the photo I took of a man showing a young boy how to make a clay pot, on the street, at a craft show. I was feeling fairly good after a whole day of wine tasting but still had the presence of mind to compose that shot when I saw it right in front of me. Really, what job pays you to go out drink and party? (okay I’ve had a few but none where I was the boss).

I also took these backgrounds at the same craft show.They are the sides of lamps.

These shots I took on my way to dinner. Just watching the people trying to beat the heat on the river,

and this shot I took AT dinner.

People are getting used to me photographing my food and drinks. Why not make your meals pay for themselves? Also, look closely at the images on the menus. Get some ideas. The Olive Garden has really awesome images on the drink and desert menu, great ideas for layouts.

These bird houses were at a craft show and their first sale was within 1 week of upload, the same one where the quilts in my portfolio were shot, and I asked the artist if it was okay to photograph his art. Always do this. It will save you some embarrassment, as some people get very upset. If they say “NO”, then continue on. I have rarely had people say “NO” so there will be plenty of other things to photograph.

Make it a point to check out fun things that are happening in your area and make them pay off for you.

Craft Fairs, Farmer’s Markets, Specialty food festivals, home tours, a walk in the park etc. ALWAYS CARRY BLANK MODEL RELEASES and don’t be afraid to ask strangers for a release. The difference between you and me might be those sales you missed because you were afraid to ask and I was not. Sometimes people will say “NO”. Don’t take it personally. Move on.

If you belong to any clubs, certainly make use of that. This image came from the Central Oregon Donkey Association play day. After we had done some training exercises with our donkeys, we turned them out to play with each other.

Sewing clubs can get you some great quilt images, which are popular. Reading clubs some good shots of people reading, and camera clubs…well, how much camera stuff to YOU buy?

A few minutes at Starbucks visiting with a friend……(Don’t forget those editorial shots.)

I know at some point I might want to settle into a niche, but until I figure out what that is, why waste the time and places available? I can pare down my portfolio when I see what I do best at. At this point I am still learning, researching and….making every day an adventure!

Carpe Diem!

Photo credits: Ginger Sanders.

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August 09, 2011


Congratulations on reaching 100 uploads. You have got great ideas and the right attitude to do well in stock photography. Keep going and all the best for the future.

Best wishes

August 09, 2011


Congratulations on reaching that 100 milestone! I love that "clay hands" shot.

August 08, 2011


Congratulations on your 100!

August 04, 2011


Thanks again! I see you managed to get three more uploads :-) You do work hard! Ewapix

August 04, 2011


For most artwork, no. I think for a few of the super well known items in the world you might need a PR like you do for some architecture. Happy to inspire :)

August 04, 2011


Thank you so much for this article. Congratulation on your 100 uploads! I registered with DT in March 2011, but did not dare to upload until June (I was doing research on the market, reading posts, blogs, websites etc) and still have only 14 uploads. I think I am a bit too scared of things and certainly never approached anybody who I don't know for a photo opportunity. Do you need a release for photos of art and craft pieces you then sell at DT, by the way? Your article is really inspirational to me - many thanks again! Ewapix

August 03, 2011


Congratulations andt hanks for your advices, very useful indeed!

August 03, 2011


100 uploads in just 2 months is great! well done

August 03, 2011


Awesome achievement in such a short time

August 03, 2011


Good thoughts. Every time I don't have my camera with me I kick myself. After a few months of shooting for stock, one starts developing an eye that examines every scene for possible shots.

August 02, 2011


Thanks for sharing some great advice, it was really good to see it paired up with some examples.

August 02, 2011



August 02, 2011


Congratulations !

August 02, 2011


Well done. Carpe diem!!!

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