The Niche In Your Back Yard

You can give the same camera to 100 different people yet you will see 100 unique collections of work after the people have created a collection of images. This is because as individuals we all see the world differently and our creativity will gravitate toward what interests us the most. In the end our talents and tastes will direct us toward our niche in photography. But what is the niche in your back yard?

I began thinking about this when I had a spurt of eight sales in a two day period. My portfolio, though growing, is still too small to be of any significance within the stock world. With DT approaching 7 million images, surely there should be no expectations of any real sales for what I have available. But eight sales in two days? When I looked at which images sold, I realized that most of the images were REGIONAL subjects that no one else on DT has photographed. In other words, all I did was rhetorically walk down the street and photograph subjects that are located in my part of the world.

You can look at the large portfolios of the "big time" stock photographers and see many creative and innovative ideas, but they are also images that anyone can do. Still, stock photography is a business and regardless of how successful you are, are you maximizing profits? While you're dreaming up that next great business concept, have you photographed the images in your regional back yard that will bring in additional sales beyond that you normally do?

Here's an example of an image I just recently uploaded. It's the NFL Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

I considered uploading it months ago but I didn't think it was a good photograph and there were technical problems. It was merely a quick snapshot while on a vacation. Since then I have learned how to remove noise and take care of other issues so I worked it and it was accepted. I still don't think it's what I would call a great image (for the subject) but IT IS THE ONLY IMAGE ON DT OF THIS SUBJECT. It remains to be seen how well it will sell but I have no competition! It is unique to DT! That may change after posting this blog :-) but I think you get the idea.

In your back yard there are many mundane subjects you can photograph, but just because they are mundane doesn't mean they are not worthy as stock images. Wherever you live in the world, it is an exotic location for everyone else so you should not ignore the potential of the extra sales they can generate.

For example, I randomly picked some subjects and came up with this keyword search: SHANGHAI MONORAIL. There are only four images on DT that come up and the one I'm showing here has 25 sales! The four of them have a total of 51 sales! It is a simple, every day scene but it is also an image that virtually none of us can photograph because it is not in our back yard.

So... what images are there in YOUR region of the world that can generate extra sales beyond what you normally photograph? Keyword search MICROSOFT HEADQUARTERS: zero images come up. Someone in that part of the world is missing out on potential sales. Unique images from where you live will have virtually no competition and this is the niche in your back yard!

Thanks for reading and I hope this topic will help with getting you extra sales.

Photo credits: Holger Mette, Wisconsinart.

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August 19, 2009


Very true for the most part. I do have two comments however on this:

Most of my photos are from my backyard but problem is my backyard is a popular travel destination so there are quite a few photos from here (Greece).

The other drawback is that, in my case, this limits my sales in way by not having a varied portfolio with different subjects.

August 18, 2009


insightful blog ~ yep we really should start looking at our respective backyards with new eyes.. :)

August 18, 2009


Very true - even if those people took photos of the same thing they would all be different photos. Back yards are very overlooked - I just wish mine was in the US as well.

August 17, 2009


Nice blog!

Wisconson is a beautiful state, I have a sister that lives in Fennimore near Madison, you near there?

I live in the Milwaukee area. Is your sister young and pretty? No, I don't need a date, I need a model. ;-)

August 17, 2009


Great blog! I totally agree with you. :0)

August 17, 2009


Great blog.

August 17, 2009


Nice blog!

Wisconson is a beautiful state, I have a sister that lives in Fennimore near Madison, you near there?

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