Cash in Your Vacation Snaps

My little camera and I were having a great time on vacation. We didn’t want to go home. I had no idea that the simple images I was taking with my standard pocket digital camera would pay for the whole trip.

My daughter was teaching in France and I was on vacation visiting her. We started in Paris for a few days and then moved on to other parts of France. For this trip, not knowing the value of the images I was to take, I had only packed my little point and shoot.

Paris is a fantastic city to take pictures—full of shaded back alleys…romantic architecture…just-washed evening gowns fluttering from balconies—it’s photo heaven.

Most European towns have a Saturday market and Paris’ oldest was around the corner from the little hotel we stay at. It was a perfect photo opportunity.

We got there right after breakfast, as they usually close around noon. Every kind of food, drink and produce was on display—and it was all fair game for my lens.

My smaller camera came in really handy—it meant I could get nice close-ups. I filled my frame with exotic mushrooms, cheese and other produce.

I was forewarned not to touch anything—when you want something, you point to it and let the seller touch. The stall owners were friendly but whenever I took a lot of images in one place I would buy maybe an apple as a gesture of good will.

But then things threatened to get out of control—my photography outing looked like it could turn into a full-blown shopping trip. I would stop to take photos outside little shops with interesting window displays and then find myself being drawn inside. I walked away with things that proved both delightful to shoot—and eat!

In European cities square footage is limited, so most restaurants are built on several levels. We went upstairs for lunch that day—I find I get more interesting shots hanging out of windows and shooting down the alleys from above.

But my little camera didn’t just get to see Paris…

We took trains, buses, boats, metros (subways) and rental cars to get to the great beauties of France…mountains…countryside…waterfront towns. I photographed food, donkeys, flowers, salt, walls, clothing, textures, dogs, birds and, well, anything that caught my eye.

Castles were my favorite. These old structures are often been built in a way which funnels natural light inside. This makes them a perfect location for photographs. I snapped flower arrangements, tea settings, copper pots and many other great images inside these ancient fortresses.

A few years ago, I started posting my photos to “stock” websites (anyone can do this) and buyers would find me, to buy individual photos. But this time, one buyer wanted to buy all my photos. It couldn’t have been easier—and that one sale alone paid for the trip.

Editor’s Note: If you’d like to learn more about ways you can pay for your life or travels overseas, including travel writing and photography, sign up for Fund Your Life Overseas, a free e-letter from International Living. Sign up here and we’ll send you a free report: Fund Your New Life Overseas With These 5 Portable Careers.

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