Rome…Paris…And a $5K Photo Pay-Off

The ancient Romans painstakingly carved out some 250,000 miles of road across Europe, every inch of which led to their home city. So the phrase, “All roads lead to Rome” was actually true. These days, though, you’ll probably arrive in the “Eternal City” via the airport.

A mix of modern and ancient, Rome, Italy can be a little overwhelming at first. The pace is fast, the people vibrant and the food amazing. Colorful and rich, it’s also a great place to take photos.

In Rome, the richness of life makes me partial to small details. I take a lot of shots of textures and close-ups. The flow of fabric against a leg…a man’s scarf (European men sport elegant scarves)…lips sipping wine…ancient symbols in stone…the edges of the Coliseum…bread dipping in to olive oil…so many little bits of the overall culture can fall into your lens with little effort.

Walking is the norm for photographers but Rome is a very easy place to get lost in, so a little advice is in order. Always carry a map or a GPS. Rome is a safe city but like most places that attract tourists, there can be pickpockets around. So store your camera and other valuables carefully. Use your common sense and you’ll be fine.

In the middle of Rome, you’ll find Vatican City, a country unto itself and well worth a trip. Photos are allowed in most places around the Vatican but watch out for the signs.

Surprisingly, there is also a dress code. Covered shoulders and knees are required (no shorts or tube tops). Also, ignore the tour guides trying to sell you fast passage through security by telling you it will take hours to get through the line; it moves fast.

In true Italian fashion, Vatican City is vast and timeless. The large area that is St. Peter’s Basilica is breathtaking. Look out for precious moments unfolding around you. I spotted a wedding taking place in a quiet alcove. The bride and groom had to make their way through the throngs of people after the ceremony was finished, but that’s the price you pay for the glory of being married at The Vatican. The crowd cheered as the beautiful couple made their way across the plaza, the woman wearing a dress suitable for marriage in the world’s biggest church.

This happy couple were among the sights I captured on camera during my trip to Rome. I’ve uploaded their pictures, along with the others I snapped around the city, to microstock websites that allow me to sell my images with the minimum of effort.

And it didn’t stop there. After seeing my pictures online, a client got in touch and asked me to travel to photograph Paris for a stock website he was putting together. I was paid $5,000—twice as much as the fun, exciting trip cost me. That’s the sort of money you can expect if you get established in this quick-and-easy style of photography.

And it’s not just about images of romantic, far-flung places like Rome. In fact, you can get started in your own home…your garden…your neighborhood…or the local park. That’s because images of simple, everyday things are in demand, too. So get your camera out, and get ready to make some money.

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