It’s springtime in Saratoga, New York. So, while summer isn’t in full swing yet, downtown is getting busy with tourists. Folks are arriving from all over the country, even other parts of the world, each one intent on enjoying everything we offer here.
I moved here in 2000, mostly for the sport of horse racing. We have the oldest race track in the country, named one of the top 10 sporting venues in the U.S. I’d no idea that there were also lots of museums filled with history and culture, historic battlefields, a cottage where President Ulysses S. Grant spent his last days, and an artist retreat known as Yaddo Gardens.
I learned, within a month or so, that I should carry my camera with me all the time here. There were so many moments when a photograph presented itself, a candid shot that came out of nowhere but became a great memory. If my camera bag was home, or in the trunk of my car, I’d miss capturing it and kick myself afterward.
But I’m not just taking pictures for myself, I can also make money from them in different ways. Many of my photographs are framed and sold in local shops, at art fairs, from the walls of a café, or even the library. Clients often contact me on Facebook or photography platforms like Gurushots and Youpic, asking to purchase an image I’ve posted.
Local restaurants hire me to photograph food shots that feature dishes for a new menu when seasons change. Stock photography has proven to be a great source of income as well. After I take the photo, I edit, upload, and keyword it. People browse through my portfolios, choosing images they want to purchase. I get a portion of the sale. It’s a win-win.
As someone who occasionally goes overseas, taking and selling travel photos, it’s refreshing to learn that I can still profit from photography without even leaving my hometown.
It’s universally true that we don’t always appreciate the beauty and variety in our hometown, but take a moment to appreciate it and you’ll find that there are photo opportunities everywhere you look.
Mountains showcase their beauty here in the Adirondacks, with landscapes that take your breath away. Green Lakes State Park is tucked into the hillside an hour or so away—a clear blue-green color caused by melting glacier water that seems other-worldly.
And we celebrate everything, from our annual chowderfest and horse racing; to Santa’s arrival by sleigh, and Independence Day—events that bring thousands of people into the city. It’s a great time to play with street photography, capturing candid shots of everyday people enjoying life while visiting Saratoga.
We love craft beer and wine festivals, restaurant weeks, cooking demonstrations, ribbon cuttings, tulip, and lavender festivals—all of them a great way to practice photography and cherry-pick the best ones to sell.
Here’s the thing. I’d take these local photographs even if I couldn’t sell them. I love photography that much. The fact that I can collect a paycheck to help finance a vacation, dinner, or a new wardrobe sweetens the pot. A lot.
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