School children wave from their front porch as you glide through the watery neighborhoods of Bangkok, the “Venice of the East,” on your wooden boat. Lush foliage…colorful laundry hung out to dry…and people carrying market goods in boats go by as you make your way along the canals to the floating market.
Your friends will never believe it if you describe it all to them, so you pull your camera from its bag and snap a few photos to show them what it felt like to be there, in the midst of the action. And here’s the result…
Little do you know, a few of those very photos will later earn you an income and even show up on Thai tourism websites.
That’s how it happened for me—and it could for you, too, every time you travel.
After my trip, I put some photos up on a stock photo website and they’ve been selling there ever since, contributing to my stock photo income.
Selling your travel photos online as stock is fun. You don’t have to spend any time actually “selling.” All you do is upload your photos to the site, add keywords so people can find them, and then go about your business. As you travel, eat lunch, read a good book—even as you sleep—your photos are selling to buyers around the world.
And you never know who will buy your photo or how they’ll use it. For example, I spotted one of my Bangkok canal photos on the front page of Bangkok.com, a tourism site for Thailand. Another photo I took of a nature trail in a famous park showed up on National Geographic Poland! And yet another made it as the cover of a psychology book.
But my favorite photo I’ve found in use was the doormat…
After a long, meandering walk up the ages-old, stone steps of Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, France, I looked out over the scene in front of me. Marshes and ocean stretched out in one direction, the French countryside in the other. It was a misty day—not ideal for landscape photography. So I shot photos of architectural details…including one of a heavy wooden door with metal spikes. Very dungeonesque…
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