111 Things You Can Get Paid to Photograph

These are things that you can photograph and turn your pictures into cash starting right now. And the best news — those money-making photo opportunities are right there in your hometown, and even in your own home.

These are just ideas to help you get started. So use these ideas, to be sure, but don’t stop there. Also, use them as a jumping-off place for your imagination.

Always have your camera handy and be prepared to snap!

Remember there is no limit to how many pictures you can take, and therefore no limit on how much money you can earn with them.

Shoot for the moon — even if you miss, you’ll end up in the stars!

 

Here are 111 things that you can photograph today, and earn cash!

Animals

Animals in General

Natural wildlife is beautiful and beckons to be photographed. Get some exercise and go to a local park (or your backyard!) and snap photos of the squirrels, birds, ants, puppies playing, and anything else that crosses your path.

If you are a nature lover, be sure to stock up on bug photos as anything creepy crawly tends to sell well. Especially with Halloween as a major commercial holiday — you can snap a neat spider web and pay for your costume with it!

Animals in General Photography

 

Farm Animals

When I lived in Pennsylvania, I had Amish friends who used to let me visit their farm and photograph the livestock. Not everyone will have this opportunity, but photographing farm animals in their natural state can be a beautiful sight.

There are sometimes local farms, orchards, and petting zoos that have farm animals you could photograph.

 

Pets

Pets run our lives, we buy houses, carrying cases, clothes, gourmet food . . . the list is endless for what some pets receive as gifts and accessories. This will help you make a profit.

If you don’t have pets, photograph your neighbors’ pets, or go to a shelter and play with some animals waiting to be adopted. Not only will you make their day, but you may make a few dollars as well.

These will be good photographs to sell to magazines, local newspapers (if the animals are up for adoption, this could be GREAT!), and also stock photography. If you take professional portraits of your pets, they could be sold as fine art to veterinary offices, animal shelters, and much more!

 

Veterinary Office

When you take Fido to the vet, take pictures on the examination table, getting his shots, getting weighed, being snuggled by the vet, etc. Don’t forget the other animals in the office, staff members with the different animals, any medical equipment, and so on.

This is a lucrative category because most people don’t think of it. I’m not saying ignore your sick pet to make a buck, but if Fido is content, snap some shots!

 

Zoo Animals

We all love an exotic pet! My sister went to Sea World one time (not a zoo, but similar!) and happened to capture the birth of a baby whale on video.

She told that video to the park for $10,000. Be in the right place, at the right time, with your finger on the trigger—SHOOT. That lonely monkey at the zoo might be your ticket to those new boots you wanted!

 

Around the House

Books

If you have a home library, photograph the shelves full of knowledge. Stack some favorites on a table.

pen one up and play around with the pages—use them as props and get creative. These make great stock photos.

 

Candles

Take pictures of different candle colors, and the melted wax is poured into a dish or another candle. Pour colored waxes down the side of a white pillar candle and enjoy the beauty as you photograph that work of art. Then sell the picture and the candle! Double whammy! This could be sold as fine art if done well and stock photography as well.

 

Chores

When the kids are scrubbing the toilets, grab your camera! Not because this may never happen again (maybe?) but because cleaning is a big industry, and marketers love pictures of people using cleaning products to sell their “better” products. Photograph the sweeping, dusting, folding, and other general cleaning chores around the house.

 

Clean House

An empty kitchen free of clutter, a clean and neat bathroom, a decorated bedroom freshly vacuumed — these can be used in home and garden magazines, stock photography, and sometimes as fine art. Restaurants hang pictures of different kitchens and such sometimes.

 

Daily Routines

A simple toothbrush with toothpaste, a child brushing his teeth, a hairbrush, shower loofa, shaving kit, bar of soap, towels — these depicts a daily shower routine. Now photograph the coffee-making process, filter, and scoop included! These are good stock photographs.

 

Comfortable Beds

Comfy pillows and blankets always bring about warm thoughts of sleeping and dreaming. Businesses that specialize in sleep comfort use photographs of people trying out new beds, new pillows, and blankets. These can either be stock photos or fine art.

 

Dining Room

Set the table, and then make themed place settings. Use different dishes, and photograph from all angles. Elegance is best when you are shooting décor stock photographs. This could be fun in bringing out your inner Martha Stewart.

 

Curtains

“End of scene” curtains are used in many outlets of the entertainment industry. The red curtains are proverbial and most often thought of, but think of others as well. Hospital, shower, window — they all serve a purpose. Your friends may think you are weird for taking a picture of a closed curtain, but they will not be laughing so much when you cash your checks!

 

Family Room

There are really two photo opportunities here.

Stylish living rooms are great to stock photographs, as long as you don’t have the focal point on personal items. Clear away any pictures, notebooks, clutter and just photograph the colors and furniture. You want the ambiance and the setting.

At the same time, remember that “family” shots are always in demand. So snap pictures of your family watching a movie, playing games, etc.

 

Garage

There is way more to a garage than tools. In this room, you can photograph everything from working hard to lounging about.

Do you have a ping pong table? How about a canoe? Are your skis stored in the garage? There are plenty of options here, snap away!

 

Mismatched Socks, Etc.

Your photo of the bottom of the laundry bin with the 1,000 “orphan” socks will bring a laugh but also a sense of “me too.” There is another bonus here. This is the sort of “everyday-ness” that isn’t often photographed. If a marketer is looking for something like this, yours may be the only photo he finds.
Expand this idea into the hundreds of other everyday scenes, and you could make some serious money from your pictures of everyday life.

Just think about how much money people have paid for Norman Rockwell paintings! (Not sure who Norman Rockwell is? Google his name, and get hundreds of ideas for capturing the beauty in everyday life!)

 

Home Improvement

Whether you are repainting your kitchen or adding on a bedroom, home improvement provides lots of opportunity for stock photography. You can sell these photographs as stock or to magazines and publications that specialize in “Do-it-yourself” projects. This is also a great way to recoup some of your cost of making those improvements.

 

Laundry

Take pictures in your closet, on your shelves, in your laundry basket and as someone folds the clean clothes too. These are all great stock photographs.

 

Paint

An empty kitchen free of clutter, a clean and neat bathroom, a decorated bedroom freshly vacuumed — these can be used in home and garden magazines, stock photography, and sometimes as fine art. Restaurants hang pictures of different kitchens and such sometimes.

 

Tools

Step into the garage and assess the tool situation. Do you have lots of tools? Use that to your advantage and take pictures of them, either stationary or while someone uses them. Hammers, saws, grinders, welders—these are all great photos. Old rusty tools you pick up at thrift stores or rehab stores make great pictures as well.

 

School Supplies

Comfy pillows and blankets always bring about warm thoughts of sleeping and dreaming. Businesses that specialize in sleep comfort use photographs of people trying out new beds, new pillows, and blankets. These can either be stock photos or fine art.

 

Swimming Pool

Fun in the sun makes everyone happy! Take pictures of diving, cannonballing, swimming underwater, with masks, on floats—the water itself. Ripples after someone jumps in — there are endless opportunities around a pool. These make good fine art pieces if done well, and great stock photographs.

 

Around Town

Bus & Train Stations

This will satisfy your need to fill up your travel section of stock photographs without having to actually leave town. Maybe you can’t go away right now, but you long to sell travel photography. Bus and train stations are full of travelers, so snap pictures of their suitcases, the buses being loaded, the schedules. It all pertains to travel.

 

Cityscapes

If you live in a larger city, with the availability of high-rise buildings silhouetted in the sunset, then I don’t need to tell you to take city skyline photos. But maybe your town is a little smaller, or your buildings are cool but not tall. It doesn’t matter; local cityscapes will draw attention and love. They’re familiar, they’re beautiful, and people love them.

 

Commercial Real Estate

Building, offices, Churches, any sort of commercial real estate has a market in the photography industry. From stock photos to real estate agents paying for pictures of their listings, there is a good opportunity for freelance success in photographing real estate.

 

Crazy Traffic

This will satisfy your need to fill up your travel section of stock photographs without having to actually leave town. Maybe you can’t go away right now, but you long to sell travel photography. Bus and train stations are full of travelers, so snap pictures of their suitcases, the buses being loaded, the schedules. It all pertains to travel.

 

Famous Landmarks

Everyone knows what the White House looks like, and has seen a zillion pictures of it. That doesn’t mean they do not enjoy beautiful photos of it and many other famous buildings and landmarks to celebrate their love for their country.

If you live in or near Washington, D.C., take photos of the White House during the holiday season when it is all decorated and lit up. Head over to the Capitol when all the red, white, and blue is on display for a new inauguration. And don’t forget the Tidal Basin at cherry blossom time.

You don’t live near Washington? It doesn’t matter. Wherever you live, get pictures of the local sights.

Recognizable architecture evokes a sense of community awareness and pride. These are also great photos for fine art sales.

 

Houses

Architecture is very photogenic. Some porches just scream to be captured on film. These photographs of your neighbors’ houses, your house, houses around the area when you go for a drive — these can make good stock photographs to be used on real estate websites and for general stock purposes.

 

Library

Of course, if you don’t have enough books on your home shelves, go to the library and play around with theirs. Turn your camera/phone to silent instead of a loud shutter sound. (My old phone quacked like a duck when I took a picture! Definitely not good in a quiet setting such as a library.)

 

Pediatricians’ Office

Babies are adorable, so photograph them when they are being cared for. Smiling nurses and doctors make great photographs for marketing materials.

 

Local Festivals

Communities love to hear about themselves having fun. Looking at photographs of their festival is like reliving the fun and excitement in a visual story. Take photos of the rides and the special talent acts. Get the local celebrities having a good time, and showing love for their community. These would sell well at a local newspaper or magazine, in addition to the stock photo sites.

 

Signs

My favorite thing to photograph is misspellings on public signage. But really — any signs can make good photographs to sell.

Stop signs are used in many publications. Traffic signs such as “YIELD” and stoplights are good also. Don’t stop there though, there are signs everywhere, and signs make great stock photography!

 

Movie Theaters

These are great places for photography if you can do it. Get the popcorn on the floor, the huge buckets of popcorn in the seats, the boxes of candy being poured into a mouth, the lounging in the chairs and the running lights down the aisles.

However, DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH the movie! I repeat — DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH THE MOVIE! It is illegal, and can get you into a lot of trouble!

Just take pictures of the theater itself, that is all.

 

Even More Street Signs

This is a little different than the signs category above. This category is meant to be more thought-provoking than “STOP.” For example, take a picture looking up at a crossroads of two signs. If they are popular names in your town or ones that would be recognizable to a good number of people — even better!

The idea is to get pictures that create a sense of direction, travel, decision, city, and familiarity. Any streets will do — even dirt road crossings.

Sometimes there are cute private street signs that grandparents put up, “Grandma’s Alley” or something of the sort. These make great photos as well.

 

Celebrations and Other Events

Campaign Trail

If it is an election year, you are in photography heaven. Snapping pictures of the signs posted, the people holding the signs, the picketers at the opposite party headquarters—all of these show the level of patriotism and political power we possess. These can be local, stock, or fine art photos.

 

Contests

Food eating contests are fantastic as there is always pie in someone’s face! Believe it or not, these can become great fine art as well as stock photos. If the contest is at a local venue, or as part of a fundraiser, the photos can be sold to local publications as well.

 

Ghost Stories

When the Halloween holiday comes around, many people like to throw parties or séances in honor of the spirit days. These can be great photographs if they use candles and other props. Get the faces of the scared listeners.

 

Gift-Wrap And Packaging

Presents make people happy. Take pictures of the process and the finished product. Stack the gifts on a table in different orders. Group by size, or colors — just play around. You know you always keep that pretty wrapping paper scrap for a reason — now you have your reason! Photo props! These pictures can sell for the stock, editorial or fine art. There are plenty of options if you give it just a little thought.

 

Holiday Themes

Holiday stock photos are always in demand. Get photos of kids talking to Santa Claus, adults looking through all the toys, menorahs, blue and silver Hanukkah products, chocolate-covered Easter eggs, green beer for St. Patrick’s day, 4th of July flags and banners — the list is endless.

 

Landmark Days

Birthdays, graduation caps & gowns, pirate parties, toga parties, any themed day is a good opportunity for photos.

 

Political Meetings

Maybe the President is speaking at your local college. Even if you don’t have an entrance ticket, you can still show up to get pictures of the signs, the people, the setting, the college filled with expressions of different political opinions, and so on. Don’t limit yourself to the President — this works great for every level political office.

 

Road Trip

If you feel like getting out of the house, take a day trip and photograph your journey — from the gas station to the roadside park for a picnic! These are great stock photos that could set you on your way to financial independence!

 

Sporting Events

Crowd cheering and fans screaming, players running, and equipment being thrown around! There are plenty of photo opportunities at a game. Bring an extra battery, and be prepared to move. You don’t want motion blurs, so be sure to allow focus and concentration on your subject when possible. Photoshop out team names and logos before you submit your work.

 

Weddings

Take pictures of the decorations and the dresses. Be sure to get the tender emotional moments along with all celebration shots. The guests and the fun are a major part of anybody’s wedding. And don’t forget that the wedding party wants to enjoy themselves so they may not document the evening for themselves.

In addition to the stock photo sites, you can sell these portraits to the wedding party and guests or you can use your shots as stock photographs. Just remember to get permission from anyone in your photos.

 

Wedding Clothing

This is a huge market for marketers — especially those marketing to brides, but don’t forget those adorable flower girls and ring bearers, the moms, and — oh yeah — the groom! Photograph wedding clothes on the hanger, being worn, in a box — just take pictures. You can get great shots as people are getting dressed (use good taste, of course). Photos of the maid of honor or mom zipping up the bride’s dress or adjusting her veil, or the best man or dad helping the groom into his jacket are always great sellers.

 

Wedding And Reception Locations

Don’t get so carried away with getting lots of photographs of people that you forget the settings themselves. Pictures of the church being decorated, the altar before the ceremony, ribbons on pews — they are all beautiful — and highly sellable! Same thing with the reception — get pictures of the tables being set, flowers being arranged, the band or DJ tuning up — all are money makers.

And don’t forget the closing of the celebration and the cleanup. A picture of an exhausted little flower girl and ringer bearer asleep in a corner while partiers dance just a few feet away is a great idea.

Ditto on the cleanup. I don’t mean take pictures of the trash cans (although they would probably sell, come to think of it!). Get photos of friends helping pack up the gifts and wedding souvenirs, etc.

The bride and groom miss all the “after-party” activity, and they would probably love those shots. Plus (you know I’m going to say this), those pictures will sell on the stock photo sites.

 

Faith

Religious Images

There is a huge market for all things spiritual. Plan time to just visit your church and take pictures from all angles. See what stands out, and what lighting you can use with the stained glass windows. No matter what your faith is (or isn’t), any religious building you walk past can be a great photo opportunity.

Worship, houses of worship, and worshippers offer many powerful visuals. Precisely because of their powerful meaning, I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that these are the times and places that deserve your utmost respect and courtesy. If you are not sure about the rules for photography somewhere, ask. If you are still not sure, don’t take pictures.

 

Spiritual Images

A growing industry is dealing with spirituality that doesn’t necessarily relate to religion. Tarot cards, astrology, gemology, incense, angels, and much more. Take a picture of some candles and tarot cards were strewn about, or smoke from an incense stick. These pictures are popular in a group that is growing.

Grab some pretty stones and take some pictures using them. These make great stock photographs.

 

Foods and Nutrition

Alcohol

Take pictures of the bottles, the mixed drinks, hands picking up shots, cute shot glasses, and anything else you can think of related to the art of alcohol. Beer is a group all its own—find a beer tent or a local pub and go camera wild!

 

Healthy Food

For the same reasons as junk food, marketers need pictures of all different kinds of foods when they are creating marketing material. Take pictures of raw healthy foods, and cooked in meals, and chefs preparing these healthy meals. Take your camera to the grocery store and snap some photos of seasonal fruits and displays.

 

Candies

Those stores that have shelves upon bins upon walls of candy provide plenty of opportunities for beautiful, scrumptious pictures. If you don’t want to leave your house, be sure to raid the kids Halloween candy—open it up and arrange it somehow. Wrappers have brand names, so that is not a good option but chocolate is chocolate. And we all know that if you cover something in chocolate, it will sell.

 

Champagne And Celebrations

Toasts, champagne glasses, these all make emotional pictures that bring people to reminisce and think about happy times. This is a good market for stock photography.

 

Diet

Right alongside weight loss is the need for diets and photos of them. Whether you shoot the actual diet meal, accessories, equipment (such as fruit for a smoothie and a blender) or you show someone shopping for diet foods, or you make a diet checklist and photograph it — show things related to special diets, fad diets, success stories, and failures, etc.

 

Farmer’s Markets

These are great places to take pictures of exotic foods, happy farmers, produce stands, fun crafts, and unique gifts. These are also great, “people watching” sites — so be ready!
Farmer’s

 

Junk Food

Spread out some chips and cookies with a glass of dark cola and some pizza—then photograph it. Take a picture of someone eating junk food, buying it, etc. These make great stock photos. Don’t stop there — those food plates that people post on Facebook . . . start taking some of those. Upload them to stock photo sites instead of annoying your friends with your half-eaten meal.

 

Kitchen

When preparing a big meal, be sure to photograph the process. Chopping the vegetables, using a colander, boiling the ingredients, the bubbles make pretty neat pictures sometimes. Think outside of the box, and snap some shots while you wait for the next step.

 

Meals

All meal photos are in demand. However, pictures of the big holiday meals such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Passover are especially good sellers. A big, stuffed turkey mixed with all the sides makes mouths water just thinking about it, imagine what your photograph would do!

 

Seasonal Foods

Spread out some chips and cookies with a glass of dark cola and some pizza—then photograph it. Take a picture of someone eating junk food, buying it, etc. These make great stock photos. Don’t stop there — those food plates that people post on Facebook . . . start taking some of those. Upload them to stock photo sites instead of annoying your friends with your half-eaten meal.

 

Uncooked Or “Raw” Food

When preparing a big meal, be sure to photograph the process. Chopping the vegetables, using a colander, boiling the ingredients, the bubbles make pretty neat pictures sometimes. Think outside of the box, and snap some shots while you wait for the next step.

 

Hobbies and Crafts

Adornments

Sometimes close-ups of zippers, rivets, pleats, and tassels are needed. Get up close, or off to the side… creativity is not always required because sometimes a straight picture of a zipper is all that’s desired. Simple can be amazingly successful.

 

Camera And Photography Equipment

Sound strange? Taking pictures of photography equipment? There are many needs for these types of photos even beyond the normal stock photo opportunity. The fine art industry enjoys good pictures of fantastic cameras, lenses, lights, and film. An old school film is an art form now since no one uses it! Sell that photo as an antique!

 

Fabric

This may be an easy category for you if you are a crafter. Lay out some pretty fabrics, drape them over various shapes for a little extra accent, and snap! If you don’t have any “fabric,” think about pretty dresses that you could drape over something or a nice pair of curtains.

The idea is not to take a picture of a shirt or a window, but of pretty fabric that can be used as fine art, and backdrops. Stock photography is a great way to sell your abstract photos; fabric pictures can be very abstract.

 

Hobbies

Everyone keeps busy doing something, if your hobby involves a process or equipment then you have lots of photographs to take. This could be hunting, fishing, sewing, scrapbooking, anything really.

 

Scraps

If you are a scrapbooker, you can keep your leftover paper scraps. Also wrapping paper, notebook paper, construction paper—you are looking for textures and wrinkles that would make great backdrops when cropped.

 

Textures

If you have marble tiles, or stucco in your house photograph it. It is easy to walk right by some of the most beautiful pictures available to us. Colors, patterns, textures, these all make great photographs that will add dimension to any project. Think about chipping paint, wood, bricks — these are all beautiful textures.

 

Music Notes On A Page

If you can write music, jot down a few notes and photograph them. Use pretty ink pens and create a work of art within a work of art and then photograph it. These are creative enough for fine art but can be used very well in many stock photograph categories.

 

Pictures Frames

This works if you have unique or artsy picture frames. It works like product photography because these photos tend to be used in catalogs or other similar marketing materials as examples or props for a room.

 

Living the good life

Cars

Many people love getting together for car shows or just going to look at cars on the lots . . . these are great photo opportunities because people who love cars, also buy car memorabilia. Take a picture of an uncommon year and model, and you could have money rolling in. This is another topic where your pictures can be both fine art and stock photography.

 

Luxury Travel

If you feel like a vacation, check into a luxury hotel and photograph EVERYTHING — the towels, the soap, the pillows, the curtains, the bed, the furniture. If you don’t feel like (or can’t quite yet afford) checking in, just hang around the lobby and public areas of the hotel.

You can get lots of good shots of statues, fountains, bellboys, and much more. These can either be stock photos or fine art, depending on your subject matter.

If they tell you to stop, you must stop. Hotels are private property. Until then, snap away!

 

Cosmetics

You can take endless pictures of mascaras and eye colors, lipsticks, different shades of blush — anything makes up will have a place on the stock photography site. Get colorful and creative. These are fun pictures to take.

 

Massage Lotions And Oils

Pour some onto a surface and photograph the flow. Use some massaged into your arm or leg and photograph the process (you may need an extra set of hands for this one) These will be good to sell to spas and massage parlors but also as stock as well.

 

Travel Accessories

This goes along with the station category, but there are plenty of travel accessories that you will not find at a bus station. RV’s and camping equipment are good travel photographs that may be able to be shot right from your garage or driveway. If you don’t have a camper, check with your neighbors — in my area, nearly every house has one.

Take pictures of what you love, and of you doing it. These are mostly stock photos but in the right setting, a hunting photo can become a fine art, just as much as a table full of buttons.

 

Luxury Dining

This could be either at home with candlelight and fancy foods, or at a restaurant. If you have a chance to get to a 5-star restaurant, be sure they don’t mind you photographing everything! These can serve as fine art photographs in addition to being valuable stock photos.

 

Spa Experiences

Everyone loves a spa treatment, and in order to sell those treatments, there must be marketing materials with real humans enjoying those treatments. Be the person who takes those high-demand pictures. Go with your friend who has a spa day planned, and photograph everything from the nail polish colors to the mud mask on her face.

 

Money and Finance

Coins

Shiny pieces of metal make great pictures. There are many ways to line them up or use them as props. They can be overflowing from piggy banks, spilling out of jars, pouring out of empty pockets, just to name a few. Get some pretty pennies and just scatter them on a pretty cloth. If you can get international coins, even better. Be sure to get shots of each country’s coins by themselves, but also get pictures of the coins from different countries mixed together.

 

Foreign Currency

Think about TRAVEL. Use it as props in suitcases, spread it over a passport book, line it up near a handwritten “Paris” note. Remember that this does relate to money, and you must follow all the relevant rules and laws.

 

Money

People love piles of money; many would bathe in it if they could. There are specific guidelines to uploading photos of money that you must adhere to, so be sure to check the sites’ rules and regulations before snapping too many photos that you won’t be able to sell.

 

Purses And Wallets

This is different than money, or currency photos, as this shows the style we use to carry our money. Take a picture of the purse dumping out, the neat and organized purse, the way a messenger bag sits on your hip — anything. Don’t forget to get Dad pulling his wallet out! These can be used in catalogs, marketing materials, and artwork for certain shops as well.

 

Nature

Bugs

Before you smash that spider on your ceiling, take its picture. Snap the ants trailing through your kitchen before you get out the spray. While these may not be memories you cherish, somewhere there is an exterminator building his business who needs good marketing materials.

 

Clouds

Pictures of the clouds are always in demand. Snow clouds, rain clouds, straight clouds and fluffy clouds — they are all unique and worthy of a picture. This can be fine art or stock photography as these can be used as great backdrops for websites or marketing materials.

 

Leaves

Fall brings leaves of all colors to the ground. Take pictures of these in piles, with kids jumping in them, fall leaves on a dinner table for decoration, leaves around pumpkins. Leave make people think of fall and fun times. These make great fine art and stock photography.

 

Seasonal Changes

Fall is one of the most beautiful scenes known to photographers. Take pictures of the leaves, the bare trees, and the frost on the ground. All seasons have their beauty and changes. Take pictures around the house and town of things that change with seasons.

Here’s another great idea if you can get seasonal pictures — Find any beautiful setting, and photograph it throughout the year. The series of pictures showing the seasons changing could be one of your biggest money-makers.

 

Spring Buds

The flowers and trees come alive for the first few weeks of spring. Photograph them at all stages of growth for a difference in beauty and appreciation for nature. These flower photos are used in all aspects of business, industries, and marketing materials. You can use these as fine art or stock photography.

 

Trees

Many trees have great shapes and interesting characteristics. In addition to those ideas, remember to photograph them all throughout the year so you can catch the different seasons’ effects on them.

 

Winter Landscapes

Go in the woods when it snows and picture the scene, or wait for deer to run through the snow and snap those shots. Have any squirrels scattered around? Capture the snowboarder’s falling down, and the cross country skiers getting their exercise. What about snowmobiles blazing the trails and leaving a dust cloud of snow behind? These pictures make winter a loveable season. They are great to stock photographs.

 

People

Babies

There is a widespread belief that if a guy is carrying a baby, it’s easier to start a conversation with an attractive woman. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but baby photography is definitely one of the highest paying stock photography categories.

It’s not too difficult to imagine why. Babies are adorable, and their adoring parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. buy an amazing array of products.

In fact, there is absolutely no end to what those loving people think “the baby needs!” And — you guessed it! — to sell baby products, you need baby pictures. So baby photos are in constant, high demand.

Important note! Be sure to keep the photos clean of labels, logos, blankets with popular characters (Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, etc.), or anything else that is registered to someone else.

 

Comfort

Comfort is given and received is one of the most powerful human emotions. Take pictures of others comforting each other in time of need — a grandmother hugging a crying child, a mom and dad embracing during a tough moment, a child holding a cold, wet dog. These pictures invoke emotion and will express comforting thoughts where these pictures are used. They can be fine art photographs in therapists’ offices, or as stock photographs for public use.

 

Couples

If you are a happy couple, take some pictures that convey romance and love — not raunchy — but sweet. Photograph the flowers, the candies, the man doing the dishes . . . happy couples sell!
But don’t stop there—stage some photos where you are angry at each other, yelling, dressing up, traveling — no matter what, couple photos will sell. The angry pictures can depict divorce while the happy ones can promote marriage and newlywed packages.

 

Evening Get-Together

Whether you and your friends play bingo, card games, Monopoly or something else, take pictures of the group, the cards, the boards, the laughing, the snacks, the table. Twister makes for great photos! These are all great ways to capture fun and excitement. Maybe you and a friend play a weekly chess game — great picture opportunity. This can be interesting fine art as well as stock photography.

 

Emotions

Stage endless types of emotional faces and expressions. Have your kids and family do it as well. Think about color and wear angry colors when shooting angry faces and happy colors when smiling. Emotions pervade our daily lives, we need to feel connected with others as we move through our daily lives. Pictures of emotional faces and expressions will sell great as stock photography.

 

Families

These photos sell because many marketing materials depict real humans with real emotions in order to sell their products. It is easier to sell a nursing home to an older couple if there is a happy older couple depicted on the cover of the brochure. Family photos sell. I really mean the whole family — make sure you don’t forget the family pet!

 

Grandparents

Don’t leave the anchors of the family tree out of the family photos. Grandparents are funny, cute, and lovable.

When someone needs a picture of grandma cooking dinner, that picture needs to be authentic and full of life. Your photos can offer exactly those feelings if you capture your own grandparents, being happy and living life. If Grandma is in a rather old-fashioned looking kitchen — even better!

If you can’t get photos of your own grandparents, there are lots of other places to get some great pictures of older people. Think grocery stores, parks, bowling alleys, and (sadly) hospitals and doctors’ offices. As always, be respectful when you are asking permission and taking pictures.

Another reason that pictures of older people are so valuable is the fact that baby boomers make up a LARGE portion of our population, and those millions of boomers are just getting to retirement age and all kinds of marketers are trying to reach them.

Travel, relaxation, learning new skills, coping with health changes, moving to different housing, caretakers — almost every type of business is targeting this age group with all kinds of media marketing — your photos can help meet the constant demand in this enormous marketing niche.
Be sure to get some pictures of grandparents with their grandkids too. Multi-generation pictures are both very touching and very valuable.

 

Grandmother Quilting

If you have a chance to catch her in the act, this is a great photo. She can be making a large quilt or just starting her first square but either way, it will show a great sense of family, love, creativity, and color. These will be good for stock photography.

 

Hands With Jewelry

This works great with wedding bands, but it can be any beautiful jewelry. Think about doing this with young hands, baby hands, older hands, coupled hands, and along with the same idea, don’t forget necklines for necklaces.

 

Old Photos

Antique photographs have lots of fun stored in them. Frame them, or just set them out. These can be fine art or stock.

 

People And Workout Gear

At the gym, there are plenty of opportunities, but you can take lots of workout gear photographs in the comfort of your own home. Place your dumbbells on your yoga mat, show your jump rope, picture your treadmill stats, as these are all coveted photographs. Don’t be afraid to show some sweat!

 

People Goofing Off

If you catch someone doing any sort of “Should I be doing this?” behavior, take a picture of it! In addition to the basic picture, you can often crop this kind of photos in all kinds of interesting ways to produce even more pictures.

 

Shoppers

Local publications can use your photos of shoppers to promote community involvement and togetherness. It also entices others to shop, since they see their friendly counterparts having such a great time shopping. When one person buys, it might encourage two additional people to buy. Never underestimate the power of suggestion and influence.

You could also approach local shops to see if they need photos of people using their products or shopping in their stores — they might use photos for catalogs, various ads, etc. Be sure to ask whether you need to avoid images of specific labels or anything else. At the same time, ask if there are specific things that you should include in your photos.

 

People Holding Signs

There are lots of opportunities here — the guy in bright yellow holding a “We Buy Gold” sign, teenagers waving signs for their fund-raiser carwash, Boy Scouts at their Christmas tree lot, picketers raising awareness for their cause, etc. These are great, real-life photos and can be used in local publications as well as fine art or stock.

 

People Singing

Take pictures of someone singing Karaoke or kids fooling around and putting on a show. Hold the microphones and have a blast or sing in the car and snap the pictures of onlookers enjoying it all.

 

Siblings

These are great stock photos because there is usually so much emotion or cuteness in sibling photos. Either they love each other or hate each other; it is rarely a dull moment when you photograph siblings. These photos will be used in many different outlets — marketing materials, fine art for doctors and professional offices, and much more.

 

People In Uniform

We love our military men and women. Our police officers and firefighters warm our hearts and promote heroism with just a glance. Photos are used for our servicemen and women on a daily basis. You never know who might pick your photo of the military man kissing his bride at their reunion. These types of photographs are sold quickly.

 

School Children

Lockers and book bags stand out in this category, but with permission, take some photos of groups in the cafeteria, filling their lockers, or packing up at the end of the day. The school desks and kids raising their hands are very popular on stock websites. Obviously, have parental and school permission.

 

Weight Loss

Take pictures of your brother or sister in their old size 42 pants next to their new size 33 ones. Show them running in their workout gear and eating a healthy snack. Show your brother making a funny face at his old pants — get creative with it. Weight loss is a huge industry and there are plenty of needs for these stock photos.

 

The Workplace

Business People and Work Places

Capture the whole business experience. Start with these ideas:

• desks covered with work in progress

• whiteboards with lists

• trash cans with old drafts

• business meetings

• corporate conference tables

• receptionists answering phones

• janitors cleaning up the hallways of a busy office

Then keep going with your own ideas. Every angle of business is an opportunity for a good marketer.

 

Farms And Farmers

Shooting pictures of thousands of carrots growing, or sunflower fields can be both relaxing and enriching. These photos make great fine art pieces and also do very well as stock photography.

 

Computers

The stock photograph industry would not be what it is without computers. This creates a cyclical market of taking pictures of a computer and using a computer to sell that picture to be used on other computers.

Don’t discriminate, shoot them all, from dinosaur computers to micro-mini ones! Technology magazines, computer businesses, and many other designers will be looking for pictures of all kinds of computers and tablets.

 

Construction Sites

Kids aren’t the only ones who enjoy looking at big construction equipment and the workers using it. You can take pictures of new construction in your area or changes to your town infrastructure. Local newspapers will like these photographs. Construction sites are also very good stock photo opportunities.

 

People Using Computers

This is a big category all on its own. I didn’t lump this into the computer category because there is a difference between the focus being on a product, and the focus being on an action.

People using computers signify work, production, emotion. You can snap pictures of people buying computers, staring into one, typing away, using a tablet, taking a picture with a tablet, carrying a laptop case to class or work — any uses of computers will create a successful sales opportunity.

If you can play with Photoshop, even better. For example, have you seen this take-off on the “missing file” message?

 

Women In Business

Photos of businesswomen help marketers reach women. Think about women in all kinds of business situations. Here are just a few examples:

• Giving a speech

• At a business lunch

• Leading a large crowd

• Women behind their desks

• Groups of women in business suits

• Hard at work in the courtroom or medical setting

Real women reaching out to real women. It sells.

 

Work

Take pictures of people doing things with their hands. You can take a picture of a saw, but it will look more emotional and appealing if you also take a picture of the 75-year-old hands running it. This applies to all kinds of work being performed.

 

Your Smile

Photograph your smile as you cash your first of many checks from simply following this guide!! This is an exciting and lucrative way to make money from home, and that first check will have you beaming with pride! “I DID IT!” That day is not too far away! Enjoy

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