Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Making Money from Thanksgiving Photographs

Hmmm, sounds unrealistic, doesn't it--making money from your family's Thanksgiving dinner.

You can, though make money from the photographs you take at your Thanksgiving dinner.

Think about the photographs you've seen with respect to Thanksgiving.

As you can see, there are many examples you can find if you type "Thanksgiving dinner" into the Google image search engine.

Many of these are stock photos. Stock photography can be very lucrative as there are many shops set up where you can submit your photos online and get paid when people use them.

I offer some tips for taking stock photos here.

You have to remember the following if you're going to be photographing stock--

1. Your image needs to be absolutely clear at 100 percent of it's actual size.
2. You need to have releases for your subjects (people you're photographing).
3. You'll need to take some unusual shots, shots of subjects and objects from unusual angles and perspective.

With these tips, you're likely to gather some really great stock photos of the Thanksgiving dinner!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

How to Photograph Architecture and Make Money Doing It

Capturing images for use in the real estate industry requires that the photographer be skillful in composing a picture. And having good equipment helps too.

You'll want to consider various options when digital camera shopping--options such as how much the lens zooms and how wide and tall the frame of the picture will be through the lens. The easiest way to do this at the camera store is to simply look through the lens, zooming both in and out to see how you'll be able to frame an image taken with that camera.

It used to be a realtor was judged by the car he/she drove--a good omen if he/she drives up in a Beamer (that's BMW) and taking clients around with flare and style.

Nowadays realtors also may be judged by how good the images are on their Web site. This is where you can find work--seek out these people, go door to door to real estate agencies and hand out your card.

Realtors and builders also need photographs taken so that they can produce the leaflets that perspective clients will grab under the for sale signs of homes all over the world.

If you're considering a camera for this type of photography, you might want to look at the sub-thousand dollar model SLR (Single Lens Reflex, or a camera that lets you switch lenses) instead of the tiny boxes that contain upteen megapixels of fun, but many less options for indoor photography, the type of photography that is the lifeblood of the real estate business.

A Nikon D-70 or Canon Digital Rebel XT, both cameras costing a little over $800 have the options that realtors will need to take glamorous indoor photos with little effort. The sensor in the camera is bigger than in the point-and-shoot models (the little boxy cameras), so that you get more detail, an important factor in architectural photography.

For example, in order to take a good picture of an interior, the camera can be set to A-DEP mode (written the same way on the knob of the camera) before shooting away. The camera automatically focuses using multiple points within the frame of a picture so none of the picture will be blurred.

Some cameras don't have A-DEP mode, so instead set your camera to many focus points, then set your camera to aperture priority mode (Av mode) and use a large f-stop (f/11 or smaller). Set your camera on a tripod and start shooting. You won't even need a flash!

Last, every good real estate/architectural photographer has a wide angle lens. I have a 18-28 mm zoom. It can cover a very wide room inside and full house outside, which is just what your client will want.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Matt Bamberg Signage Photography

Making lots of new framed photos of my signage images. Locally, I sell them at a store that sells 50s furniture and accessories. Great job. Lots of fun.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

How to Get Discovered as a Photographer

One of the best parts of photography is doing something that you love (that is if you love it in the first place). So many times we can get stuck in a rut at a job we don't like. This can happen in photography too.

If you find yourself down in the dumps in a photography job you don't like, move on to what you do like by:

1. Putting your stuff out there.
2. Having a dynamite Web site or blog that shows your work.
3. Shooting your favorite subjects and objects.
4. Going to places where you've always wanted to go.
5. Finding a subject/object niche that not many people have touched.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Differences Between Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

If you're going to make money with photography, I would recommend that you learn an image processing program. While Elements is a good program and much cheaper than Photoshop, I don't recommend using it if you're serious about photography. Most photography jobs want people who know how to use Photoshop.

Here's some differences between the two.

Elements vs Photoshop

1. I found it surprising that Elements has features that Photoshop doesn't (because Elements is much less expensive).
2. Photoshop Elements has a very effective Browse option. I like it better than Photoshop because Photoshop CS 2's Bridge program (Photoshop has a separate program packaged in called Bridge) because it's faster. While the images aren't as big in the preview; I find that speed is more important under my work circumstances.
3. Elements has a sidebar window where you can locate your files from a list of file names. It's easily seen, fast and very accessible.

Photoshop vs Elements

1. The drop down menu bars in Photoshop have more options and are easier to navigate to.
2. There are fade options in Photoshop CS 2 where you can lessen a previously made change with a slider.
3. There's a channel mixer in Photoshop which allows for better control of the gray tones when changing a color photograph to black-and-white.

These are some I've found. Please comment if you've found a couple...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Finding Places to Sell your Images

Here's an image of the Monte Carlo sign in Billings, Montana. Okay, then, so I'm an artist. This is what I do. Strange isn't it? I take pictures of neon signs then saturate the colors in Photoshop. Then I make very detailed prints of them and sell at stores in Southern California.

I have about 5000 images of signs from all around the world.

If you want you can email me at to buy one. They come framed (in silver metal frames, acid free mats, also). The picture (printed out at 10.75" X 14.75"), with frame, is a little less than 16X20 inches. The price of print and frame is $195, including shipping anywhere in the U.S.

My friend Betty over at AOL had a question about how you find places to sell your work.

I usually get to know the people before I ask, say, people in a furniture store or coffee shop. After I've visited a few times or gotten to know the people through other avenues, I ask them if they need photographs for their walls. If they say yes, I then ask them if I can sell them and if we can split the profit somehow.

Sometimes I cold call. This works sometimes, especially if you see some images already for sale on a wall of a coffee shop or inside a gift shop. Cold calling involves:

1. Finding a place (coffee shop, furniture store, antique store, consignment shop) that sells stuff that matches your images. For example, my images are mid-century modern, so I look for outlets that sell mid-century modern furniture and/or accessories or something similar (like contemporary furnishings). Use the Internet or just drive around to locate these types of places, and don't look only in your city, but surrounding cities also.
2. Preparing the best of the best of your work, framed, matted and ready to go. Have samples in a variety of sizes and put them neatly packed in the trunk of your car.
3. Phone the place(s) that you've found on the Internet, tell them what you have and ask them if they'd like to make an appointment with you to see them.
4. Go to your appointment with your images and make a deal.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Making Money Looking at Photography

Photo instructors do it. University professors do it. Photographers do it.

All critique photographs, whether they are their own or those of other people.

Here's a few things they look at and make money while they're doing it--

1. Color, contrast and texture.
2. Following the Rule of Thirds.
3. Exposure--no white outs or black outs.
4. Depth, perhaps using natural elements such as mist or smoke to add depth.
5. Perspective, there's noting like having your viewers eyes look down a railroad.
6. Light, light is everything. Scatter it. Beam it. Churn it. Twirl it.

Freelance Photography Jobs for Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Tuesday. I just got an Epson 9800 printer and am printing out images that are 30 inches X 40 inches. I want to make some money with this new printer as it was $5000. The prints are amazing, especially because I use Epson premium glossy photo paper (it comes in rolls for this printer).

If you feel the need to blow up some images, drop me a note at and I'm sure I can help you for very reasonable prices.

In the meantime if you're curious about's today's list:

Assistant Photo Editor in New York City for Bravo TV network

Freelance Photo Editor who knows Photoshop in New York City
Photographer of sensual (non-sexual) photos in Palm Springs, CA
Stock Photography Intern in San Diego
Photo Editor for Wedding photographer in San Diego, $15/hr
Photo Studio Assistant in San Diego
Sports Photographer in Boston
Portrait Photographer in Houston
Retail Photo Manager at Ritz Camera

Good luck!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Technorati Blog

Making Money with Photography is now a Technorati blog.

Technorati Profile

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Making Money with Stock

The folks over at want you. If you've got tons of clear, well-composed photographs of not-so-ordinary things, you can make money.

They want you to submit your photography to be evaluated for use as stock photography.

No bad images need apply.

Stock photography is a tough business.

You have to:

1. have a clear photograph while looking at it onscreen at 100 percent resolution (that means you must blow it up very large on your screen so much so that only a portion of the photo will show up on most screens at 100 percent resolution).
2. have engaging subject matter.
3. not infringe on any copyrights.
4. submit large files.

There are many more stipulations also, just check them out on the Web site.

Use Dreamstime as a photography teacher...

That's right you can use Dreamstime to critique each and every photo that you have taken.
Just submit the photo and their staff looks at it and tells you what's wrong with it in an email.
So...if you want to improve your photography, register and get started...

Oh, and as far as making money, the time you'll have to put in for the amount of money you make probably isn't worth it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Getting Into a Gallery

Things to Know:

1. Find and define a subject/object niche for your photographs.
2. Have a good samples of your photographs on your laptop and take your laptop with you when you travel so that when you see a gallery that has they type of work you do, you can introduce yourself and ask if the curator would like to see your work.

Since this is the first post of this blog, "Making Money with Photography," I'll tell the story about how I got into a gallery.

Before I picked up a camera, I learned how to write. I knew when I wanted to become a writer that the writing would need some help, that is, I felt that my writing alone would have a better chance of selling if it had some images that went along with it. I read that in some writing rag about six years ago when I started all of this publication business.

Viola! My formula began to work when Mona D. from a local alternative paper in Palm Springs, CA. picked up a story called "Confessions of a Picker" that I offered her via a phone call in 2000. She came over to my mid-century modern condo and took pictures of all the 50s and 60s stuff I had bought on the cheap for resale. I watched her as she stood up on chair snapping pictures of everything from ceramic poodles to radioactive orange McCoy pottery to minimalist patio furniture. The article was about a picker (that's someone who hunts valuable stuff at garage sales and flea markets and turns it over to antique stores and consignment shops for resale) and she made it the cover story of the paper.

In the article I describe myself as a being an expermental type of guy (who can't cook) blasting Melmac dishes in the microwave when I decided to cook with the old brightly-colored, plastic relics that look like dolls should eat from them.

But more important than that, I went out and bought a Canon film camera and started taking picture of the radio dials, mid-century signage and just about anything else that was a "blast of the past" so to speak.

I moved from picking (oh, okay, that was a part-time thing, I have a Masters in Creative Arts from San Francisco State and have been a school teacher for 14 years) to taking pictures of signage.

The signs began to sell like hot cakes when instead of supplying the consignment store with stuff I "picked," I happily made them framed prints of signs.

So a couple of stores and galleries later (M Modern Gallery sells my work as well as the Room Service stores in Los Angeles and Pasadena and Palm Springs Consignment in Palm Springs. I find myself wanting more sales.

My photos made it to Singapore when the curator of the Photographer's Gallery accepted my shots after I showed them to him on my laptop.

The curator, Fabian, sent me a contract for a Christmas-time show in his gallery. Having a Dummies title under my belt helped to sell my work (you need all the help you can get to get into any gallery as most won't even talk to you unless you have a proven track record of making money with your art work).

Fabian picked 20 of my best shots, then I went back to the states, printed them up on my Epson 2200 and sent them to Singapore. Fabian took care of the rest.

A great show it was too. Only thing is I didn't get to be there : (

Making Money with Photography

Here it is. The making-money-with-photography blog. More to come...