We all like to pick up travel magazines and admire the beautiful photos of exotic locations in faraway lands.
As a travel photographer myself, I’m grateful to be able to discover and photograph foreign landscapes and cultures every year.
But just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was my photography career.
Before I became a full-time travel photographer, I worked on improving my photography skills in the most “boring” location I could imagine. I’m not talking about the country or city I lived in back then… or even my own backyard. I’m talking about my kitchen.
With some creativity, cheap everyday items, and a sense of fun, you can create saleable images, too. Here are a few ideas…
#1: In the kitchen
Anything in your house can be turned into a nice photo if you pay attention to composition.
One good tip is to have your camera close by when preparing meals and, if time permits, separate your ingredients and create a nice composition to capture a few stock photos before cooking. Everyone thinks to take pictures of the finished meal, but the ingredients are good sellers, too.
In this shot, I arranged the Pad Thai ingredients neatly on a plate, and then I moved around until I found a nice angle to take the shot. Photos of the finished meal are great, too—but if you’re like me, I’m always too hungry to get them.
#2: Over the holidays
Holidays such as Christmas and Easter, or even birthdays, are great moments to photograph. They’re often very colorful and everything is nicely decorated. These sorts of images sell well on stock photography websites.
This shot wasn’t even planned in advance. I was spending Christmas morning at a family’s house and was offered coffee. I just placed the mug on a table with the beautifully-decorated Christmas tree in the background and snapped the shot with a wide-open aperture (low f-stop number) to create a shallow depth of field.
#3: In a field
You’ve probably seen this image before. It’s one I shot in rural Kentucky of a few field weeds.
Anything can be made into art when you understand light and how to use it.
Here is the before shot…
And the after…
Everyone thinks you need a fancy camera and gorgeous locales to create great photos… but that’s just not true.
These shots are all easy enough to create at home with easily-available items. I also had the cheapest lens and no professional gear or studio lighting. Just the big ol’ light source we all get for free in the sky each day.
And the best part is that all of these images have sold for me. You can have fun, stay at home, and still make some money. What’s not to like?
Let your creativity flow and enjoy the process!