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Science says about 50% of your happiness depends on your genes, 10% on life circumstances… and a whopping 40% is up to you.

This week, it’s time to motivate. Let’s take that 40% into our own hands and create something awesome, one small step at a time.

Over the course of the week, I’m going to give you a little push. Each day, I’ll share with you a few “case studies” – fellow readers like yourself who decided to go for it, and are now getting paid for their photography.

Starting today, with readers Steve Collender and Katrina Elena, both regular folks who started out with entirely different careers and decided to give photography a try.

Steve just made his 100,000th sale on Shutterstock… and Katrina passed her first $10,000 in stock photo earnings. Woo-hoo!

Stock photography is a great place to start with photography. You don’t need any experience to get going. It takes about an hour. All you do is sign up for free to a couple of agencies and submit photos. Once they’re accepted, they sell while you go do other things.

Read on for their number-one piece of advice for anyone who wants to give it a try…

Photo Success Case Study #1: Steve Collender


Professional Background: Airline Industry
Main Photo Market: Stock Photography – Portfolio Here 

What’s the number-one way you’ve been rewarded for giving photography a try?

Definitely the extra income every month that I use to keep upgrading my equipment and do fun stuff with.

What’s the most recent photo you’ve sold?

stock photography

With stock, the most recent photo I sold changes about every hour. But here’s the most recent one I took and then sold. It’s part of a series of balloon font photos I took a couple weeks ago. This one only made me 38 cents on the first download, but I have some photos that have sold thousands of times… and that adds up to hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars after a while. Hopefully this one will do the same!

What would you tell someone who’s hesitating to start?

Don’t quit after the first rejection, like I did. If I had stuck with it and retried right after my first rejection, I would have made all my goals much sooner!

Photo Success Case Study #2: Katrina Elena Trninich

stock photography - Katrina Trninich

Professional Background: Art Director
Specialty: Newborns

Main Photo Market: Stock Photography – Portfolio Here  

What’s the number-one way you’ve been rewarded for giving photography a try?

Making money doing something that I enjoy (and would have done as a hobby for free anyways).

What’s the most recent photo you’ve sold?

Four week old newborn baby boy sleeping on a tiny inflatable swim ring. He is wearing crocheted board shorts and black sunglasses.

I have several versions of this same subject as it has proven to be a good seller. This image recently sold through my stock agency, Shutterstock, for 38 cents – and it sells regularly. I just reached $10,000 in all-time Shutterstock earnings, so even though you might not earn hundreds of dollars per photo sale, it really does add up.

What would you tell someone who’s hesitating to start?

Stock sales are not a “get rich quick scheme,” but with time and consistent effort, your sales will grow and provide passive income for you and your heirs.

For more, read Case Studies #3 and #4.

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