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Water is one of the most common things on Earth, yet it’s also one of the most magical. Whether frozen, liquid, or vapor, water in all its forms can give us endless inspiration for stock photography.

But with so many shots of water already out there, how can you make yours stand out from the crowd?

Here are some ways you can creatively photograph water, turning a common subject into uncommonly awesome stock photographs.

[Pssst… Premium Members! Use the following as ideas for this month’s water-themed Challenge, “Making Waves,” which ends on January 2. If you’re not a Premium Member, you can join today and get in on this month’s Challenge, here.


Early risers have an advantage here. Keep an eye out for interesting reflections in lakes and ponds on calm days. This can be a great way to play with perspective and composition.



Although it’s always tempting to stay inside on a rainy day, there are tons of photo opportunities out there when the weather turns. Bring a colorful umbrella, some rubber boots, and an adventurous model and you’ll be all set.


Make it artsy! Water is like an ever changing canvas in front of our cameras. Fill your frame with lines and colors to create images that could have a variety of purposes for stock.

Splash and Spray:

Just add water! Remember all the fun you could have as a kid with some water and a garden hose in the backyard? Capture that sense of fun in a photograph and you’re sure to have a great seller.


I think this photo speaks for itself. Have fun with this concept!


There is nothing quite like mist in the air to transform an ordinary scene into something mysterious and interesting.


Snowmen, snowflakes, ice skating, and frost covered mornings. If you live in a wintry place, there is a plethora of unique shots you can get in your environment. Who knows? You might just make some money to put towards a tropical vacation!


When photographing moving water in fountains, rivers or waterfalls, try putting your camera on a tripod and using a longer shutter speed. You’ll see that “lacy” effect that’s so popular in landscape photography… and you’ll come away with a “wow” shot, too.

No matter what subject you shoot, think about it in as many different ways as you can. Try writing down your ideas so you can come back to them later. Water, for instance, can be a bucket of water, a frozen snowflake, or mist in the air.

Vary up your subjects as much as you can, and you’ll never run out of things to shoot.

Have a great weekend!

— Bonnie

Bonnie Caton
Creator, Breakfast Stock Club

P.S. Premium members will find more water-inspired stock photo ideas, plus tips on keywording your photos so more buyers find them, on your Premium Member page.

Become a Premium Member to get in on this month’s Challenge — and submit your one best “water” shot for group reviews and a video Lightroom lesson, here.

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From Amy Muschik:

I have had a couple of nice sales this month on Shutterstock that have helped make it my best month ever for Stock photo sales. This one of my dog paid over $60.

From Elizabeth Coughlan: Recently, I had 3 images sold on Shutterstock for £28 each, and this week I sold 5 on Fotolia alone, as well as other sales on other sites.

From Theresa St John: Have had a few articles come out, with my images to go alongside them. I love being able to combine the two, makes me feel good.

From Karen Padilla: My article on Ghost Ranch got published in Travel Post Monthly along with some of my photos. Still haven’t uploaded to stock agencies but I’m encouraged now. Plan to get serious about the stock photos and finally upload.

Simply sign up to receive our FREE daily e-letter, The Right Way to Travel, and we'll immediately e-mail you our quick start guide to Photography "The 3 Best Markets To Sell Your Photos… And How To Break Into Them"... Absolutely, a special offer for our online training program.

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