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Palm tree reflections wave in the pool as jasmine and gardenia scents float through the air. Bonnie here, again, reporting from our hotel grounds in Maui, Hawaii, where tropical plants line the pathways and delicate flowers float in fountains. We’ve got our cameras out, and we’re on the hunt for stock shots we can get right here in our hotel’s “backyard.” In luxury vacation destinations like Maui, hotels and spas pay a lot of attention to detail with fresh flowers, fountains, creatively folded towels, exotic tropical plants, etc. When you’re in places like this, it’s easy to take along your camera and capture some detail shots you can sell as stock. Here in Maui, we’re looking for photos that say “hospitality,” “tranquility,” “luxury,” or “tropical,” without giving away the specific hotel where we’re staying. For stock, you want to go for a theme, while keeping the actual content of the photo generic, so that it will appeal to as many buyers as possible. Here are some of the shots we’ve taken around the grounds of our hotel:

Cheryl Michaels
Terry Granger
Deborah Kolb
Deborah Kolb
Valerie Wickland
Valerie Wickland
Bonnie Caton
Angie D’Amico

You could easily do this the next time you go to a nice hotel or spa. Here are three things to keep in mind to make your photos more saleable as stock: ** Clean Composition — Crop your photo to eliminate any clutter or distractions. ** Generic — Don’t include any details that make it obvious where you’re staying. You want your photos to reveal the general locale (Maui, Bali, or Venice, for example), but not the specific hotel or spa. ** Rule of Thirds — Just as with any other kind of photography, put the main subject of your photo on a “Thirds Line” for a stronger composition and a more saleable shot. (More on the Rule of Thirds.) Lighting can be tricky in tropical places like this — with extreme brights and darks. Tomorrow, I’ll show you a simple trick that our instructors Lise and Shelly are using to get good lighting in bright sun or dark shade. [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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