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Can you guess the top three things that the most successful stock photographers have in common? Clue 1: It’s not years of experience.  You don’t need any previous photography experience to upload your photos to stock sites and start making an income. Lise Gagne, one of the top stock photographers in the industry, started with a cheap pawn shop camera and no experience. Clue 2: It’s not the most expensive equipment.  You do need something more than a point-and-shoot to sell your photos as stock. But it doesn’t have to be a Hasselblad. Camera technology is getting better and better every day, and you can easily start with a consumer-grade SLR or a smaller mirrorless camera like the ones we wrote about last month, here. Clue 3: It’s not knowing how to shoot in manual mode. Shooting in manual mode is great when you want full creative control. But you don’t need to know all of your camera’s bells and whistles to take photos you can sell. In most situations, your camera’s auto functions will work just fine. The top three things that the most successful photographers have in common are: 1. They shoot a lot. Lise Gagne started with no experience, but she took her camera out and shot photos every day. There is no faster way to take better photos… and accumulate a portfolio of images that will sell. 2. They start before they’re “ready.” This is a big one. Stock photography is a time game. The longer your images are online, collecting sales, the more you’ll make in the end. The absolute best time to start is right now. Don’t wait because you will never be “ready.” 3. They process their photos. Every successful stock photographer spends at least a few minutes processing each image (and sometimes a few hours, if they’re creating a masterpiece). But you don’t need Photoshop. Instead, get the cheaper, faster, easier-to-learn alternative, Lightroom. It’ll do everything you need and more. Even just two minutes of processing in Lightroom makes a HUGE difference in whether a buyer chooses your photo over another. Share on Facebook

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Three Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]