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This photo makes me smile and cringe at the same time:

I took it years ago, while backpacking through Patagonia on a perfect day. The weather was ideal. My composition was right on. My companion was patient. And I had a great little camera.

But every time I see this photo, I wish I had known more about exposure. It’s SO DARK! Of course it got rejected from a stock agency. Just look at this other stock photo of the same subject, taken by someone else:

Everyone says, “Don’t compare yourself to others.”

And I wholeheartedly agree.

But you can learn a lot about photography by comparing your photos to other people’s photos.

Not to make yourself feel bad. And not to copy them. But to hone your skills, find your style, and become a photographic badass.

When you compare your photo to that of a more advanced photographer, you could have a few possible reactions:

  1. Oh wow, I suck.
  2. Well she had a better camera and I was there on a cloudy day.
  3. What a great image! How can I achieve that look in my own shots?

(We’re going for #3, here.)

This week, take a look at some of your favorite shots with a critical eye. Think: How could I improve this shot? What would make it better? What would make a buyer want it right away?

Then get out your camera and shoot with those things in mind.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly your photos — and sales! — improve.

— Bonnie

Bonnie Caton
Creator, Breakfast Stock Club

P.S. This month’s Breakfast Stock Club Premium Challenge ends TODAY! Premium members – get your one best “Photographers at Play” photo in for critique by midnight.

ANNNND… if you haven’t tried Premium membership, yet, see what it can do to boost your stock photo success here!

Your Weekly Breakfast Dish
The latest from your Breakfast StockClub Facebook Page

Lots going on at the Facebook page lately!

From Theresa St John: Two days from now I will be in Ireland! Can you say “happy photographer”? I sure can! Hoping to capture some glorious landscapes for fine art (have actually already talked to an Irish shop in my home town!) and some portraits of Irish people in everyday life. Super excited! I am going with a magazine assignment in hand – sweeeeeeet.

Theresa also shared a great quote: “People who lack the clarity, courage, or determination to follow their own dreams will often find ways to discourage yours. Live your truth and don’t EVER stop!” — Steve Marabolies

From Traci O’Brien: Hello all, very new to the group; love travel and taking photos, never thought I might be able to sell them, I hope to learn from you all and share.

From Sue Land: I am new member, have new camera, and lots of energy getting started this weekend on my first photo shoot. Cross fingers and wish me luck.

From Barbara McGlothlin: Thanks for your critique. With my photo I cropped out the distraction and BigStock accepted it this time. I also have one on MostPhotos. I am so excited… now if only they sell. I am going to submit more next week and I am going to start doing portrait work soon. Thanks again.

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