I have great photographs of Paris, Death Valley, Thailand, Morocco and more, but the ones that sell best for me are local photos of the following subjects that I’ve shot in my hometown in Connecticut:
– Town hall
– All the churches
– Main street
– The interior of the bagel shop (where many people begin their day looking at the display case)
– Local restaurants
– The annual community fair
– The ice cream shop
– Many shots of two local farms during growing and harvest seasons
– Scenic compositions of bridges, mountains, historic buildings, parks
– River scenes
– The high school including the football field
– The cemetery
When you think about it, most of the people who live in a community do so because they love it. And want to honor it by putting pieces of local landmarks on their walls. To date, local shots account for about 80% of my sales.
I’ve found, too, that since I’ve developed a reputation as a local photographer, it’s opened up other opportunities to do commission work for people, portraits, events, buildings, products, etc. So my local shots have expanded my business and income opportunities.
If you’re just getting started with fine art photography, I suggest creating a portfolio of about 30 local scenes before you market your work. You need to look like the headquarters for local photography, not just someone with a few good pictures. (And remember: good pictures include good technique: think about things like composition, rule of thirds, and proper exposure when you’re out shooting. I also suggest using a program like Lightroom to process your images once you have them out of your camera.)
It’s also important to take multiple shots of all your subjects at each season of the year. The local cemetery is picturesque in spring, fall, and with a covering of fresh snow. The town hall looks great in the spring and winter. River scenes are lovely in summer and fall. If you find a subject worth adding to your collection, you should have at least two seasons represented in your portfolio.
Regardless of what you decide to shoot though, you should remember one important thing when you’re starting out:<strong> always have your camera with you.</strong>
Here are four shots that have become excellent sellers for me over the years. And each one was taken because I just stopped the car when I saw something worthy of a photo. None of these are the result of a planned trip.