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“Come on… get up, get up,” nagged the little voice in my head. Our sleeping bags surrounded us in warmth, but it was past sunrise, and time was ticking. I knew the sunlight on the lake was going to get intense — fast. So we ripped ourselves from our cocoons, pulled on our frigid clothes, and ambled down to the lake’s edge. Frost coated everything — including our life jackets (brrr) — but the scene in front of us was too good to pass up.  Fog blanketed the lake’s surface as our kayaks silently eased into the water. Truly, we should have gotten up earlier. As soon as the sun touched the lake, the fog started burning off. But I did manage to take some photos that I hope to use as stock (after I remove the logos): Camping, being outdoors, and kayaking on a lake first thing in the morning (with people who are willing to model) are all part of my “unique access.” While I won’t likely win any awards with these photos, not everyone has access to this subject. And that makes these photos valuable. Your hobbies, your profession, people you know… any of those things can help you take photos that are unique and stock-worthy. What do you have access to that not everyone else gets to see? Go find that thing and photograph it for stock. It could be anything from horses to knitting supplies to your garden to hospital beds to a coffee shop espresso machine. Get out there and shoot what you know. It’s the fastest way to get a leg-up on the competition.

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