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Selling my photographs

In the world of sales, understanding your audience and offering what they desire to purchase is key. It's a principle that sounds simple but can be surprisingly challenging to put into practice. In my career as a news photographer, this idea has become a constant pursuit.

My daily routine is filled with a delicate balance of researching and shooting. Scouring newspapers for breaking stories and accompanying photographs is only the tip of the iceberg. Every three months, I create a mind map to identify potential news trends and scan social media for the latest news and events. Local happenings, breaking trends, seasonal shifts—all these factors shape my approach, whether I'm focusing on news or stock photography. For instance, as autumn approaches, my thoughts turn to capturing the unique essence of the season.

When taking news photographs, I always consider the possibility of them being used as stock in the future. This foresight doesn't mean mimicking what's popular but rather understanding the appeal and crafting my unique perspective.

The process starts even before the shutter clicks. Thinking like an image buyer, I ponder the potential uses of each photograph, imagining how it can best serve the viewer.

My strategy isn't without its challenges. I often grapple with a decision-making algorithm I refer to as “Exploit or Explore.” Do I capitalize on proven sellers, or venture into uncharted territory to discover something new? My frequent assignments in Downing Street, London—home to the U.K.'s top political offices—offer a dependable market, but I often wonder if I should expand my horizons. Balancing this exploration with daily necessities, like hitting my 10,000-step goal set by my personal trainer, my camera never leaves my side. I abide by a simple philosophy: better to have your camera and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Stock photography is more than capturing a beautiful image; it's about understanding trends and needs, crafting captivating captions that answer the fundamental questions of who, what, when, where, and why, and employing skillful keywording. Even the inclusion of Latin names for flora and fauna can elevate a photograph's value. Attention to these details, paired with technical proficiency, crafts the full picture of success in this ever-evolving field


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