I recently had the opportunity to visit Porto for the day and was keen to make the most of it with stock shots. I wasn’t there for too long, only 5 hours, although I believe I made good use of the time with some intelligent decisions, at least while sober!
Avoid the cliche but admire the beauty nevertheless
Arriving at Sao Bento station, I couldn’t help appreciate the walls covered in blue azulejo tiles. Although the place is done to death, I still put together a timelapse of the tourists and locals buzzing around. I opted to use my Nikon D800 for the clip to take advantage of the ND filter to slow things down, while using my Panasonic Lumix for the real-time 4K.
I’m not expecting huge sales from these, I suppose more of a souvenir for me.
Arriving at the Ribeira waterfront
Most tourists eventually end up at the Douro River waterfront, overlooking the Dom Luis I bridge. Many restaurants, bars and touristic sights around. Not my favourite type of place to capture stock since it’s done to death…but I had an idea…
Since I was in Porto, not Venice…it’s still quite affordable to sit at a touristic bar/restaurant with a view. I decided to order myself three types of local wines and create some stock concepts around those, which would at least help the concepts stand out from the crowd. After all, Porto is famous for its wines.
Red, white and drunk
After ordering three drinks: a red, white and Porto wine, I set up the shots, always ensuring ample copy space. The white wine, in particular, gave some interesting reflections and I used that one the most, both reflecting on the bridge, boats and the corresponding riverbank in the neighbourhood of Vila Nova de Gaia.
Always taking advantage of opportunities, I took some real-time and timelapses:
Next, onto food
After downing those three drinks I needed some food. I wanted to also shoot some local food, such as the famous Porto, Francesinha, calorie-bomb which consists of bread (the thicker the better), wet-cured ham, linguiça (a portuguese sausage), steak or roast beef, everything covered with melted cheese and a special tomato and beer sauce. Most times it’s served with a fried egg on top and french fries that you can dip in the sauce. Delicious. However, it was 5pm and the kitchen was only opening at 7pm and the light on the foreground had already faded. Such a pity.
While I there I ordered some cheese and bread. At least I’d use the pretty bread-basket with the background, which may generate some sales. The waitress warned me about those pesky seagulls!
How much did it all cost me?
3 wines + bread and cheese came to a quite affordable 24 euros, which makes Portugal such a great place to travel.
Will I be able to make the investment back with these shots and videos above (plus many more that I didn’t post). Probably, but never a guarantee. Nevertheless, I had a fun time in Porto and will be sure to go back and for sure sample the Francesinha.
What’s the lesson here?
If anything, the lesson here is to try to differentiate yourself from the competition. I did my best by ordering a drink. Next step would have been to use an attractive Portuguese woman and perhaps also an attractive man and have a shoot of them drinking wine together at sunset next to the river. Perhaps next time.
Only by going the extra mile will you have a chance to generate significant sales. As mentioned earlier, a pretty yet ordinary shot of the bridge and river is asking for disappointment. Oh unless you flood the place muahahah – check out my latest controversial urban disaster series.
Some stuff going to Robert Harding
As for my more premium-type shots (really not that premium but I would say slightly above average), I’ve sent them off to RH and waiting to hear back from them.
Until next time and cheers!
I’m an eccentric guy on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images & footage. I’m determined not to waste my life away as a corporate drone and have devoted over six years to making it as a travel photographer and freelance writer. I hope to inspire others before it’s too late.
I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography