I’ve been contemplating this theme for a while and finally ready to give some thoughts on a way to earn some quite easy $ this day in age…and this is something I almost never say in this dying industry, but hear me out…
As you’ve been following me for a while you will know that I’m big-time into following trends…
Retail Disruption on Steroids
Even before this Chinese virus proliferated there were major pressures on high-street / main-street retailers as consumers moved increasingly online. Nowadays, it’s a bloodbath, added with the current logistical disruptions, / rising transport costs. Lots of content out there that publications are dying to get a hold of to illustrate their articles.
Most boring type of photography, which sells (but not for so much)!
I know there are many more interesting subjects than capturing shop-fronts but sometimes in this business we have to capture boring/useful content that sells.
Therefore, whenever I’m out in the city centre I (try to) make a conscious effort to shoot shop-front windows just for the hell of it….because who knows maybe that shop won’t be around in a year. I don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future.
Some examples that have sold
Now, this is neither a trade nor academic blog, so sticking with the theme of making money with stock photography I’m happy to discuss which shop-front images have sold. Here’s a selection of some of my best-sellers of boring shop-fronts:
The image of the window into Patisserie Valerie is an interesting example since on that same week I read that directors were being investigated for fraud and I made a mental note to capture the façade, which sold.
Not just images of struggling businesses are in demand
More recently, a façade image of Itsu, a popular fast-food Japanese chain in the UK sold. Paid for my lunch!
Staying on the theme of food retailers, this image of the entrance to a Nando’s restaurant in London has sold a few times, going as far as being featured in one of the blog posts at the Business Insider blog, which is hugely popular.
How much have all my shop windows sold for?
Not much, in total about $200, which is OK considering I don’t do it very often (rather focus on book covers). These are by no means even close to top 5 selling images / concepts.
Nevertheless, if I’m out in town anyway I should just devote one afternoon and literally take pictures of all the shop fronts, such as on Gran Via in Madrid / Via Montenapoleone in Milan / Avenida da Liberdade in Lisbon / Oxford Street in London, especially if I’m on a creative down-period.
With the Xmas season approaching, this would be a perfect time, for instance this clip sold a few months back for earning me $24.
Some homework for you…
If you want to earn some $ doing this sort of assignment, I would suggest you do the following:
- Research retailers that are struggling in your area (although capturing the main retailers may be just as profitable);
- Head into town and try to capture the most interesting images of the facade and ensure to include people – motion blur added would be advantageous, especially if you can capture a person with the “V” shape walk;
- Don’t forget to also capture clips of the main shops;
- Keyword effectively and include up to date information if there is relevant news already out in public;
- Repeat exercise every year as the shops change hands;
Will be back soon with the October 2021 Brutally Honest earnings report and will see if I had any shop-front sales!
I’m an eccentric guy, currently based in Madrid, Spain, on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images & footage, when things go back to normal (Late-2021??). I’ve devoted eight years to making it as a travel photographer / videographer and freelance writer (however, had recently go back into full-time office work to make ends meet, although happy to report that it’s coming to an end soon). I hope to inspire others by showing an unique insight into a fascinating business model.
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