Easiest Way to Earn Money with Editorial Photos (Shop Windows)

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!

Link to article

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.

Link to blog post

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.

Empty Rua Augusta in Lisbon, Portugal during lockdown times

With the Xmas season approaching, this would be a perfect time, for instance this clip sold a few months back for earning me $24.

Link to clip

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;
Try to slow down your shutter speed and keep steady!
  • 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;
  • Earn!

Will be back soon with the October 2021 Brutally Honest earnings report and will see if I had any shop-front sales!

About Alex

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


  1. Hey Andre, how are you doing? I just read your latest newsletter, interesting but off the mark. Store and restaurant fronts suck. I have 88 images that have sold 43 times for $25.50 – Nope I don’t do them anymore. You walk your ass off for very little gain. One really easy category is inside grocery stores, product shots. I do these every time I go grocery shopping. I have 173 images that have made me $46.38 from 95 downloads. I am the king of images that don’t sell. If you ever come across a category that does sell, let me know. I have 11,000+ images in my port that don’t sell. I just recently traded off all of my DSLR equipment in favor of mirrorless. Cameras and lenses. So far I’ve not taken many pictures with the new Z 7 ii and the Z6 but I love both cameras. I’m just now getting ready to start taking pictures that won’t sell or sell for dimes again. Here is the link to my port on SS. None of those pictures on page one sell for much. https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Grossinger?sort=popular My selfies? Earned so far $318.68 from 418 sales of a total of 2127 images. They are cheap, fast and easy to make and they don’t pay much. I hope you are doing better. Joe Grossinger

    On Fri, Oct 22, 2021 at 2:17 AM Alexandre Rotenberg’s Brutally Honest Guide to Stock Photography & Footage wrote:

    > Alexandre Rotenberg posted: ” 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 followin” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Alex! Thanks for the content Just want to share with you some ridiculous trends within Stock Photography. More and more restrictions coming, like “tattoo property wasn’t provided”. Related to my models tattoo hardly visible on his arm, when working out at a gym. Then “property release not provided” on an image of the models sport shoes with dumbells on a floor close up. Even if both are without any logos…what do you think about that? Alfred


    • Hi Alfred,

      I think it’s nonsense to have an image rejected because of tattoos but generally doesn’t take too much effort to clone out a tattoo (assuming it’s not so close up).
      Also when I shoot cityscapes and there is senseless graffiti I sometimes I have a rejection, which is frustrating.

      All the best,



      • Thank you Alex for reply. Strangely, half of the biggest agencies have approved the photos, but half rejected for those or other reasons (like a Model Release form provided is not sufficient…). Anyways, an another lesson learnt about strategies of the agencies. Cheers, Alfred


  3. I’ve been following your blog and I must say that reading the articles of this blog it’s more than clear that you are not a honest person but a stupid person.

    Also looking at your photos in your portfolios it is more than evident that you are a mediocre photographer. Looks like you want to make a lot of money with the poor pictures you make.

    Being brutally honest you should really give up photography because you really don’t have a love for photography! Just an interest!


    • Care to share your portfolio then? All the images in this article while not being out of this world they are good for what they are…editorial images for news publications which makes them very important. Can’t really do much better but feel free to show us your work as I assume you take similar images that are way better….


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