Photography Marketing: Think Local, Shoot Local

Take a walk through the bookstore off-campus at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and you’ll find that it does a roaring trade in pictures and postcards of surfers, crashing waves and young couples getting cozy on the beach. Santa Barbara Beach

Nothing too surprising about that. You can find images like these everywhere that students gather. The difference is that these posters don’t show waves and water from just anywhere; they depict Sands Beach and Campus Point, the main surfing spots for UCSB students who want time away from the books — something they do seem to want an awful lot.

The locations are beautiful and the pictures are… well, reasonable. You can certainly find better shots of sun, sea and surf. You’ve probably made better. But the posters sell like cold beer because they’re local. The name of the location is even printed in giant letters under the picture.

When students put them on the wall, they get to hear their friends say, “That’s where you go to school?” (Before adding a long “Duuude!” probably.)

When you’re selling images online, it doesn’t matter where you’re shooting. A sunset is a sunset the world over. But when you’re selling offline, and more importantly, when you’re selling locally, it’s amazing how well images of your area sell.

It might be counterintuitive. After all, any Joe with a camera can walk to the beach and snap away. But when the picture is mounted on a postcard or framed as a poster, it’s no longer a local shot. It’s a source of local pride.

Could a good archive of beautiful local pictures give you some extra revenue? There’s only one way to find out…think local, shoot local.

Photo on Flickr by McFads

[tags]Santa Barbara, Photography, Marketing, Surf, Local[/tags]

One comment for this post.

  1. ShootLocal Said:

    Hey, Dean. Although this post is a few years old, the concept of "local" is still relevant and is picking up steam. We recently launched our free location scouting app for iPhone, with a desktop interface, that gives visual content creators -- photographers, filmmakers, web producers, etc. -- a more efficient way of scouting, shooting, sharing and discovering shoot locations at a hyper-local level. Everything is organized by city, and we have a quickly growing community. Would love for you to check it out:; for the desktop interface. Let us know what you think! ~ Beverly Ingle, Chief Development Officer

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