“It feels great,” says amateur photographer Rich Legg of the sensation he gets when he sells his photos. “More important than the money though is the validation I feel. When someone contacts me about purchasing one of my images, I really feel that I have created something special.”
And Rich should know. Although he works as a real estate broker, Rich carries his camera wherever he goes, shooting between 200 and 300 shots per week in what he calls a search for that One special capture. In the process, he gets to practice and perfect his technique, and when he makes his best shots available on his blog, Flickr or a forum, that dedication occasionally turns into validation… and revenue.
“Just this week I was contacted by a book publisher about doing some spec work for a government publication,” Rich said in an email interview. “They found me by doing a search on Flickr for Salt Lake City photos. The job could end up paying over $1,000, yet this contact came from a free photo-sharing website.”
Rich also sold a picture of the Salt Lake City skyline to an ad agency for $200 — a photo that he’d taken in ten minutes on his way to the office, but it was his image on his own blog of a light bulb burning out that really sent him to the top of the blogosphere. The page reached the top of Digg and sent his pageload stats through the roof.
In an earlier post, we described how Digg can help photographers and noted Rich’s success, but according to Rich the effects are long-lasting. “I have noticed that my returning visitor count has increased by about tenfold,” Rich says. “This is probably the best thing about it.”
And Rich’s advice for other photographers in search of success like his?
“[S]hoot a lot. Work on perfecting the technical aspect of your work. Then get your work out there.”
[tags]Rich Legg, Photography[/tags]