Most people find that an interesting hobby can add an exciting dimension to their lives, especially when a heavy work load or a full schedule of study seem to occupy too much of one’s precious time. Hobbies can be relaxing and refreshing, but an extra dimension is added when they are profitable as well. Although ideas are almost without limit, photography is a particularly interesting hobby with real profit potential.
It is possible, of course, to study photography seriously with a view to participating in competitions and art shows. If this is the primary objective, then support and assistance are not far away. Classes, lectures, and workshops are readily available in most communities. Libraries also contain a wealth of information in books and on videos, providing the photography enthusiast with every opportunity to learn how to produce artistic, award-winning pictures. Award-winning pictures are one thing, however; saleable pictures are another.
Enthusiasts who want to turn their hobby into a profitable venture will need to examine what particular characteristics of a picture make it saleable. An award-winning picture sporting the blue ribbon is not necessarily one that someone would want to buy. In fact, most of the photographic pictures sold in North America are family related, whether wedding groups, special occasions, or simply ordinary family portraits. An amateur photographer can easily tap into this market by learning some simple techniques practiced by experienced professionals.
Clients wanting to purchase family portraits or group pictures expect professional results showing interesting dynamics and happy, smiling faces. Professionals invariably insist that this cannot be achieved without correct lighting. It is essential to show full face angles in a soft light, using a flash to prevent unattractive shadow around the eyes. Even outside, it is often advisable to use a flash, though in full sunlight this would not be necessary.
Attractive body positioning is also essential to good photography. Pictures taken straight on are the least attractive and should be avoided if possible. It is better to have small groups in different positions, preferably with heads at different levels. This can be achieved by having some individuals standing, some seated, and others kneeling or crouching. Heads should be slightly tilted and hands shown on side view with fingers together.
Large groups can be more difficult to arrange. Straight on shots can hardly be avoided with a large group picture, but it is still important to pay attention to detail. This kind of picture usually requires the front row to be seated on chairs or on the floor, and if this is the case, attention must be given to the arrangements of legs and feet. Professionals would advise that legs should be crossed at the feet only, not at the knees. This is more artistic, and it is more pleasing to the eye. Other ideas about how to take saleable pictures can be obtained from a variety of sources.
For those who are interested in developing an interesting and profitable hobby, photography is hard to beat. It is not overly expensive to start up, and once a few contacts have been made, a small business can grow very quickly. The best advice is to keep it simple, stay with the hard-and fast-rules, and insist on happy, smiling faces.