Looking for advice

Cfaulk22Cfaulk22 Registered Users Posts: 5 Big grins

Hello! I am hoping you all may be able to help me.

My name is Caleb Faulkner, and for the past 8 years, I've been in the airline industry, having the opportunity to travel all over the world. Because of this unique opportunity, I wanted to be able to share my travels with my friends and family, so I picked up the hobby of photography, sharing my pictures on Facebook.

As I improved in my picture taking, many suggested I try to sell my pictures. So a little over 3 1/2 years ago, I created a website to sell my work...www.calebfaulknerphotography.com...but selling pictures is HARD! I created an account with Smugmug, and since creating my website, I've only sold one picture, yet I'm losing money each year to keep my site and domain name up and running.

The initial approach I've tried to take is one that has something for everyone. So with that in mind, I split my website up into sections. Portfolio (my favorites), Places, and Categories. While my site does provide something for everyone, I'm finding that it can come across stressful and overbearing, as I have SO many options to choose from, and it also seems as though people just don't buy pictures this way.

This is why I'm looking for help from a community of link minded individuals, many of whom I'm sure share in my desire to share/sell their work but don't know how to go about doing it. I've toyed with the idea of starting a travel blog, to have a place to both share in my travels as well as promote my pictures. I've also thought about minimizing my site to only a couple pictures from each location, or drastically cutting the cost and selling digital copies just to get something in return for my efforts.

I'm just looking for any and all advice/critiques/ideas/suggestions on where to go from here. The initial fun I had in sharing my journey with friends has slipped away in my pursuit to sell, yet I feel I'm wasting an opportunity by not trying to sell. Thank you all for any ideas you may have!

-Caleb Faulkner


  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Registered Users Posts: 5,444 Major grins

    What are you doing to promote you and or your photos? If you think by uploading your pictures to SmugMug then "They Will Come and Buy" isn't going to happen, as you've seen. What makes your pictures better than 1000 other photographers?

  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited February 6, 2017

    First impression, you have way, way too much on your website. It is completely overwhelming.

    While you have some nice images, they are more tourist type shots than getting to know the city/location. Travel photography is intimate and the best know these places inside and out before they even arrive. I would suggest that you look up John Huba or Philip Lee Harvey. These two rock that niche of photography and trot the globe selling images to major publications.

    If your goal is more of "selling to the tourists" who either didn't get or couldn't get good photos while visiting that particular location, then you'll have to really promote your website in travel or tourist magazines/websites.

    Trying to sell images from a website is tough under the best conditions as there is so much competition. I'm guessing that there are some who can earn a living this way, but you'd have better odds playing the lottery.

    Personally I would suggest instead, first trying to sell to the magazines. Yes in the beginning the pay will buy you a nice cup of coffee, but you have to get your feet wet somewhere.

    Then start working up to travel companies, tourist websites, tourism departments, travel guides, rental companies, and the like are all buyers of quality images if they are dedicated to that specific location. Not just the touristy stuff, but the real meat and bones of the location.

    Travel work isn't all about the "pretty" skyline. Loads of people can take "pretty" pictures, but very few can create saleable images on a regular basis. Do your homework, know what your clients want before they do.


  • spider_mycronspider_mycron Registered Users Posts: 8 Big grins
    i went to your site and i really like your work
  • puzzledpaulpuzzledpaul Registered Users Posts: 1,621 Major grins
    edited April 15, 2017

    taking note of Steve's advice would be a good start imo.
    I had a quick look at your site - and accepting that I've no interest in the genre, a couple of things immediately struck me ...
    Several pics - with obvious horizons in frame are tilted - I suspect others are too?
    If you're shooting w/life - one way - imo - to be different from others - is to use a low pov - do a google image search on (more or less) any w/life subject and note how many (few) shots have been taken this way.
    Changing your pov - in general - is obviously also a way to generate 'different' looking pics ... people know this - but rarely actually do it.


  • HathingtheHathingthe Registered Users Posts: 19 Big grins
    What about selling your photos to local communities promoting tourism in their region? Or travel agencies?
  • Starman800Starman800 Registered Users Posts: 8 Big grins


    First all, let me me say i looked at your website and the pictures you have are Great. Have you every thought of selling them on something like a Stock Image website. Like https://stock.adobe.com/ You upload your pictures to these type of sites and people who are in need of a certain picture can search it out and buy it for there use. There are tons of sites out like these.

    But i also have to agree with the others, your pictures are something that a tourist would get. You need to tell a story, show the people, the life, the culture of the city you are in. I think if you do this and submit to magazines and travel site, you could make some good money after awhile.

    Do some research on how others do it, Take some pictures how they do to get a feel for it. Then start branching out in your own way, your own style. Own the picture

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