Welcome to the blog! twcdm.blogspot.com is all about sharing tips, tricks and tutorials all having to do with photography, Photoshop and getting into the stock photo industry.

Travis Manley

My bio is here.
My Stock Photography portfolio is here.
My personal blog is here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How I quit my day job and started my photography business

It's hard for me to believe I have been working from home for the last three years.

I think I knew I wanted to work for myself about five seconds after I started my first job at a Dairy Queen. Here I am standing behind the counter tugging at the too tight black slacks they gave me (that some how feel like they were made from cardboard) and a flaming red polo shirt. The first thing they had me do was practice making that little swirl at the top of the ice cream cones. The one that is supposed to look like the trademark DQ "D." I had to do this for about half an hour until I got it right. As much as I didn't want to work at the DQ it solidified for me that this is just the first stepping stone, I could only go up from here. I sometimes wonder if I had started out at some cushy job where I made good money doing little and wonder if I still would have had the drive to achieve something better for myself.

One thing I have learned it to set goals for yourself and strive to achieve them, but you also have to be willing to evaluate and adapt.I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, I just didn't want to work in fast food for the rest of my life.

It was about seven years later that I finally became self-employed and started working from home. The previous year I found an article about stock photography and, having just purchased my first DSLR camera, thought it couldn't hurt to submit some photos and see if they sold. Long story short they did sell, but my income from my photo sales alone after just a year wasn't enough for me to quit my day job.

I was working 40 hours a week at a store that sold paper and paper accessories. I spent every weekend shooting, editing, and uploading new photos to sell. I needed more time to work on my photos, so I started emailing the stock photo agency's I was selling at looking for work that I could do from home. I started working for one of these sites as a Image Inspector reviewing photos that other photographers uploaded.

Either job alone wasn't enough to support myself, but the two combined was. Working from home gave me the freedom to make my own schedule and work less hours. I also had more time to work on growing my photography business.

If you are interested in making money selling stock photos, please read through the articles on this blog. If you want to get started right now create an account by clicking on one of the links to the sites I sell at on the right side of this page. 

New Isolated Photos

I finally have my studio put back together after yet another remodel project. I had a whole shelf full of object that I had been setting aside to photograph. I wanted to attempt some isolated product photos that, when photographed, would appear that they were taken against a totally clean backdrop. Sure, you can isolate a photo in Photoshop, but that can take hours depending on the photo and sometimes results in edges that are too soft or look jagged.

I'm still perfecting this technique and I still ended up doing a little work in Photoshop, but I am happy with the results. Here are a few photos from my latest shoot.

Here are some of the tools I used: