By Jim Zuckerman
Lighthouses sell often for calendars, jigsaw puzzles, note cards, and fine art prints. This is Heceta Light on the Oregon coast, and I photographed it about 15 years ago. A client of mine recently bought 40 images for the right to reproduce them as canvas prints for national distribution, and this was one of the images he wanted. However, the original shot didn’t have Indian paintbrush flowers in the foreground because these flowers don’t grow in Oregon. My client didn’t care. He wanted some additional color because he knows that color is one of the biggest factors in selling prints. The fact that this is biologically incorrect was completely irrelevant to him and, more importantly, to the people who will buy this print.
The same is true for this farm I photographed in New England. The hillside behind the barn is covered with California poppies that were photographed in – no surprise – California. I had had these two images in my files for about 18 years before it occurred to me to combine them, and I did so only because this client kept asking for more and more color.
I teach Making Money with Your Photography here at Betterphoto.com, and one of the things that I stress in the course is that you will increase your income significantly if you are capable, and willing, to enhance reality. Your pictures are products, and they must satisfy the needs of your client. Some clients want unmanipulated images, and that’s fine. Most clients, however, don’t care how you got the picture. They just want an image that works for them, whether it’s a magazine cover, a canvas print, or an advertisement.