Latest Posts

Make Travel Memories Last Forever

Ideas to make your Travel Memories Last Forever

The purpose of traveling is to make memories worth remembering till our last breath. Everyone wishes for their best travel memories to last forever. But what actually happens is that most of our trips turn into a few Instagram and Facebook posts & nothing more than that.
Most photos we click end up in albums that might not be opened until next time there are more to put in and the souvenirs usually die a slow death in our homes. Apparently, to make our travel memories live longer and make us smile everytime they remind us of the trips, we need to do things differently.
Here’s a list of some creative ideas to make your travel memories last forever—

1. ,

How about sending postcards to yourself? Sounds crazy? Read along.
I know postcards are generally sent to family or close friends. That’s the thing most people do; but I’m asking you to send postcards to your own address. Here’s the point— Just date them to future. Date them months or even years down the line.

Make Travel Memories Last Forever - stolenmaps
Write about things random happening around you out there, somewhere far from home… Write about that weirdo (or that cute boy/girl) you met in the Amsterdam hostel you stayed at or how you felt scuba diving in the Indian ocean for the first time or how peaceful it is to meditate in a Buddhist monastery.
And by the time they reach you, you probably would’ve forgotten about those travel memories. The postcards sent this way surprisingly, unexpectedly braing back to you all those moments and travel memories. 🙂

2. Have your travel moments canvas-printed

Your best travel memories printed on canvas framed to hang on walls of your home. Sounds nice, no?
Some websites offer services to get your photos printed on canvas, framed and delivered to your doorstep. Many people in America like CanvasPop & CanvasDecor for this. A lot of options are available out there to choose from, pick according to your needs, convenience and of course, budget.
P.S. I’m not profited from the links above in any way.

3. Memory Wall

How about choosing a wall in your home, and turning it into a canvas of your travel memories. Put up your best travel photographs, souvenirs, collectibles, postcards, charms, etc. on the wall and you’re good to go!

Make Travel Memories Last Forever- travel wall- stolenmaps
Make a random collage; maybe add some wanderlust quotes to it…. It’s all about feeling joyful everytime you look it or show it to someone.
Create an amazing gallery of the moments you’d never wish to forget. The memory wall will always remind you of what you felt out there traveling and how liberating travel is.
The wall will be your constant inspiration and reminder that the world is fucking’ huge and the life damn short!! So, you gotta pack your bags and get going now!!

4. Travel Blogging

Nothing is better than writing your experiences and feelings for the world to read and get inspired. Travel blogging is something that most travelers do, and you should too.
Travel blogging not only helps you “keep” precious travel memories, but also share them with people of same interests, know more travelers, meet people like you and make new friends.
Moreover, travel blogging can fetch you a handsome sum of money on a regular basis, if you get the hang of it. Many travelers fund their travels through travel blogging (and other freelance jobs).
Most web hosting companies offer cheap plans to get started with blogging at nominal cost. So, what are you waiting for?

5. Collectibles and Souvenirs

How about making an enviable collection of uncommon spices that you came across while traveling?
Most travelers have the habit of collecting items while traveling. Some of us like to collect classic things like stamps or coins, while few others go for uncommon items like shot-glasses. Of course, what you collect is all up to you.

Make Travel Memories Last Forever- collectibles- stolenmaps
Ideas of some cool collectibles—

  • Travel tickets you bought
  • Menus of restaurants you ate at
  • Uncommon spices
  • Coins, stamps, postcards, currency notes
  • Bracelets or similar jewelry items
  • Pebbles from mountains
  • Sand or sea-shells from beaches
  • Shot-glasses or perfume bottles

P.S. I’d love to see your collection. Tell me what you like collecting the most in the comments section below.

6. Music Playlists

An interesting idea is to create Travel Playlists, every time you travel.
Listen to folk songs or traditional music of the places you visit to. It will enhance your travel experiences as you feel closer to the local culture. Make collection of those songs. Mark your favorites also.
Feel the connection between the music and your surroundings. Like Buddhist chants in monasteries, jazz music on road-trips, bollywood music in Indian transports, etc.
Even months later, listening to the playlists will bring back many travel memories. That’s how you keep your travel moments and memories alive, even after a long time.

Make Travel Memories Last Forever- collectibles- playlists- stolenmaps
P.S. You can always use SHAZAM (Android and iOS) to instantly identify the songs playing around you.

7. Destination Boxes

Ever thought of making travel memories boxes (destination boxes) for all the place you travel to.

Make Travel Memories Last Forever- destination box - stolenmaps
It’s best to choose wooden boxes; paint them with destination names. Fill the boxes with tiny things that remind you of the destination you traveled to. It can be anything like tickets, stamps, postcards, souvenirs, etc. Place the boxes on a shelf or something in your living room, and you’re done!
Not only the boxes look tempting to open, they also keep your collected items at one place.

That’s all I had to share. Please share your tips/ideas on this post and if you want me to write about something, just drop me a comment down below.

Which of these ideas you liked the most?

Comment below… It means a lot to me 🙂

Finding Cheap Accommodation House Sitting

Finding Cheap Accommodation: House Sitting

House Sitting

Wherein a house-owner when goes away for some time leaves someone (house sitter) to take care of the house and/or some pets. 

The sitter by a mutual agreement lives there rent-free in exchange for taking care of the house, pets, plants or garden, performing general maintenance, etc.As a house sitter you get a house to stay at and the owner gets a keeper for free, it’s mutually beneficial.

House sitting is a great way to find free accommodation in most parts of the world. All you need to do in exchange is take care of a house and some pet animals like cats, dogs, fish or birds. It’s pretty common that owners leave pets in your care.

Benefits of House Sitting

House sitting is no doubt a win-win deal:

  1. The work is easy and usually there’s not too much to do, just the general maintenance.
  2. Free accommodation for a couple of weeks/months in a foreign country will save you a lot of money. Maybe enough to fund your next few flights. 😉
  3. You may find yourself a cute little finny, feathery or furry companion to spend time with. If you ask me, I’m fed up human company and won’t mind having a few cats around me for a change.
  4. Think of all the photos you can click with the cute pets. Your Instagram is gonna get a lot more adorable. Instagram is crazy about cute animal pictures, just saying in case you’re living under a rock…..

Why do I have to write something so obvious??🙄 Something is definitely wrong with me.

Plenty of house sitting websites are available on the web, but which one is the best? The answer is— best website is the one that lists the house sitting job you want. Simple.

Here goes the list of good online resource that help you find decent house sitting jobs and free accommodation—

1. Trusted House Sitters

In less than 7 years, THS has become the market leader in house sitting portals all over the web. Probably the most popular and most trusted platform out there to find house sitting opportunities. An excellent site to find you the best job that suits your travel plans.

Finding Cheap Accommodation House Sitting

THS lists thousands of house and pet sitting jobs from all around the world.  Jobs range from as short as few days to as long as a few months. Popular house sitting countries listed on the website are:

  • UK
  • USA
  • Canada
  • France
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

You’re most likely to find maximum jobs in these countries.

Pet & House Sitting

If you’re comfortable with keeping a few cute little fluffy/furry/feathered creatures, the site offers plenty of pet sitting jobs (along with house sitting, of course). Use search filter to narrow down the search results to specific pets, like cats only or fish only or no animal at all.

Membership

To contact house owners you first need to purchase its (expensive) Annual Membership plan. However, you might be able to get some discount. Search online for THS membership coupon codes. I’m sure you’ll find some 10-15% discount code after scanning a few sites. Also, keep visiting the THS every few weeks just to make sure you don’t miss out on any membership sale. The discount offered is often 20-30%.

However, the search feature is open to everyone with or without an account. You can always search for house sitting jobs that go well with your travel plans and buy membership only if you feeling like applying to one.

Affiliate Program

Just in case you’d like to earn some extra bucks, Trusted House Sitters offers an affiliate program with commission rates up to 20% per sale! Additional incentives for driving leads and other kinds of sales too.

My Suggestion

Trusted House Sitters membership is costlier than most other websites. If you’re new to house sitting, don’t buy the plan unless you’re certain that you found the right job you’re looking for. For those who have been sitting houses for quite some time and definite about scoring decent jobs, go for THS!

Charges: $119 (USD) annual membership.

 

2. Mind my House

Mind my House relatively has fewer jobs listed. But is definitely worth a look. Website’s simple interface is pretty well laid out and easy to use.

Finding Cheap Accommodation House Sitting

The site costs just $20 to house sitters looking for decent house sitting opportunities. If you’re new to house sitting and don’t wanna spend a lot of money in the beginning, Mind my House is a good choice for you. 

The website is not as popular as others and has kind of mixed reviews, neither too bad nor too good. If you find a job that catches your fancy, $20 dollars isn’t too high a price to give it a try.

Charges: $20 annual membership.

 

3. House Carers

House Carers is one of the oldest sites in its industry, almost two decades old, and has built really good reputation and trust among its users. Most reviews are in the favor of website’s “fair” working and no fluff information. 

House carer’s interface is not as good as many others, but provides good sorting and filter functioning in search lists.

Finding Cheap Accommodation House Sitting

The website primarily lists house sitting (or pet sitting) jobs from USA and Australia. If you’re traveling to these regions and looking for free accommodation, the website is definitely worth a visit.

You can sign-up as free account to get notified about relevant house sitting  jobs. However, to apply you need paid membership. Membership charges are also not as high as Trusted House Sitters or Nomador.

Charges: $50 annual membership.

 

4. Nomador

Are you new to house sitting and looking for free accommodation in France? If yes, then Nomador has got you covered!

Nomador is an international house sitting community of more than 100k members! The site has gained popularity in European countries (mainly France) and is now getting popular globally. What I mean is that most jobs listed belong to France and other European countries.

Finding Cheap Accommodation House Sitting

The site is technically much better than several other similar sites. Nomador recently updated its website interface and search feature to provide better user-experience. Search feature to find house-sits is open for everyone to use, with or without an account. Also, you can filter the search results primarily on the basis of destination (city/region/country) and dates (date/period/season).

What makes Nomador a great site for beginners is its free “Discovery” option. Discovery allows users to apply for 3 house sitting jobs absolutely FREE! 

Paid membership is termed- “Confidence”. Paid members get the benefit of applying to as many jobs as they like. They also get search priority whenever a home-owner searches for house-sitters. I obviously suggest applying to 1 or 2 jobs for free and see yourself whether the site membership is actually worth paying for.

Charges: $89 for annual subscription or $35 for 3 months.

 

Other popular websites:

  • Luxury House Sitting
  • Sabbatical Homes
  • House Sitters America [America]
  • Aussie House Sitters [Australia]
  • Happy House Sitters [Australia]
  • Kiwi House Sitters [New Zealand]

 

Note: Make sure you clearly discuss with house owner the details of job and what they expected you to do. And don’t forget to discuss the utility expenses like electricity, water-supply, Internet services, etc. before making the commitment.

That’s all I had to share. Please share your valuable tips/ideas in the Comments section below. If you want me to write posts on specific topics, just drop me a comment down below.

Did you find any of the above sites useful?

I’d love to hear your reviews.

Comment below… It means a lot to me 🙂

Finding Cheap Accommodation Volunteering Abroad

Finding Cheap Accommodation: Volunteering Abroad

Volunteering Abroad

2 types of volunteering opportunities are there— you work for organizations in developing countries to make things better and bring some good changes in the region. The other one is when you work for some hotel, bar, hostel or similar establishments looking for volunteers. The former is more of a social cause and the latter is sort of a part-time job. 

When it comes to volunteering opportunities in developing countries, most agencies involved ask volunteers to pay a lot of money for the experience. They literally demand thousands of dollars. Though the money covers food, accommodation and other management fees; dealing directly with the organization asking for volunteers may help you save a lot of it.

Working and Paying

Sometimes working for hotels/hostels/bars/restaurants need you to work a few hours 4 or 5 days a week and also pay for accommodation (and/or food) at the same time. You might think people are crazy to do paid work that earns them no certificate or something. No, they aren’t. The logic is simple— usually the amount you pay per day is much lower than what you would pay to hotels to stay in. So, think of it as a part-time job that helps you find cheaper accommodation than hotels. Simple.

A lot of volunteering opportunities in farming, childcare, cooking, education, teaching, health-care, photography, writing, etc. are available all around the world. The time-length of these projects/jobs can be as short-termed as a couple of weeks to as long as an entire year. You just need to find the right work that goes well with your travel plans. 

Here goes the list of best online resources to find your perfect host—

1. Workaway

workaway.info is a nice platform for those who seek volunteer opportunities. With over 30k+ hosts from more than 170 countries, workaway is a great place for you to find right hosts.

 

Workaway is primarily for cultural exchange or learning possibilities. So don’t expect to find many paid jobs. However, sometimes the hosts look for more help than usual volunteer work and they may offer you paid allowance. The allowance is usually meant to meet the minimum wage requirements of their country. 

The site offers you the option of signing up as couple account at a lower price for friends, partners, families who always travel and volunteer together.

Charges: Annual fee of $36 for individual account & $46 for couple account.

 

2. Grassroots Volunteering

GV lists volunteering opportunities worldwide in exchange for cheap or free accommodation and food. Grassroots Volunteering (GV) connects freelancers and travelers across the world to causes and communities in the places they travel to.

GV is more like a search engine where you find suitable projects for your next trip. As a volunteer, you will have to contact directly on your own the organizations listed on Grassroots Volunteering website.

Charges: None, FREE!

 

3. WWOOF

WWOOF (Working Weekends on Organic Farms) is a network of local organizations that connects organic farms and similar smallholdings to volunteers around the world. You’ll have to work for 4-6 hours each day in exchange for food and accommodation.

You can WWOOF in more than 120 countries, chances are that some hosts are available in your own country. If you’re new to WWOOF, I suggest you to begin volunteering in your own country first.

WWOOF is organized by countries individually. So you will, first of all, choose the country that you’re gonna travel to. Then sign-up as a volunteer on the WWOOF organization managing that particular country.

Charges: $40 an year (on average)

 

4. WorldPackers

“Through an online platform, we connect travelers – looking to exchange their skills for accommodation – with incredible hosts from all around the world.”

WorldPackers is definitely one the most popular and most trusted volunteering platforms out there. Excellent website and mobile apps (iOS & android) provides you access on-the-go. I just love the website and strongly recommend it. Work Exchange, Social Impact and Ecological projects are main categories on the site.

15 October 2018 onwards, only members who join the WP Annual Membership will be able to apply, chat with, and confirm trips. These travelers will become Verified Members of the community.

Charges: $49 for annual membership plan.

 

5. Staydu

The search system on this website is very simple, clean and dead easy to use. You don’t even need to sign-up to search hosts. I just love how this website looks and works. Staydu is probably the simplest of all such websites out there.

The site lists three kinds of hosts—

  • Stay & Help (RED): Hosts host you in exchange of few hours of work/help everyday. Generally 5 hours of work is demanded.
  • Stay & Pay (YELLOW): Hosts host you in return for money.
  • Stay for Free (BLUE): Hosts welcome you as a part of their life. You stay with them for free.

Many hosts offer free accommodation (blue). If you’re lucky enough, you may find a place to stay for free. I suggest you to find “stay & help” (red) host or willingly help Blue hosts; so that you don’t get that awful feeling of being a burden on them. Moreover, the hosts might also pay to meet minimum wages requirements of their country. Just find the right host for you.

Charges: None, FREE!

 

Other volunteering websites worth checking out are

  • hosteltraveljobs.com
  • hosteljobs.net
  • volunteermatch.org
  • pickingjobs.com
  • helpx.net
  • allforgood.com
  • anyworkanywhere.com

 

NOTE: If you volunteer for a host/local organization that pays you in cash in return for your work, don’t accept it unless you have its permit. To legally work and receive payment in some countries, you might need proper work permit or work visa.

That’s all I had to share. Please share your valuable tips/ideas in the Comments section below. If you want me to write posts on specific topics, just drop a comment down below.

Did you find any of the above sites useful?

I’d love to hear your reviews.

Comment below… It means a lot to me 🙂

most visited places in India by Foreigners

7 most visited places in India by Foreigners

India every year receives millions of foreigners with open arms. Here’s the list of seven most visited places by foreigners in India—

Goa

This list would be incomplete without Goa — The party capital of India, the place loved by foreigners and Indians alike.
Vibrant nightlife, beach parties, thrilling water-sports & exotic beach bars all make Goa a great escape from our boring routine-lives. Being under Portuguese rule for more than four centuries, the Goan culture is highly influenced by it. Goa portrays an entirely different picture of India as a country to foreigners.
North Goa receives more tourists because of low and medium budget accommodations and recreation activities. South Goa on the other hand has lots of high-end luxury hotels and private beaches.

Popular Attractions: Goa Carnival celebrated in the month of February, centuries old cathedral churches, flea markets, colonial forts. Also sports like river-rafting, scuba diving and para-gliding are great here. And yeah, don’t forget to try Feni (cashew spirit).
Best time to visit: October to February, the weather is just awesome!!

Mysore, Karnataka

Mysore — The City of Palaces, once ruled by Wodeyar dynasty is now known for its royal culture, history, architecturally masterpiece palaces and beautiful gardens. The city is settled at the bottom of Chamundi Hills.
Palaces, gardens, churches, temples and markets attract foreign tourists to visit Mysore. Any trip to Southern India is incomplete without a visit to Mysore.
Mysore in last few years has been booming with tourists (especially foreigners). The royal city with magnificent buildings built during British rule in India is loved by foreign tourists coming to India.

most visited places in India by Foreigners (Mysore)

Mysore Palace ©AlinDev

Don’t Miss: Mysore Zoo, Sand Museum, Mysore Palace, Chamundi temple, St. Philomena’s Church, Ranganathittu bird sanctuary & Devaraja market.
Best time to visit: Weather in October to January is best to enjoy the city comfortably.

Kasol, Himachal Pradesh

Kasol (in Kullu dist) is a really beautiful town in the Parvati valley. The beauty of Kasol is complimented by the Parvati River. Kasol is not so popular amongst Indian travelers but foreign tourists love to visit this place.
Unconventional lifestyle of people residing in this hamlet intrigues travelers, especially foreigners. Kasol offers a number of treks, camping, rock-climbing to please your itch of adventure. Travelers suggest that Kheerganga trek is a must here.
Another thing that attract many people is easily available Marijuana.

I don't promote/suggest substance abuse of any kind. It's better to stay away from such things.
most visited places in India by Foreigners (Kasol)

©AlokKumar Looks like a painting, no?… The Parvati river flowing in sweeping meanders. Kasol, HP.

Reaching There: Bhuntar (town close to Kasol) has good connectivity with the place. Bhuntar has good by-road connectivity with other popular cities/towns. Bus service in Bhuntar is available in day-time and private taxis are always available to take you to Kasol. Many regular buses are available from Manali also.
Don’t miss: Trekking and Camping, Gurudwara Shri Manikaran Sahib & Tosh village.
Best time to visit: Kasol experiences nice weather throughout the year. Still, June to October is preferred. Also, the time of March to May (spring basically) is best to wittiness Kasol’s wilderness at its best.

Kutch, Gujarat

Kutch is one the best tourist destination western India offers. The Rann of Kutch is a vast tortoise-shaped land of white sand shines like moon under moonlight. Famous for its handicraft products, interesting architecture and exquisite apparel attracts thousands of foreigners every year.

most visited places in India by Foreigners (Kutch)

Rann of Kutch at night. ©RannUtsav

Don’t miss: The Great Rann of Kutch, Night camel safari, desert camps, camel race, handicarft exhitibions & markets, Kalo Dungar (The Black Hill) and Mandvi beach.
Reaching There: Airport and railway stations in Bhuj (capital of kutch). Bhuj is well connected by road with other major cities of the state. Bus services are there too, quite uncomfortable journey though.

Delhi

A trip to India is incomplete without Delhi. The Capital is among the places most visited by foreign travelers. Delhi has been a seat of power for thousands of years and has witnessed the rise and demise of innumerable dynasties. Some of the most powerful dynasties that existed on the face of earth once flourished on this land and slowly died silent deaths. From mighty Pandavas to Mughals to rule of Britishers to India’s freedom struggle leading to independent India; Delhi has witnessed it all.

most visited places in India by Foreigners (Delhi)

Connaught Place, Delhi ©Deepak Chandok

Don’t miss: Akshardham Temple, The India Gate, Iscon Temple, Red Fort, RajGhat, Connaught Place Humayun’s Tomb, Purana Kila, Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple, Chandi Chowk. 

Best time to visit: October to March. Cold weather is best for traveling around.

Agra

Just like Delhi, Agra is on bucket list of every traveler coming to India. Travelers all around the world love Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal, one in seven wonders of the world, is definitely on bucket list of most travelers. 

Every year about a million foreign visitors come to see this beauty of white marble. Apart from Taj Mahal, people also love to visit the other ancient places of the city that narrate fascinating history of India.

Don’t miss: Agra Fort, Moti Masjid, Jama Masjid.

Best time to visit: November to March, pleasant weather makes your journey comfortable. 

Varanasi, UP

Varanasi is the place that reflects true nature, true image of India. The ghats of Varanasi must be on the list of every foreign traveler who comes to India.

Varanasi is not as developed as Delhi or Mysore, but welcomes every traveler with open arms. The ancient temples, aroma of incense sticks, Hindu priests enchanting prayers and sound of holy bells gives an entire different character to Varanasi at night.

most visited places in India by Foreigners (Varanasi)

Don’t miss: Kashi Vishwanath Temple,  Dashashwamedh ghat, Manikarna ghat, Ramnagar Fort.

Best time to visit: October to March. Varanasi celebrates Diwali and Holi festivals like no other place in India. It’s best to visit Varanasi on one of these festivals.

Featured Image Credits: ©TourGuideAgra.com

That’s all I had to share. Please share your valuable tips/ideas in the comments section below. If you want me to write posts on specific topics, just drop me a comment.

Which of these are on your bucket list? Have you visited any?

Comment below… It means a lot to me 🙂

smoke bomb photography

Best Tips for Smoke Bomb Photography

Smoke Bomb Photography creates strong and surreal effect. The images captured are fascinating and aesthetic enough to grab anyone’s attention in just a fraction of second.

If you haven’t come across some mesmerizing smoke bomb photos yet, then must be living under a rock till now. Anyways, here’s everything thing you need to know to make the most out of your next smoke bomb photography project:

Things you need

1. Obviously, Smoke Bombs (Wire Pull Grenades are recommended)—Amazon

2. Your Camera (with stand)

3. External Flash—Amazon

4. Reflectors—Amazon

5. Water to safely dispose the bombs

6. Model(s)

7. Outdoor space (not advised for indoors)

smoke bomb photography

©Joshua Posada—source

The Smoke Bomb

Smoke bombs are mini-grenades and run for about 60-90 seconds. This is enough time to capture some shots if things are kept ready beforehand.

The bombs can stain your (models’) hands and clothes and they also stink… a lot. The cool burning wire pull grenades are strongly recommended due to safety concerns. Try not to inhale the smoke as it can cause irritation. Have first-aid kit in your reach, just in case something happens.

Preparations

An important tip is to make sure you shoot only in a super-dry environment. Although very low, there are chances that something around you like bushes or clothes might catch fire. So make sure to have plenty of water beforehand to control any such situation.

If you’re shooting at night, take with you external flash and reflectors for proper lighting.

You need to well plan the shots as the bomb burns off in a short time. Consider taking some test shots without the smoke bombs.

It is advised to avoid windy days. A gentle breeze is nothing to worry about. But if the wind is flowing too swiftly, you should postpone the shooting schedule to some other day. Stillness is precisely what you need.

smoke bomb photography

©Andy Swann—source

How it’s done

The colorful haze of undulating smoke is the essence of Smoke bomb Photography. Even a very dynamic thing like smoke is seized and captured in a frame of time, which exhibits the true nature of photography.

Ask your model to stand still and have an assistant move around in circles holding a bomb. Or let the model hold one and swing hands. You can also try lighting two or more of them (different colors) at the same time.

Creativity with smoke bombs knows no bounds. They can turn an ordinary image into a dramatic one. You never know when you might want to burn some and click a few surreal shots. Just keep some in your car when you go shooting outdoors.

smoke bomb photography

©James Young—source

smoke bomb photography

©CDK—source

smoke bomb photography

©Aaron&Whitney—source

Well, that’s all I had to share. Please share any valuable tips/ideas in the comments section below. If you want me to write posts on specific topics, feel free to comment below, it means a lot to me 🙂

sell photos online

5 websites to sell photos online

Sell Photos Online

Regardless of whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist photographer, extra cash is something that everyone needs as expenses like maintenance of photography equipment and travel to shooting locations are unavoidable.

So, how about displaying them online and turn your soft gold into some hard cash!? You just have to sell/display your images and earn commission whenever someone purchases license to use your photo(s).

Down below is my list of 5 Most Profitable sites to sell your photos:

1. SmugMug Pro

This is my personal favorite. SmugMug probably pays the highest commission in industry. Key Features:

  • You keep almost 85% as profit
  • You can sell stock photos and videos
  • Receiving Payment— Paypal, ACH
  • Additional Revenue Options—
    • Through Refer-a-friend Program: If you refer someone to buy membership, both you and the person referred gets 20% off. Like, if someone purchases a $300 product or membership, he will get $60 off. Similarly, you will also get 60$ (same amount) off on future purchases.
    • SmugMug’s Partner Program: Affiliate program for website owners to refer SmugMug to their audience. You earn 15% commission on all Annual plans. You can also enjoy benefits of dedicate management team that will assist you whenever you need any kind of help.

2. Alamy

Alamy is a great place to sell your photos. Some features:

  • You get 50% of the sale
  • Alamy has paid over $180 million to their contributors
  • You can sell stock photos, videos, vectors, illustrations and Live News
  • Receiving Payment— Paypal, Skrill, Fund transfer to your bank account
  • Great support service for contributors
  • Additional Revenue Options—
    • Through Global Distribution Network (30% revenue per sale)
    • Sell images under some unique and novel scheme (50% revenue per sale)

3. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is highly popular among photographers and agencies across the globe. It is a great place to sell your photos after a little editing:

  • Earnings depend upon License, Subscription and Earning-tier.
  • Shutterstock has paid over $500 million to their contributors
  • Great support service for contributors
  • Receiving Payment— Paypal, Payoneer, Skrill, Check payments
  • You can sell stock photos, videos, vectors, illustrations and Music
  • Additional Revenue Options— Through Affiliate Program: 20% commission rate whenever a new customer makes a purchase.

4. 500px Prime

It might not be as good as others in this list. But still, 500px is quite popular among photographers for sharing/selling their stock imagery:

  • You get 60% revenue of the photos sold
  • You can sell stock photos
  • Receiving Payment— Paypal, wire transfer, ACH

5. Adobe Stock

Who doesn’t know about Adobe?! Adobe is among greatest companies in photography industry. And its products are definitely worth considering.

  • You get 33% of the sale (for photos and vectors) and 35% for video sales
  • On Adobe stock, you can sell stock photographs, videos, vectors, and illustrations
  • Receiving Payment— Paypal and Skrill
  • You can also upload photos using Lightroom, Premiere, Bridge, etc.
  • Excellent support service

Well, that’s all I had to share. Please share any valuable tips/ideas in the comments section below. If you want me to write posts on specific topics, feel free to comment below, it means a lot to me 🙂

indoor photography

Top 7 Tips for Great Indoor Photography

Indoor Photography can be pretty hard to carry out because of common issues like grain in images, underexposed images, noise in images. The culprit being lack of light and confined space for setting up proper equipment. But don’t worry, with some handy tips, you can capture awesome pictures.

You can follow the tips below to get the most out of your Indoor Photography projects:

1. Shoot in RAW

Perks of shooting in RAW are innumerable. Simply, you’ll be able to edit your photos in Adobe Camera RAW to cut noise in your indoor photos.

Shooting in RAW gives you flexibility of adjusting exposure, white balance, color and what not!!

Indoor photography

©Morgan Leigh—source

2. Indoor Shooting with Overexposure

When shooting indoors, lack of natural light makes shadows more common. To reduce noise and control grain in photographs, it is best to have a little overexposure.

While shooting portraits indoors, overexposure helps hide wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes by simple dominating shadows. Overexposure works wonders for natural light portraits.

But, you need to use it intelligently. If you eliminate details in the bright regions, there no getting it back. It will simply ruin the beauty of your subject. And that will be the last thing anyone would want.

indoor Photography

3. Keep ISO under 1600

Having ISO more than 1600 almost always bring grain in indoor photographs. Go for higher only if very low light is available.

But make sure to shoot in RAW and have wide aperture to preserve details. Then only you’ll be able to properly adjust grain and highlights/shadows.

4. Aperture Priority Mode

You get to choose the aperture in Aperture Priority Mode. Choose lower aperture number (f-stop) for wider open aperture. Wider is the aperture, more light is captured.

With lack of natural light indoor, you should make the most out of what you have. So, consider to capture more light by widening the aperture.

With wide aperture, the depth of field is shallow, that means your subject will be in-focus and the background appears blurry. This effect is great for Indoor Portrait Photography.

For portraits, f/5 or f/6 should do fine. Make sure you focus on eyes, otherwise the face might be out-of-focus and blurry.

5. Use Reflectors

While shooting indoor, place reflector opposite to he window or door to reflect the natural light and make it fall onto the shadowy side of your subject.

It helps you make most out of the limited natural light you have and your subjects looks bright and beautiful.

Indoor Photography

©Dena Haines—source

6. Use Mirrors

You can try using mirrors for some creativity. Just hang one along the window, not blocking light on the subject/model. You can use hand-held mirrors as well.

Change your position to get angles and reflections perfect. Make sure your reflection is not there in the mirror. Ask your model to look in the mirror, And shoot!

7. Use Curtains

Curtains can help diffuse harsh light that can ruin your images. For example, if a direct beam of sunlight is falling through the window, then pull the curtains together to soften the light. It will be good for exposure as well.

Well, that’s all I had to share. Please share any valuable tips/ideas in the comments section below. If you want me to write posts on specific topics, feel free to comment below, it means a lot to me 🙂

Portrait Photography

Top 5 Benefits of Self Portrait Photography Projects

Self Portrait photography has plenty to offer. There exist many advantages of it… below are my list of top 5 benefits of the same:

1. Freedom

Portrait Photography

With self portraiture, you enjoy immense freedom. As a photographer, Self Portraits projects are meant for you and you only. You don’t need to worry about pleasing your clients.

This surely gives you the freedom of experimenting with composition, lighting, posing and post-processing. Also, you will have the comfort of working at your own pace on the project.

2. Creativity

Portrait Photography

Most of the photographers are not used to being in front of the lens. Self Portrait projects will help you as a photographer to discover new creative possibilities and hone your portrait photography and posing skills.

Whether you are a portrait, nature, wildlife or landscape or street photographer; originality and creativity are two prime elements of Photography. For growing as a photographer, you need to develop your own unique form of creativity.

3. New Ideas

Portrait Photography

If you are a portrait photographer, experimenting with Self Portraiture will help you find new ideas to carry out while photographing someone else.

You will understand what type of composition, posing and lighting works best in a given scene.You will then not worry much about technical aspects during photographing others.

4. Interaction

Portrait Photography

Self Portrait projects will make you understand what a model feels during a photo-shoot. It will help you get fair idea of how to instruct models to make the best out of them.

Then, you will spend time clicking more photographs and interacting with the models. Interaction is indeed very important for every photographer and model to understand each other’s expectations.

5. Love Yourself

Portrait Photography

Finally, Self Portrait Projects offer self-exploration and self-expression. Each of your photo will “portray” your way of seeing this world. Self-portraiture provides immense growth, both at personal and professional levels. And you might fall in love with yourself all over again 😉

Well, that’s all I had to share. Please share any valuable tips/ideas in the comments section below. If you want me to write posts on specific topics, feel free to comment below, it means a lot to me 🙂

Framing

How to use Framing in Urban Environment

What is Framing?

Framing means creating photo-within-a-photo effect. The photos captured are “self-contained”. Basically, we are bifurcating outer-most frame into smaller frames to intentionally bring/guide attention to the subject.

Photographers often apply positioning and perspective techniques to create a space and line to bring viewer’s focus onto the subject and add narrative to their photographs. It won’t be wrong to say that a photographer’s world is only what he sees through the viewfinder.

Framing

Hands Framing New York Harbor- ©source

How to apply framing in photos?

Framing helps in wrapping more mundane areas of an image and makes the subject stand out. It makes good use of design skills to increase impact of the image.

For an urban setting, always look for windows, doors, hallways,etc. There are plenty of those around in an urban environment. Such frames provide perspective and guides viewers’ attention right onto the subject, making your photographs impactful and eye-catchy.

Barriers, fencing, stairs, etc. can also act as great frames for photographs. Both content and narrative of a photograph are improved with this simple technique.

Framing Shapes

Considering doors and windows, rectangle & square are the shapes that strike first. They surely are great for framing technique, but framing is not limited to them only.

A plenty of other interesting shapes and frames that can be used for the purpose exist around you in urban settings. You just need to be aware enough to identify and use them for your benefit. Like an oval shape (a train window maybe) or circular/curved shape can be great.

Architectural photography can help you create unconventional photographs. Just blend the architectural photography & framing techniques together. Make use of perspective, lines, contrast offered by the buildings in frame to capture wonderful pictures of otherwise not-so-interesting things. You just need to think creatively. After all photography is a visual art and like all other art-forms, photography too thrives on creativity.

framing

©Black and White House by Scott Ableman- source

framing

©Laurie Flickinger- source

framing

©Laurie Flickinger- source

Keep It Real

Framing is no-doubt a great technique to capture awesome images. But, keep in mind that all photos are not meant to be framed. Many subjects are captured best when they stand alone.

You just need to take some time to analyze the scene, think differently and respond creatively. Trust your instincts and have a ‘inventive’ approach towards the scene.

Don’t focus too much on framing, otherwise you might eliminate some interesting elements that might have enhanced & added value to your photos. Never “force” a frame in an image or you might end up ruining an otherwise great composition.

If you feel that the natural beauty and attraction of a scene is being complimented by the technique, what’s holding you back? Keep your mind open to the idea, and look for opportunities.

That’s all I had to share. Please share any valuable tips/ideas in the comments section below. If you want me to write posts on specific topics, feel free to comment below, it means a lot to me 🙂