Tips for Photographing Waterfalls

What Sells? Local Images and Iconic Locations

When it comes to fine arts prints, what sells? You would thing that, if a client is looking for stunning waterfall images, she would choose the waterfall shots that take her breath away. Photos with brilliant colors, perfect light, and the right exposure that inspire a viewer to quit her job and go travelling.

When a client asked about waterfalls, Jay’s first instinct was to send samples that do exactly that. After all, these images are some of Jay’s favorites and were specifically photographed for fine art prints; they are some of the most popular images on social media. These photos were created using a tripod, remote release, and a carefully-selected aperture to maximize sharpness throughout the image.

Havasu Falls, Arizona
Havasu Falls, Arizona

Metlako Falls, Oregon
Metlako Falls, Oregon

Hraunfossar, Iceland
Hraunfossar, Iceland

But surprisingly, the client passed on all of the popular shots from Jay’s gallery. Instead, she chose a quiet, local image; one that Jay had never sold before.

Cedar Falls, Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio (OH), USA

Local Image – Cedar Falls, Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio (OH), USA

This is definitely not one of Jay’s favorite photos. While it was shot using a tripod and a remote release to ensure maximum sharpness, this local image of Cedar Falls lacks the vibrant colors or grand vistas that you typically find in Jay’s more popular landscape photographs. He was curious about her choice… so he asked her about it. The answer was simple – she wanted images of local icons – no matter how ordinary they may look compared with the other breathtaking photos.

A variation of this same sales strategy is to offer iconic shots of widely-traveled locations when you sell your photos at local art and craft shows. Because many people have likely visited these places during their family vacations when they were kids, they are more likely to purchase these photographs because of fond memories. A few years ago, we licensed our images to local firms who were creating large canvas images. The highest selling prints were those from Glacier National Park and the Grand Canyon.

Glacier National Park, Wyoming
Glacier National Park, Wyoming

Sunrise on Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Sunrise on Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

So… the next time you attend a local art fair, be sure to have plenty of local images and iconic locations. Colorful photographs capture the eye of the viewer, but familiar places capture their hearts.

About Author Jay Patel

I could startoff like this – “Seeds of Jay Patel’s appreciation for beautiful places were planted early in his childhood….” but it would get boring really fast. I will just sum it up and say that I am a Landscape and Wilderness Photographer who loves to capture dramatic light. My photographs have been published in various magazines, calendars and advertising materials throughout the world.

Patience is a virtue...unless you are chasing your dreams