Erosion, Self Funded Photography Projects

August 2013 - Trail washout along the Lincoln Woods Trail next to the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River in Lincoln, New Hampshire USA from Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. This tropical storm / hurricane caused destruction along the East coast of the United States and the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire was officially closed during the storm.
Tropical Storm Irene – White Mountain National Forest

Self Funded Photography Projects – As a freelance photographer, stock photography sales still play an important part of everyday business. These sales come from established clients, off the street clients and agencies that represent me. To add fresh imagery to ScenicNH Photography, I do self funded projects. Some of these projects last days, months or even years. One has even become a lifelong body of work.

Sitting back and waiting for photo requests and assignments does not work for me, so I am always producing imagery I feel will be profitable for future stock sales. I learned early on that there is not much of a market for generic landscape imagery, so I try to photograph subject matter that has impact on the environment.  

River bank erosion along the Swift River in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Soon this tree will be in the Swift River

One self funded project I did involved documenting river erosion along the Swift River in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I decided on river erosion mainly because I have no marketable imagery of this natural process. River erosion is always happening along waterways and is a constant environmental issue.

Remnants of an trestle along the old Profile & Franconia Notch Railroad in Bethlehem, New Hampshire USA. This trestle crossed the Gale River. The railroad was in operation from 1879 - 1921 (+/-) and only serviced the Profile House in Franconia Notch. This line was originally built as narrow gauge railroad then later converted to a standard gauge line. River bank erosion is visible
Profile & Franconia Notch Railroad – Bethlehem, New Hampshire

When looking for subjects, I research the New England environment for issues that may be of concern and beneficial to have on file. I also consider if I can shoot the subject locally, which helps avoid travel expenses. You really don’t have to travel across the world to produce marketable imagery. 

Doing self funded projects adds imagery to my archive, and keeps my photography skills at a heightened level. And these projects have also produced the best marketable and profitable images in my archive. Focus is the key.

Happy image making..


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Erin Paul is a professional photographer, writer, and author who specializes in environmental conservation and historic preservation photography in the New Hampshire White Mountains. His work is published worldwide, and credits include; Backpacker Magazine, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Wilderness Society.

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