Even in the digital age with no film and processing costs, photography is not cheap. When you take into account the camera, lenses, computers, software, printers, paper, inks and all the upgrades that seem to occur regularly to tempt you to spend more money to get the latest super outfit which will be superseded within months, it appears that it gulps money.

So, how can you recoup some of this outlay? What can you do with all those great pictures that fill your files? They must be worth something.

Well, as somebody who over the years has had a go at many projects designed to earn money with my photography let me suggest a way that can produce cash from your camera. Why not use your pictures to produce what I classify generally as souvenir products for your local area? I include in this category such things as postcards, greeting cards, calendars, notecards, bookmarks, and posters.

In this book, I shall take each category and explain how I go about making them, the software I use with suggested alternatives, and the materials.

But, first, let me make it quite clear that if you really intend to make some cash from these products, you will have to recognise that you need to treat them as a business project.

You will need to produce professional looking material, you will need to have some method of bringing your product to the attention of possible buyers whether consumers or retailers, you will need to set competitive prices, you will need to keep books of account; in short you will be running a business.

But, perhaps you will prefer to produce items with your photos that you can send or give to your family and friends. At least in this way you are showing your pictures rather than letting them disappear once you have looked at them and moved on to the next image.

Whichever method suits you, why not have a go and give your images some sort of life.

This is the introduction to my recently published e-book How to Make Souvenirs using Your Pictures which is available through Smashwords at http://tinyurl.com/ofbqeeg and Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/pb2aw7y and as a PDF file at http://www.bigwoodpublishing.com/shop/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=288

At $3-99 it’s not expensive but you may find the information worth much more. I hope so anyway. After all what better time to start your own souvenirs with Christmas not so far away!

©David Bigwood