The question we get asked more than almost any other here at 500px is a deceptively simple one: “What kinds of photos sell?” People want to take advantage of our marketplace to start making cash from their photography, but they don’t want to waste their time submitting work that doesn’t sell, so they ask us great questions like, “What do buyers actually want?” and “How do I capture photos that sell?”

Simply Sellable is our attempt to answer these difficult questions weekly. Each week, one of our expert Content Editors picks their favorite photos that have sold recently, and explains exactly WHY they sold—what makes those photos “simply sellable.”

Shooting for seasonality is tricky. How do you channel the vibe and story of a season in a single shot without becoming too cheesy, staged, or obvious? Our Content Editor Janet Weldon takes a look at a best-selling photo that has all the essential elements of the upcoming summer season. Read on, and get some tips!

Depending where you live, summer is a much awaited season after a long gray winter. Dimitriy Shabanov‘s image immediately takes you from the darkness into the light.

You can almost feel the warmth of the sun’s rays filtering through the trees behind the model. The backlight creates a soft glow which emphasizes the tones of orange in the model’s hair. Complementary colors of blue and yellow work well to balance out the warmth with a bit of cool.

The styling invokes a slight retro mood with the frayed denim and oversized sunglasses while her not-so-perfect hair creates a carefree vibe giving the photo an overall contemporary feel. Even though she’s posed, her body language is natural making it entirely believable that the photographer may have lucked out at the local skatepark and captured this moment.

Dimitriy’s photo of a young woman holding her skateboard encapsulates the Dog Days of Summer in a beautiful and authentic way.

And that is why this photo is “simply sellable.” The photographer used light, color, and fashion styling in a thoughtful way! If you have any more questions for Janet or our content team, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments below. And don’t forget to check back in next week for the next installment in the series.