Looking for a paying gig? Try taking pics at tourist favs


A few years ago I had the fortune to ride one of the the legendary roads in American Motorcycling, Deal's Gap in North Carolina, aka The Dragon, a series of relentless, well-banked curves snaking up and down the mountains on U.S. 129 that tests the handling skills of any rider. I came through unscathed, due to my cautious nature, but the pile of twisted iron sitting in the parking lot at the eastern end of the ride was sobering.

Some entrepenuers have taken advantage of the popularity of this stretch to create a money-making business. According to CNet, several photographers hang out on The Dragon, snapping pics of passing riders. They post these shots on their web sites, where riders wishing a photo to commemorate their ride can purchase the pics in a variety of sizes.

I've seen this concept work in other venues, such asa bicycle tours and whitewater river spots. The beauty of the business is the low cost of entry- a digital camera, good photography skills, a web site, and a popular location at which people would like to document their visit are all you need to go into business for yourself. You'll find the best know spots already spoken for or legally off-limits, but with a little imagination, you should be able to find a hidden gem to call your own. You might be able to make that camera pay for itself and enjoy a little time in the great outdoors. Who knows; maybe you'll even get a chance to test yourself against The Dragon.