Some of my favorite things... err photos!

Posted Wednesday, 27 April 2011 by Ellen Boughn in Ellen Boughn, Photography
Most often the decision to use an image has two or three components.

A visual problem to be solved. The person selecting the image has an objective: to find an image that illustrates a point, tells a specific story or represents a concept often in combination with copy that has already been loosely decided upon. The image often also has technical requirements for copy space, orientation or palette.

ApeGrey Crowned Crane

© magann/Crestock

© isselee/Crestock

Because of my educational background in zoology and my work as an editor in commercial photography, I personally respond to photos of animals that could be useful in advertising and marketing.

Personal taste. No matter how specific the requirements for an image, an individual or group of individuals will ultimately be influenced by their own background knowledge and personal taste as they make a decision to select a certain image.

Zebra Yawn Beautiful Horse

© nightowlza/Crestock

© jblackstock/Crestock

Group approval. Unless the buyer is acting alone, compromises are then made to suit all involved and their tastes.

Kyoto Bamboo grove

© mmette/Crestock

I was so taken with this image that I made it the lead image in my book about microstock. I responded to the natural palette and because I visited here during a happy trip to Japan many years ago. In the end I had to fight to keep the photo as a double page with only less than half covered up by the table of contents. My personal taste won out!

It can drive an image creator NUTS! trying to craft images that will meet all of the above criteria for all scenarios... and it is of course impossible. So what are you to do? Answer: balance market needs, popular themes and images with a strong dose of YOUR personal style and creative flair.

Horses clear the fence in the steeplechase

© seriousfun/Crestock

This photo landed on my list of favorite photos because I recognize that it is very unique and not easily captured. Further it illustrates several popular concepts such as 'winning', 'speed' and 'competition'.

Your goal may be to get the most downloads on a theme but creating solely to the market's demands may sap any creative juices that you have running though your veins. Also you could find yourself chasing the top photographers by copying their successful images... but how much fun is that? Always remember to sometimes take a step back and just shoot for the heck of it and to feed your creative streak. You may be surprised at how interesting (and profitable) the results will be.

Alternative girl with multi-colred hairFemale legs

© creatista/Crestock

© iko/Crestock

I love the freshness and point of view of these two views of young women... the first because many captions come to mind when I see it. telling me that it will have many uses; the other because of its unique point of view.

This is my final post for the Crestock Blog
As my last post in this venue... I must get on with writing that next book I've promised myself to start. I've been given the privilege of showing a few of my favorite photos from the Crestock collection. You'll notice a strong tendency for me to select photos of animals... possibly because I have had a life long interest in them and even gained a college degree in zoology.

The White Owl

© rockon/Crestock

My personal taste tends toward simple and honest images that convey an emotion, tell a story or evoke strong visual interest. I think that is an excellent test to put to any photo!

I hope you have enjoyed my posts to the Crestock blog and remember to keep taking photos... the more you take, the better you'll get!

A note from Crestock's Chairman
We thank Ellen for her contribution to Crestock over the past months. We hope you found her articles to be informative, helpful and motivating.

Look for more advice and inspiration for artists on our blog in the coming weeks.

Ellen Boughn

Ellen has over thirty years of experience in the stock business gained at such organizations as Dreamstime, UpperCut Images, Workbookstock, Corbis, Getty (Stone), The Image Bank (Artville) and the creative agency, After-Image, she started in Los Angeles at the beginning of her career. Having been directly involved in the creation of four major stock photography collections, Ellen offers her decades of experience to assist photographers seeking success in stock photography.

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Ellen Boughn's best-selling book, Microstock Money Shots, is filled with insights, tips and advice on how to create commercial images and improve your work flow to profit from photography whether you're a hobbyist or a professional photographer.
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Sincere thanks
By klsbear on Thursday, 28 April 2011 12:31 AM
Ellen - I've enjoyed your blog posts and insight (and your book) and I thank you for sharing with us in your posts.

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