This site has moved to another blog called, ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY. There will me no further posts to this site. The new site will continue so show my regular shooting progress, but will also contain other topics on photography, such as hands-on equipment and software reviews, historical information on photography, and much more.

When it was set up, the DAILY STOCK SHOT PROJECT was supposed to be a one year project. Last year I extended the project another year due to the popularity of the site, but now it is time to move on.

If you wish to continue following, please visit my new blog at ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY and save it as a new link.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another close-up.  This one is of a model in my studio with focus placed on the drop of water on the end of the tube.  Shot with a 105mm Nikkor macro lens and D3s camera.

The difference is in the details:

Since this blog is primarily about shooting stock photography, I thought it would be interesting to include these two very simple images from my most recent stock shoot because they illustrate the really subtle, but extremely important difference between a successful and unsuccessful stock photo.

Many of the best selling stock photo lifestyle situations are oftem very humble events, such as the one depicted here.  It was shot with models in a kitchen scene created in my studio.  Infusing everyday domestic scenes such as this with a feeling of spontaneity, and action is not always easy. The concept of family values in this simple domestic scene centers on the relationship of a mother and daughter working together.  The goal is to tell a simple story without going over board -- one that still maintains the believability of the scene.

On the surface these two photos look very similar.  There are, however, a few differences between them that will make a huge difference later in terms of  their marketability.  This is a simple kitchen scene showing a casual, everyday relationship between the mother and daughter.  Above the models are smiling at each other, but their basic body language is static and they look posed.  The mother is standing upright and holding the utensil but not performing any action with it.  The daughter's position of holding the colander is similarly static and unnatural.  The scene looks uncomfortable, false, and posed -- which, of course, it is.
In this variation I made a few small changes.  I asked the model playing the mother to hold the knife as if she was about to make a cut in the potato and then to shoot a glance to her daughter.  This shifted her body into a more flattering curved position and gave a little dynamism to her pose.  I asked the daughter to repeat a motion of  picking up a potato from the counter and putting it in the colander.  At the same time, I asked them both to maintain eye contact and gave them something to say that parted their mouths as if they were really having a natural and pleasant conversation, and not just smiling at each other.  Simple and subtle they may be, but these differences translate into a stock shot with a more spontaneous and natural feel to it,
For a further demonstration of the selection process in editing for stock photography, check out my other blog where I provide an fuller explanation of the editing process of this shoot:  Tom Grill Stock Shooter

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