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Photographer John Lund flips his wig in this humorous self portrait and stock photo.
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Stock Photo ArticleCreating A Conceptual/Fine Art Stock Photo with Adobe PhotoshopPicture of the Devil - Creating a Stock PhotoFire Breathing DragonsConceptual Stock Photography - Sell Stock PhotosShooting People and Location Stock Photos AbroadRoyalty Free - Rights Managed - Micro Stock - Stock Photography PricingHindu Gods - The Hindu God Ganesha - Picture and StoryStock Photos…the Highest Form of Commercial PhotographyPictures of Dog Breeds - Shooting Stock Photos of Miniature PoodlesDominatrix Pictures - Photo Shoot and PhotoshopFemale Photography - Photographing the Human BodyPicture of a Wrecking Ball Produced with Adobe Photoshop ToolsPictures of Cows - Being Creative Taking Pictures of a CowPictures of Lions - The King of BeastsTaking Pictures of the Great Wall of ChinaShooting Stock Photos in the Himalayas – A Travel Adventure Photo-ShootPictures of Snakes - Taking Stock Photos in Mumbai, IndiaGetting Started in Stock Photography: Choosing Your Stock Photo Equipment CorrectlyStock Photos - Selling and Marketing Your Stock Photo ImagesPictures of Money - Lots of Different Kinds of Money PicturesUsing Sailboat Stock Image and PhotoShop to Make a Unique New Hot Stock PhotoSelling Your Photos as Greeting CardsFunny Monkey Pictures - Stock Photos and Pictures of Monkeys or BaboonsTiger Pictures - Shooting a Tiger for StockStarting a Stock Photo CareerFilling Small Business Needs in Stock PhotographyCreating Stock Photos with Strategic AlliancesPhotography Tips from a Pro on Shooting in Low LightThe Power of PositiveFunny Pictures - Funny Pics of Animals and PeopleBumbles, Blunders and Bad Luck!Crowd sourcing, Micro Stock and MoneyCreating a Conceptual Photo ImageThe (Information) Road to Stock Photography SuccessUse Your Photo Shoot Estimate as a Selling ToolHow to Generate Effective Ideas for Stock PhotosBlend Images - A Modern Day Stock Agency Photo Success StoryTaking Pictures of Backgrounds For Producing Great Stock PhotosHow to Shoot Successful Lifestyle Stock PhotosDiversify Your Stock Photo Business - Selling Photos on Mugs, T Shirts, and Printed Merchandise!Beginner Photography Tips - Understanding the Role of ApertureFive Quick Tips For Great Pet PhotographyTurning Doctor Visits Into Hot Selling Medical Stock PhotosSelling Stock Photos to the Largest Market of AllCreating A Successful Concept Stock PhotoChoosing the Right Stock Photo for Your Small BusinessMaking A Living At Stock PhotographyChoosing the Right Concept Stock Photo For Your BusinessHandshake Pictures and Images in Advertising and Business CommunicationsBeautiful and unusual Pictures of Lighthouses and Lighthouse Images with Beacons and Stormy SeasAnimal AnticsMotion FootageMassage Cats ArticleJohn's Galleries of unique stock picturesJohn's Stock Photo ArticlesFunny Pictures Of AnimalsPictures of Cute Cats Doing Funny ThingsFunny Pictures of Elephants Doing Extraordinary Things! Flying elephants, Disco ElephantsFunny Animals - Pictures of funny animals like cats, dogs, cows, and MoreFunny Dogs - Cute Puppies - Cute Dog Pictures - The Funniest Pictures on the Net.
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Creating A Successful Concept Stock Photo

One way to succeed in stock photography is to create concept photos that fill a need for lifestyle or business uses, and provide a strong enough visual impact to grab a viewer’s attention. 

The making of a successful conceptual stock photo - sample pictures from the process.

   

A cyclist strains as he attempts to ride a bicycle with square tires in a business, concept and lifestyle stock photo
Concept stock photo of a bicyclist pedaling very hard on a bike with square wheels.

Raw material for assembing a sucessful stock phot with Photoshop

 

 

 

 

 


Background shot for a stock photo to be assembled in Adobe Photoshop

 

 

 

 

 


blurry out-of-focus background shot for stock photo

 

stock picture of a square bicycle tire

   

How to Create A Successful Concept Stock Photo

One way to succeed in stock photography is to create concept photos that fill a need for lifestyle or business uses, and provide a strong enough visual impact to grab a viewer’s attention.   In this article I will take you through the process from idea to completed image sharing my process for coming up with ideas, my criteria for a successful stock photo, my shoot methodology, and an overview of my post-shoot digital imaging techniques.

Creativity Is A Muscle

I am constantly thinking up ideas for stock photos.  Your creativity is like a muscle; the more you use it the stronger it gets.  I like to keep my creativity, at least for my work, in top shape.  A favorite technique I have for coming up with strong conceptual pictures is to take a typical image and add an unexpected twist.  In this case I as I was walking to a nearby café to grab a cup of coffee a bicyclist sped by me pumping his pedals furiously. It got me to thinking, what could I do with a bicyclist that would make it stand out from all other bicycle shots out there?

Inspiration Speeds By

The cyclist that sped by me was working very hard, the effort he was putting out was very evident.  His effort was inspiring in more ways than one.  Maybe there was something I could work with there.  What would make a cyclist’s work significantly harder?  Perhaps riding up a ridiculously steep hill, or up stairs, or…having square wheels!  That would be the shot; A cyclist, riding a bicycle with square wheels.  As an added bonus, the image would be funny and humor sells.

A Simple Shoot

Shooting the image was actually quite simple.  I hired a model with his own riding gear and bicycle.  Another friend of mine has one of those gizmos that you can use to convert a road bicycle into a stationary bike by attaching a frame to the rear hub.  We set up the rig in the parking lot outside my studio. The Sun was pretty high up when we got around to that shot (we incorporated that shoot into a larger shoot we had already planned).  I used a Profoto 7b power pack and two heads to provide supplemental light.  I positioned 1 head to the left of the bicycle and one head to the right.  Those lights would provide both fill and a edge lighting that would add some subtle drama to the image.  Then I simply had the model, in his bike gear, stand up on the pedals and look like he was straining. I went to a nearby bike path and shot the bike path from the same low angle I used to shoot the cyclist.  Next I Shot the background totally out of focus using a 400mm lens on my Canon 1ds MKIII at 5.6.

Photoshop for Post Production

In Photoshop I pasted the out of focus background onto the bike path shot and used a layer mask, painting black with a 2500 pixel brush to softly fade the background image away revealing the bike path and giving the impression of a single image with a crisp asphalt roadway and a beautifully soft and un-distracting background.

Again with Photoshop I next used the pen tool to create a clipping path around the cyclist and bicycle.  I then used the clipping path to create a selection and copied and pasted the selection into the background image.  Next I pen tooled one of the wheels, including the spokes, made a selection, then used a combination of the warp tool (under Edit>Transform>Warp) and the liquefy filter to make the wheel square.  Then I copied and pasted the square wheel into the main image.  Since I really don’t have room here to get into all the details of the Photoshop work, suffice it to say it took me about six hours of work to finish all the details…but it looks great!

Work Smarter, Not Harder

The image fits my criteria for a great stock photo.  It was relatively inexpensive to produce; it stands out from all the other bicycling images out there, and can be used to advertise a wide variety of products and services.

Trying out different headlines with the image can make a great test.  For example, “Work Smarter, Not Harder” or “The Right Tool for the Job” both can work with this image. But the real test for this image was when, as I had just finished it, a friend of mine walked in, saw the photo and began to laugh out loud.  Anytime someone spontaneously laughs at one of my images I know I have a winner. 

To sum it up, exercise your creative muscles, come up with highly conceptual images with strong visual impact, and keep your shoots simple and inexpensive.  Add a dash of humor and you just can’t go wrong in the highly competitive world of stock photography.