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Photographer John Lund flips his wig in this humorous self portrait and stock photo.
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Blind Man Holding An Elephants Tail - The Elephant In The Room

A businessman wears a blindfold while feeling the tail of an elephant to illustrate a narrow vision and point of view,
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Blind Man Holding An Elephants Tail - The Elephant In The Room

Ideas For Stock Photos: The Parable of The Three Blind Men And An Elephant.

People often ask me where I get my ideas for creating stock photos. The answer is that I get ideas from everywhere. The idea for this image came from a brainstorming session I had before photographing an elephant. I had decided it would be fun to get to interact with one of the huge creatures and so decided to come up with enough ideas to make it worthwhile to rent one. As I had a trip planned for Bangkok anyway, I lined up an elephant and a couple of assistants in Thailand.

The first idea I had for an elephant was to have one sitting in a tree. I figured that if I could pull it off, it would be so startling and different that some clever art director would surely find a way to use it. Next came the idea of a flying elephant, followed quickly by elephant in the room and a herd of stampeding elephants. Then I remembered the parable of the three blind men. They come upon an elephant. One of the men feels its trunk and proclaims an elephant is like a snake. Another feels its leg and says no, and elephant is like a tree. The third blind man feels the elephant's tail and announces that an elephant is like a rope. The moral of the story: Until you see the whole, you see nothing. One disturbing thought I always have is that though I may try, I probably never will truly see the whole picture, so I must stay aware that in one sense I am always blind to reality. Back to ideas for stock photography! With this story in mind I photographed a man wearing a blind fold (a red one to emphasize that detail) and touching and holding various parts of the great animal. Upon returning to my studio I looked through my files to find a setting for the image. I decided to use an image of a photo studio and to just show the rear half of the elephant. That focuses the viewer's attention on the important part of the image, the blindfolded man holding the elephant's tail. Your creativity is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. The secret ingredient is intention. Make it a practice, a mental gym session. Set the intention to come up with a stock photo idea and then do almost anything with that in mind. Soon setting such an intention will make any activity into an effective brainstorming session. You will be amazed at the results! But humans are not elephants and if your like me you will forget the ideas as quickly as they come, so always have a way to record the ideas. I now record them on my iPhone!


Using Travel To Advance Your Stock Photography Career

Travel is great for any stock shooter even if you are not shooting travel stock. In the case of the elephant, it would have cost me $5,000.00 to rent an elephant for a day from an animal trainer. In Thailand I got the elephant for $450.00 without even bargaining. The savings paid for the trip. When planning travel I try and think what advantages a given destination will have for shooting certain subject matter. In addition, travel gets me out of my normal thought processes, stimulates new ideas, puts me in front of new and different scenes, and gets a camera actually in my hands. At home I seldom go around with a camera. Traveling, I always have it with me and that helps result in more spontaneous image captures both as stock in themselves and for my archives as resources for future yet unseen needs. I try and take at least one exotic trip per year to a destination like India, Myanmar or maybe Brazil. I also like to get some less exotic travel in as well. Hawaii is a favorite destination. For me, Hawaii is relaxation, getting away from it all. It refreshes me and gives my over active brain a needed breather. On the opposite end of the spectrum is New York with all its energy, hustle and bustle. It dosn't matter where one travels, getting out of your normal environment is good for creativity and great for strengthening your stock photo career!

Elephant in the room Failure To See The Big Picture Illustrated By A Man Wearing A Blindfold And Grasping An Elephants Tail. An Asian man stands in a large room wearing a red blindfold and holding on to an Elephant's tail in this concept stock photo.

Elephant In The Room



 

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