Who said stock photography has to be all business teams and smiling families?  Admittedly, those images are the stock photographer´s bread and butter, but it´s okay to have a little fun with fashion for stock every once in a while too.  After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...

easy top 10 Hottest Style Musts

Let yourself be inspired by these "stylin" images submitted to our easyFotostock collection.


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Don´t say cheese!   Please say and do something different!  For all of you photographers and clients out there who are getting tired of seeing yet another photo of a sacharine-sweet-smiling stock model, take a look at this gallery.

age fotostock Portraits

 

Stock portraits do not have to be predictable and generic.  In your next session with a friend or a model, why don´t you explore some new expresssions?  Ask your model to express different emotions, to go beyond just a smile or a silly face.  Some of the initial images might be too posed or "forced" to work, but as your model relaxes, and you communicate with him or her, the true expresssions will emerge.  Encourage natural acting and avoid overly theatrical poses and faces.  Keep it real! An expressive portrait can be very effective at communicating a concept, or catching the viewer´s eye.  

Stock models do not have to be all "pretty" people.  One of the most frequent requests of our clients is for "real people."  Real people might be less than perfect, they might be slightly overweight, they might not be young.  Especially look for models with interesting, expressive faces like the people in this gallery.  Avoid overly made up models, unless the make-up is integral to the shot (a goth teen, for example).  

Let your motto be "Extraordinary images of ordinary people."    Do not mistake our call for real, less than "perfect" models to mean that sloppy, less than perfect images of those models will be successful.  Look for the best lighting for every situation.  Be sure to create images with ample copy space (neutral space where the designers can add text and other design elements).  This is especially important in your vertical shots.  Consider how the photographers of the images in the "Portraits" gallery left copy space on the top, bottom or sides of the images.

Still in need of inspiration?  Don´t just copy the micro and/or stock photographer of the moment who boasts in the forums of big earnings (if any of them still do).  Look at portrait photographers outside the stock photo industry or go back to the classics, such as these masters of portraits: Julia Margaret Cameron, Yousuf Karsh, Arnold Newman and Irving Penn.  Their images might be old, but they have lost none of the visual impact and expressive force that first enthralled viewers.  And learn an important lesson from those pioneering photographers; Don´t be afraid to experiment!


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The images in this gallery are quite different from the documentary images by Ton Koene in our previous post.  However, images of healthy and happy lifestyles are important because they are part of the bread and butter of a stock agency.  We hope that more of you will be inspired to send clean, communicative images that provide designers and viewers with plenty of copy space and transmit messages that are easily understood, like mother & baby love or feeling at peace in the outdoors, etc.  Notice how easily these images can be achieved by using an adequate lighting (usually soft and luminous) and finding a natural, uncluttered setting. 

These images are from easyFotostock, our low budget RF collection, but we need good lifestyle images for the age fotostock RM collection too.  So what are you waiting for?!


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To wrap up our month on stock photography productions, we would like to feature the lifestyle images of age fotostock photographer, Stuart Pearce.  Since he moved from the front of the camera (as a model) to the back (as a photographer), Stuart Pearce has been shootings families, couples, business and more in his island home of Mallorca.  His images of people are relaxed, happy and warm;  as though he was photographing his family...  Stuart's specialties also include yacht and travel photography.  You can see more of Stuart's work at age fotostock or at www.stuartpearce.com.

 

Q: Choose 3 words that describe you.

A: Imaginative, Loyal, Spontaneous

Q: Why did you choose to be a photographer?

A: As a child, my family and I were often used as models in the very early days of stock photography. When the opportunity arose to be behind the camera instead, I knew I’d found what I’d always wanted to do, made better by not having to smile for 8 or more hours a day.

Q: Was it a good decision to become a photographer?

A: It was the only choice, photography has given me freedom and taken me to the 4 corners & 7 seas of the planet. I’ve met some amazing people, some famous, some just very funny and many less fortunate, but nonetheless happy. I’ve shot countries, yachts, houses, food and people and still enjoy the great variety of my work today as much as the day I started.

Q: Are you more technical or intuitive in your photography?

A: Much more intuitive, it took me years to get the hang of the technical side and I’m sure there’s still a great deal that I could learn.

Q: What’s your favorite lens and why?

A: Canon 24-70mm f2.8, not too wide, not too long and has always been my workhorse.

Q: How do you achieve the warm and natural feeling which characterizes your lifestyle images of models?

A: I try to find models that can act as well as model; this helps add authenticity to my images.  Although directing models has never been easy for me, I know what I want, so I direct the first few shots and then usually there’s a lot of adlibbing from there on, which produces the best and most natural shots. The lighting I use is an unusual amalgamation of hmi, halogen, natural light and flash, arranging them all so that it’s not too noticeable. On exterior shoots, I only use natural light, much easier!

Q: How do you get your subjects to sign model releases?

A: I have always paid my models and the precondition is for them to release their rights to my images.

Q: Why did you choose age fotostock to represent your photography?

A: I choose AGE over 20 years ago because of Alfonso, who has always been passionate about our industry, as well as supportive and fair.

Q: What is the best or worst photographic advice that you have ever received?

A: Best advice shooting interiors; “smack it with flash and leave it open for a fortnight at f8.”

Q: If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?

A: I’ve been a photographer for a long time so I’m probably unemployable, but I do like observing people, so perhaps a freelance window cleaner.



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The next time you´re trying to choose models for a shoot or preparing a shot, keep in mind these easy tips.

  1. Do work with lifestyle models who can pose naturally; avoid those who overact or strike artificial looking poses.

  2. Do choose models with pleasant, relaxed smiles and who keep their eyes open while smiling (some people squint when smiling).

  3. Do choose models whose eyes are big enough so that you can see the white of the eye when they are smiling.  Be careful that the model’s eye makeup doesn’t darken the eye too much.

  4. Don’t dress models in dark clothing and avoid very trendy clothing, colors, makeup and hairstyles that will clearly date the photograph, if you want the image to have long term sale possibilities.

  5. Don’t limit yourself to young men and women only!  Do look for attractive or “pleasant looking” people of all ages.

  6. Don’t fall into the cliché of making sexy, suggestive photos of female (and male) models.  There is a very limited market for these images in stock.  There is much more need for images of real women (and men) in real situations, women (and men) that transmit confidence or that convey ideas a little deeper than “my photographer thinks I´m hot…”

  7. Do shoot “real people.”  Models that are like “the girl (or boy) next door” are better for stock than overly glamorous models.  Clients often complain that it’s impossible to find photos of "normal looking" or even slightly overweight models.

  8. Do look for senior and adult male models. Good images of these groups are always lacking in stock.

  9. Don’t forget that models with an international look will be relevant in different markets worldwide and therefore more likely to sell, rather than individuals who are obviously from a particular country or area.  On the other hand, in markets like the United States, model diversity is essential.

  10. Do have your models sign model releases before the shoot, not at the end.  If they change their mind for some reason, you might have a whole day´s work ruined.

This list reflects our experiences in choosing models for a shoot.  What have you learned from good (and bad) experiences choosing models?  We will include your tips in our Do´s and Don´ts List if they add something new...


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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