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The image of the week: introduction to food photography

Handful of cherries

This tasty picture is available for sale and use starting from only 1.95$ at the link below. Otherwise, it’s protected by copyright.
http://yaymicro.com/stock-image/handful-of-cherries/8574260

You might love it, you might hate it… But you’ll always need it! Some use to spend hours in the kitchen, some use to spend hours waiting for the waiter to come and the most of us use to take it from the supermarket. One thing is sure! Eating takes time! But for the ones who love photography, food could become a great model! Even a tasty one! :)

But let’s see in a few lines what’s all about.

First, it’s important to say that “food photography” needs a lot of skills and practice! It might seem easy but it’s not. Just think of your usual cup of coffee. Could you make a picture of your cup and upload it in order to sell it? I can say I couldn’t! Or at least, not yet. I actually have to think if I have a perfect simple cup. And if I have, where do I put it? What light would I use? What about the settings of the camera? How could I catch the steam above the cup as we often see in adverts?

In order to make it simple, let’s focus on the image of the week and see what we can learn from a good photographer! It’s called Handful of cherries and it belongs to OlenaMykhaylova.

There are probably many things to point out but I would stop for now at 6 necessary elements:

  1. Simplicity – the simpler, the better! Food should be easy to recognize! Even if we would like to shoot something special as the home-made traditional cuisine, the ingredients would still need to be visible, in order to look good.
  2. Good taste! The food should look really tasty! It has to be fresh and really good! If it’s natural organic food, it’s even better! Don’t forget, there is a real trend about it! The unprocessed food is needed for at least two important categories: people who want to live longer and people who want to look better! So, a double chance for a photo to be sold!
  3. Nice arrangement. Of course, again simplicity rules. A rustic wooden table or a checkered colorful tablecloth would make a perfect background! As well as a white crispy tablecloth if you want to illustrate a fancy dinner! It all depends on your subject. It’s important that the food be related to the background!
  4. Low angle! Try to avoid the high view and you’ll see a difference!
  5. Lighting! When it’s about food photography, I think the most of them are rejected for poor lighting! So, make sure the light is just perfect and try to avoid the use of flash as well as the shadows below the plate…
  6. Perfect crop! The image of the week speaks by itself!

What’s so great about this picture?

  • It’s fresh in all the ways! And this makes it attractive! The food looks really fresh and tasty! Even if you are not crazy after cherries, this image makes you want a bite!
  • The topic is actual: healthy organic food!
  • It’s simple and meaningful: hands holding cherries! The hands bring the human element in attention and this is great as this is what concerns us regarding food? It it nutritious? Is it healthy? Should we eat it?
  • It has copy space! I could easily see a brand name or a quote on the wooden surface.
  • The execution is accurate from all points of view: lighting, colors, angle!

How could we use it?

  1. Cover for magazines dedicated to healthy lifestyle.
  2. Adverts for products based on cherries, from body lotions to liquors!
  3. The image of a campaign meant to support agriculture!
  4. Adverts for special travel packages to the countryside.
  5. Posters and wallpapers perfect for any interior needing a nice red spot!
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Image of the week: Silence is golden

Image is protected by copyright unless you buy it starting from only 1,95$ from: http://www.yayimages.com/stock-image/secrecy--bodyart--golden-woman-showing-silence-sign--hush-/8298820

Image is protected by copyright unless you buy it starting from only 1,95$ from: http://www.yayimages.com/stock-image/secrecy–bodyart–golden-woman-showing-silence-sign–hush-/8298820

I’ve heard this proverb many times since i was little and I’m sure most of us heard it at least once. Seeing this image by gromovataya i realized i didn’t know the story behind it and decided to search the web in search of it. Like with many proverbs, the origin of it is shadowed by the passing of time.  There are reports of versions of it dating back to Ancient Egypt. The first example of it in English is from the poet Thomas Carlyle, who translated the phrase from German in Sartor Resartus, 1831, in which a character expounds at length on the virtues of silence:

“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule. Not William the Silent only, but all the considerable men I have known, and the most undiplomatic and unstrategic of these, forbore to babble of what they were creating and projecting. Nay, in thy own mean perplexities, do thou thyself but hold thy tongue for one day: on the morrow, how much clearer are thy purposes and duties; what wreck and rubbish have those mute workmen within thee swept away, when intrusive noises were shut out! Speech is too often not, as the Frenchman defined it, the art of concealing Thought; but of quite stifling and suspending Thought, so that there is none to conceal. Speech too is great, but not the greatest. As the Swiss Inscription says: Sprecfien ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden (Speech is silvern, Silence is golden); or as I might rather express it: Speech is of Time, Silence is of Eternity.”

Silence has also been considered a virtue in religious circles. The 14th century author Richard Rolle of Hampole, in The psalter; or psalms of David, 1340 wrote: “Disciplyne of silence is goed.”

What’s so great about this picture?

1. It’s a good example of how a very simple composition can look complex. There’s only a model making a hush sign with her finger.

2. The gold face and body make-up gives a great contrast on a black background. It’s always important in stock photography when you have a black background, the main composition to be of bright colors, otherwise the subject gets lost in the dark, literally.

3. Even though it is a very simple image, it hides metaphors and sayings for the ones who like discovering what’s beneath the first look. – which in my opinion it’s the the most beautiful and meaningful way to look at photography.

4. It has copy space where the buyer can write his/her message.

5. The isolation is very good so the model can be cut out from the background in less than a minute, giving the buyer the opportunity to “move” it into different creations. The hand with the finger can be used separately from the model, so basically it can be a 2 in 1 image.

How could we use it?

  •  Book covers/interior and wallpapers
  •  Fashion magazines
  •  An advert for a beauty parlor/ cosmetic clinic.
  •  An advert for a broker/investment company. Could very well go with a motto like: “We’ll turn everything into gold!”
  •  Body-art commercial.
  • For websites, templates, logos and the likes.
  •  A sign at the entrance of a library where you have to keep quiet not to disturb the readers. Silence is indeed golden and cherished in that type on environment.

 

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The image of the week is based on a metaphor

 

This great image is protected by copyright unless you buy it starting from only 1,95$ from: http://yaymicro.com/stock-image/superhero-businessman/8567238

This great image is protected by copyright unless you buy it starting from only 1,95$ from: http://yaymicro.com/stock-image/superhero-businessman/8567238

I like to see photography as a form of art and evaluate it from this point of view. The image of the week is a proof that I am not the only one! It is called Superhero businessman and it belongs to stokkete. And now, I almost can hear the comments: what’s so artistic in this picture? would you put it on the wall in your living room?

But first of all, let’s see what art means! According to the dictionary, art is the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

In other words, is this image appealing? Is it beautiful? Is it of more than ordinary significance? I would say “yes”.

Of course, we have to keep in our minds that we are talking now about microstock photography. It has to be commercial. too. So, we have to add more questions in order to evaluate it: is it commercial? how could it be used?

But what I find really great at this image is the fact that made me realize we can use a figure of speech in order to create a great picture. In this case, the metaphor!

According to wikipedia, the metaphor describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object. Metaphor is a type of analogy and is closely related to other rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via association, comparison or resemblance including allegory, hyperbole and simile. In simpler terms, a metaphor compares two objects or things without using the words “like” or “as”.

So, it’s exactly what we see in “Superhero businessman“: a nice appealing posture of a businessman, meant to express that a successful one should have the qualities of a superhero, in order to succeed. I would dare even more and say that under our daily clothes and appearance, we should all have the tough qualities of a superhero in order to succeed…

What’s so great about this picture?

  1. It’s catchy and appealing as indeed consists of an unusual posture of a businessman!
  2. It’s built on a metaphor, through the surprising  association of two different concepts: the formal business person and the fantastic characters with superpower!
  3. The topic is actual and needed, the business category being actually a favorite one in the search of our customers.
  4. The colors are cool, giving a sensation of “energy” and freshness.
  5. It has copy space, the dark gray background being excellent to add some red or white fonts on.
  6. The model is anonymous even if he is the main subject. So we could easily see ourselves in his own posture.
  7. It’s a great example of excellent photo editing!

How could we use it?

  • the advert for products as: energy drinks, vitamins, coffee
  • the image of a head-hunting agency or of an any article related to high level jobs
  • a motivational poster on the wall of a fitness center/health club
  • a billboard advert for business clothing brands
  • indoor/outdoor adverts for male fragrances
  • the cover image for: marketing and business books, magazines dedicated to men

 

 

 

 

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The image of the week… is all about enjoying your photography!

Carer pushing woman in a wheelchair in the English countryside UK

The image is protected by copyright but is is available for sale and use at:
http://yaymicro.com/stock-image/male-carer-pushing-woman-in-wheelchair/8357166

 

From all the images I reviewed this week, one definitely made me stop and this is usually the moment when I realize this might be the image of the week. It’s called Male carer pushing woman in wheelchair and it’s been uploaded by Peter t.

He uploaded more and I had to reject several pictures for Trademark issues. I sent him a short message about the need to remove the brand names. I am a contributor myself and I know how it feels to have images rejected, after spending valuable time with uploading and keyword-ing. But Peter t answered politely asking for more information. Then I realized what stood behind the image of the week: good manners, a different attitude and a will to do things better!

Obviously, I wanted to know more and I found out that Peter t is actually Peter Titmuss, featured in the British Press Photographer of the Year award and World Press Photo Exhibitions!

He has been a photographer since leaving college, working in Fleet Street for many years and has been concentrating on producing stock images for the last ten years. His library extends beyond 40,000 images.

But let’s see the way he describes this image:

The plan was to shoot the female model sitting in a wheelchair, alone and looking out into empty space. It was shot on a hilltop within parkland in Hampshire England.

Planning the shoot was easy for me, the male model, a friend and chairman of a charity which loans and supplies equipment for disabled people wanted some images for a brochure. These were shot , and in exchange he loaned the wheelchair for the shoot.

The female model, Susan Parks, and I have worked together for many years and she knows just what I am thinking setting up a shot (must be woman’s instinct)! Best model in the world!

Arriving at the location the shoot plan started to change, for the good. Spotting a ‘disabled’ only car parking space was too good an opportunity to miss. We were able to shoot the mresized Peter Todel erecting the wheelchair from the boot of the car, then with the disabled markings on the ground, disabled markings without model were taken also. A few shots in the can already.

Male model then starts to push wheelchair to the designated site, it was uphill and quite a climb. Another opportunity for some shots, man exhausted pushing woman in wheelchair were soon obtained, oh joy!  The shot that we had struggled up this steep hill went without a hitch, I used a low camera angle to keep the ‘empty space’ feel.

Swapping the model’s roles,  shots of the female model, now a carer, pushing the man in wheelchair were also obtained.

We had some fun, took lots of pix and had a great day, that is just what it is all about, enjoying your photography and earning a living at the same time.

Peter Titmuss

What’s so great about this picture?

  • It is a great lesson about what means to live with disabilities and even with people with disabilities.
  • It uses an unusual angle, letting our imagination free to read a life story. The faces are not really visible letting more space to the feelings, just perfect for this kind of topic.
  • The background gives us a feeling of serenity and hope but it speaks also about the loneliness of the disabled persons and about their dreams and their aspirations.
  • It’s simple and natural. The models don’t seem to pose at all!
  • It really makes you stop and think too!
  • It has copy space in order to allow adverts or inspirational quotes.

How could we use it?

  1. Adverts for professional medical services dedicated to people with disabilities.
  2. Inspirational posters about marriage, suffering, illness, determination, unity and not only…
  3. The very image of a campaign for a charitable project or a foundation where more volunteers are needed.
  4. Outdoor billboard advert for health and life insurance.
  5. Cover book for publishing useful information about care-giving.

 

 

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The image of the week: Be the winner!

The image is available for sale at: http://www.yayimages.com/stock-image/winner/8180784

The image is available for sale at: http://www.yayimages.com/stock-image/winner/8180784

We’re all born winners, some of us just don’t know how to tap into that power of winning yet. We have our wins and our fails and the attitude to fit both situations. Winning give us that boost to continue fighting while struggling with life’s challenges. The key to a winning attitude is determination. As soon as you realize this is absolutely necessary, then you have to think about getting yourself tuned up for competition. Humans are competitive animals and driven by a constant need of power. Of course there should always be some kind of a balance to keep, in order to succeed without losing your morals. Make plans of what you are going to make out of your life then work as hard as you can to achieve that goal. Ronald Reagan said: “We never lose – somehow we win out.”
What i most liked about this image made by Adam121 is that it has a positive message, but shows also that the road to success is a difficult one (the hands are dirty from the struggle). One thing i try to remember each day is that if you don’t win, you are already a winner because you gave your best and the experience made your life richer with knowledge.

What i so great about this image:

1. It shows the hands of the people dirty, not hiding the fact that to win means you have to try hard, make sacrifices and struggle with yourself to keep going.
2. It has a positive message that helps you focus on determination.
3. It has plenty of copy space. You can write your own message/slogan on the sky.
4. Great isolation, the hands with the trophy can be cut out from the background and used separately or put on a different background.
5. The colors are bright and warm.
6. It’s simple yet it hides a very complex message and process.

How could we use it:

  • Inspirational posters to put in offices in a multinational company, but also in your own house as a constant reminder to never giving up.
  •  Motivational campaigns.
  • As a main image in an advertising campaign for the services of a bank/stock market investments. Using their services you will be the winner.
  • As a layout/background for a company that offers training on personal development.
  • As part of an advert for all kinds of products from cars to pharmaceuticals, etc. Choose this brand/product and you win.
  • As a billboard for any sports competitions.
  • As an advert for the national lottery.
  • As part of an advertising for casinos.
  • For a recruitment company/website.
  • As book covers and also interior of magazines, etc. I can already picture it as a cover for a very familiar business magazine.

 

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The image of the week jumps out from the crowd!

yay-4280407

The image is available for download at: http://yaymicro.com/stock-image/jump-from-crowd/4280407

As microstock agencies have now millions of pictures, some might feel discouraged and give up before making a try. Comparing to the famous top sellers it’s absolutely normal to feel like you don’t have any chance to compete: when will I have money to hire 10 models to shoot business images? when will I have my own studio?

I think the real challenge is in fact to go on in spite of all odds… Where there is a will, there is a way! Hard work is the best strategy on long term. More, look at the bright side of the street: the lack of some resources might stimulate your creativity and help you discover an original vision of many interesting topics.

The image of the week speaks by itself about being different in a good way! After all, creativity will always be needed! It comes from Jakub Danek and it is called “Jump from crowd“!

What is so great about this image:

  1. It’s catchy as it makes you stop and look at it instinctively. Even if you see it on a billboard passing by, you will automatically pay attention to it.
  2. It’s funny as it illustrates a saying mot-a-mot! By the way, what a great idea to illustrate proverbs literally! I can already imagine some funny pictures for: “In one ear and out the other”; “Nobody can serve two masters”; “Every man has his price”…
  3. It fits to lots of topics, from corporate and business to commercial promotional offers.
  4. It has copy space. You can easily add any text on the black low side or even thought or speech bubbles next to every man in the picture!
  5. It’s an original way of making a group picture with only one person. So, it’s a great example of how you can cut costs! :)
  6. It is dynamic as the man is literally jumping out from the crowd.
  7. It has a positive, optimistic message!
  8. The description of the image is already a start or a title for an article.

How could we use it:

  • an inspirational poster on the wall of a multinational company
  • outdoor adverts for “winning” products like: bank credits for business start-ups, online games, visa lottery
  • any topic regarding getting hired by a prestigious corporation: from international study programs and recognition certificates to interviews and jobs
  • advert for any product that brings you happiness, at least in certain moments: good internet connection, sport competitions, car/life/home insurances
  • motivational campaigns about social behavior and about the dare to be different and responsible

 

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The image of the week: The frailty of life

The image is available for sale at: http://www.yayimages.com/stock-image/embryo-in-the-egg/7421690

The image is available for sale at: http://www.yayimages.com/stock-image/embryo-in-the-egg/7421690

How wonderful is the birth of life, from its conception to to the actual release of the human life into the world! We are small gods that give birth or help conceive life at its greatest. We create from our own flesh and blood a new form of life that carries our genes further into this world. If you ask me I think perpetuation of the species is the only palpable proof of immortality that we have up to this date.

This image by Zffoto reminded me of the progress that science made into researching the whole process of conception and birth and making it much safer and controllable in a world where everything gets harder and unsafe. Some may disagree and say that this evolution is actually an involution, looking at the past and how things used to happen naturally with just a little bit of aid. The truth is the world has changed and it became harder to conceive and give birth to a healthy normal child, due all the climatic change, the use of chemicals in our food, the sedentary lifestyle, the high level of stress, etc. Science brings damage to our life, but it also helps fix things that it already broke. I guess there is a sort of balance about these and the reality is the world has evolved towards these present situations and we can either choose to take advantage of this evolution, or choose an alternative option. In the end the choice is ours, for each individual.

What is so great about this image:

  • It has a powerful interesting appearance – the human embryo into a bird’s egg.
  • It shows the frailty of life in its beginning.
  • The number of colors is small, it doesn’t tire the eye and delivers the message easier to its viewers used to be pelted with excessive colors to draw attention. Visually it is a “breath of fresh air”
  • It’s simple and the subject central.
  • It has a lot of copy space where you can write your own message.
  • The editing is perfect. Look at it carefully and you will not find any mistakes.

       How could we use it:

  1. A pro-life campaign/anti-abortion or even pro-abortion. It is very versatile.
  2. In science magazine and even regular ones with the subject of human birth and conception.
  3. As a book cover and for use in the inside pages of a book.
  4. As a desktop wallpaper, logos for websites, layouts, with of without the backgrounds. It is very easy to cut out the subject from the background. You can either choose to put the subject on a different background, keep it as it or use the subject separately.
  5. An advert for a fertility clinic.
  6. An advert or the main image for a commercial for dietary supplements.
  7. A campaign to raise awareness of the frailty of a human embryo due to pollution, the negative effects of wrong taken medication.
  8. An advert for a life insurance for soon to be mothers.
  9. The main image for a fashion campaign for pregnant women. We all know that clothes should make us feel good and protecting your skin and comfort also help protect the baby’s evolution inside your womb.
  10. A campaign to raise awareness amongst pregnant women about the importance of getting the blood test done regularly during pregnancy.
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The image of the week: 5 steps to pose naturally!

 

Do you look horrible in your ID photo? Have you ever felt embarrassed to show your driving license? If yes, it means: “Thanks, God, I’m not the only one!”

Well, if our Id cards don’t look so great, the reason is obvious: it’s a fake forced posture. Nobody feels comfortable like that. So, here’s one of the secrets: comfort!

Of course, it’s not a tragedy having scary Identity cards but what happens when we want to use models and make them look natural?

The image of the week comes to help us with a great and simple example of how to do it right.

It’s called “Couple having a disagreement” and it’s uploaded by a French contributor: Phovoir!

The image is available for sale at:
http://yaymicro.com/stock-image/couple-having-a-disagreement/4319165

Looking at the picture, I could find the 5 steps to success:

  1. Concept: build your picture on a fact/feeling/character/story!
  2. Simplicity: use only relevant elements, nothing else!
  3. Usual and comfortable posture: don’t ask your models to freeze, but to behave like real actors! Let them take their time to understand the concept!
  4. Facial expressions: Can’t they freeze with that facial expression more than 5 seconds? It means it’s not the right one!
  5. Originality: Dare to be free in expressing your own vision regarding the concept you chose, no matter how silly could seem!

 

What’s so great about this picture? (more…)

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