A Kick in the Creative Pants


posted on 2nd of march, 2007
The most important advice I have to offer after my decades in the stock photo business about what images to make is listen to yourself. You know more than anyone about why you want to create imagery. Build on those thoughts first. Then see how to make the images more salable. Once the flame is lit, it's easy to turn up the temperature! Today I was with an old friend who is a top creative consultant to advertising and stock photographers. I asked her to sum up in one word her best advice to anyone needing a kick in the creative pants. She answered, "Oh, that's easy. My word is play." I remembered then that she had been giving away buttons that just said "play" at a trade conference a year or so... [ Read more... ]
Comments (17)

Posted by Amyemilia on January 08, 2008
You are so right - the best work comes when I let go and stop documenting and just grab the image that grabs me.
Posted by Sextoacto on November 30, 2007
Thanks for the advice.
Posted by Ellenboughn on March 23, 2007
Hi Carla,
Sorry I missed seeing this until today. Very pleased that you found the blog to be a bit inspiring. thanks for letting me know.



Comments (17)

This article has been read 11468 times. 12 readers have found this article useful.

Wild Models


posted on 6th of march, 2007
Yesterday I found myself on a long pier stretching far out into the Atlantic Ocean. An aggressive group of large pelicans were hanging around the end of the pier to snatch leftover fresh bait. These birds were fairly unafraid of the bystanders but to get close-up images of wild birds or animals without an expensive long lens, can be a challenge. The images above illustrate two different styles of photographing animals. I especially like the image on the left above because it is unusual and represents a unique look at the bird from an artistic point of view. The second image is the more typical and will be downloaded more often as it has broader appeal. Images of wild birds serve several markets.... [ Read more... ]
Comments (9)

Posted by Plaintiger on March 10, 2007
great stuff, Ms. Ellen. dreamstime made a big deal about Your joining the team and i thought, "yeah, yeah...blah blah blah...another person whose presence i'm never going to notice has joined the team..." but Your presence really is invaluable. You're a huge help to every photographer here who takes the time to read Your articles.

now i'd like to add a tip for people wanting to get close to birds of any kind: it can be very helpful if, during your approach, you act like a bird. don't look straight at the bird while walking straight up to Her or him - that's an approach (no pun intended) that many birds see as predatory behavior. instead, act like a bird: look all around, at everything except the bird you're trying to approach. use jerky, bird-like movements and look at the ground a lot as if you're foraging for food, as the birds tend to be. i stop and pick up imaginary things from the ground (i use my hands instead of my beak...it's easier. ;) keep your arms and equipment and everything...(More)
Posted by Orchidpoet on March 08, 2007
Thanks again, Ellen!
Posted by Ellenboughn on March 08, 2007
Ellen, thanks for the inspiration to use wild models. I wonder what kind of lens you used for the pelican shots. Sorry but I can't tell you about the lens as I didn't shoot the images. All the images used in the blogs are from the Dreamstime contributors. You will find the photo credits at the bottom of each new article. Now you can see all the images that appear in all the blogs at once in a collection that I have created. You can find it by clicking the link on the homepage just under the announcement for the current blog.



Comments (9)

This article has been read 9859 times. 5 readers have found this article useful.

Not Just a Pretty Face


posted on 9th of march, 2007
Facial expressions send strong messages about what an image is trying to say...what the image is about. Unfortunately, a model's lack of expression can sometimes cause the photo to say next to nothing. One expression to avoid is the pouty-pouty runway model blank look that many people assume when being photographed. Both models below are engaged with the camera with strong facial or body language. If you are shooting something "fashiony" like a model on a seamless or creating an image with the background dropped out, avoid blank stares. In the image on the left above, the woman could be a spokesperson for any number of beauty products, for example. She looks like she is speaking to us, as does the businesswoman... [ Read more... ]
Comments (12)

Posted by Ellenboughn on March 12, 2007
Do you have any pointers for getting non-professional models to give the expressions you use as examples here? Verbal ques, demonstrating the pose/expression yourself....what, in general, works best? The best thing to do is to help people to relax. Talk with them a bit about themselves. so that you have 'talking points' that you can use as you talk to them while shooting. Shoot for a while just to get them relaxed in front of the camera before asking them to strike a pose. Any other suggestions from the boards?
Posted by Creekside on March 12, 2007
Great blog topic! Very informative and useful. I'm starting to work with more people and work hard to get nice, natural expressions and to have some message in mind. Do you have any pointers for getting non-professional models to give the expressions you use as examples here? Verbal ques, demonstrating the pose/expression yourself....what, in general, works best?
Posted by Maigi on March 11, 2007
Another great article. Thank you, Ellen! I love to read models expressions, and love to see when it's natural. A lot of such great images here in DT!



Comments (12)

This article has been read 12342 times. 7 readers have found this article useful.

The Do Nots of Successful Keywords


posted on 13th of march, 2007
Over the next week or so, I'll continue a short course in keywording the Dreamstime way. I can't promise that our guide will take all the tedium out of the job but if you follow it, the time you spend in adding data to your images should improve your downloads and the process made smoother. Ok, let's admit it. You don't love photography because you love keywording. Keywording can be a dull task and the rewards for good work elusive to document. But, for certain, you won't get many kicks or kudos from poorly keyworded images. Better keywords=more satisfied users=more downloads. The point of good keywords... [ Read more... ]
Comments (45)

Posted by Zokimaster on June 02, 2012
I'm very new here, so I'm not sure if my question is (not) already answered somewhere. For instance, if there would be a photo, taken by someone standing on the top of Mount Everest, showing the panoramic view from the top of this great mountain. Can be keywoard then "view from Mount Everest" or should be keywords "view" and "Mount Everest". Also, if someone is looking for excately this kind of image, then his search for "view from Mount Everest" would probably give a lot of results, all kind of photos with keywords "view" and "Mount Everest". So my question is, can be keywords in form of few words together (like description)? And how excately DT search works - if image has keyword "view from Mount Everest", would DT rate it higher if the search is for "view from Mount Everest" or it would rate it as same important as it rates other let's say 100 images which have also keywords "view" and "Mount Everest"? Can be keyword a whole phrase and how much it helps in search results, to list the...(More)
Posted by Stuartkey on July 13, 2008
One thing I have to wonder about is how much attention is really paid to keywords during the review process. I see images on the first page of the "Latest Additions" section that seem to have poor keywording, based on the rules outlined in your blogs. Since they're on the first page of that section and, therefore, are very recently approved, I can only assume that most went through the review process with those keywords. I know it's time consuming, but perhaps DT should review the keywords more closely when an image is first submitted.


Absolutely, 100% agree with that.


Posted by Adpower99 on July 12, 2008
Thanks, Ellen. Having used the site as both a designer and a photographer, I can see both sides of this. It's very frustrating as a designer to run what seems to be a straigh-forward, simple search and get largely unexpected results because of bad keywording. On the other hand, I understand the desire to make sure your image is described as completely as possible. The balance is delicate and sometimes difficult to achieve.

One thing I have to wonder about is how much attention is really paid to keywords during the review process. I see images on the first page of the "Latest Additions" section that seem to have poor keywording, based on the rules outlined in your blogs. Since they're on the first page of that section and, therefore, are very recently approved, I can only assume that most went through the review process with those keywords. I know it's time consuming, but perhaps DT should review the keywords more closely when an image is first submitted....(More)



Comments (45)

This article has been read 78986 times. 19 readers have found this article useful.

Shooting Small


posted on 15th of march, 2007
The current Dreamstime assignment is to create images of the owners and customers of smaller businesses. Companies with less than 500 employees generate a sizeable percentage of world wide annual revenue. And they purchase more goods and services from large national and multinational firms than any sector except local and national governments. Companies, both large and small, need images that speak to small business owners, entrepreneurs and their customers. How are these images used? Financial institutions, large office superstore chains and insurance firms want images for their websites that depict a variety... [ Read more... ]
Comments (5)

Posted by Ellenboughn on March 24, 2007
Hi Ellen, you have alot of helpful info! As a new photographer to Dreamstime, I have ALOT of questions! Do you have any suggestions on what to say to a business owner when asking permission and getting them to sign a property release on let's say, ... for example, I have a good many photos of statues in a cemetary of Jesus and angels. I've uploaded a few for Easter and I am sure I will be told to get a property release but what do I say when requesting this? I am afraid they will refuse it in fear of having the photos posted in an offensive manner or they may not like the fact that I could earn money from the pictures. Have any good suggestions for asking this permission? Thanks for your help! I am really looking forward to having my pictures accepted here!
Business owners often need images for their own websites and will give you permission to shoot in exchange for usage of a few images.
As for cemetery statuary: most likely the owners of the cemetery don't have the right...(More)
Posted by Lisacarolsdreamshots on March 24, 2007
Hi Ellen, you have alot of helpful info! As a new photographer to Dreamstime, I have ALOT of questions! Do you have any suggestions on what to say to a business owner when asking permission and getting them to sign a property release on let's say, ... for example, I have a good many photos of statues in a cemetary of Jesus and angels. I've uploaded a few for Easter and I am sure I will be told to get a property release but what do I say when requesting this? I am afraid they will refuse it in fear of having the photos posted in an offensive manner or they may not like the fact that I could earn money from the pictures. Have any good suggestions for asking this permission? Thanks for your help! I am really looking forward to having my pictures accepted here!
Posted by Shootalot on March 15, 2007
Are cleaning ladies and house maids eligible for this assignemnt? My wife has a maid's uniform.



Comments (5)

This article has been read 7930 times. 8 readers have found this article useful.

Springtime


posted on 21st of march, 2007
A few Christmas images have been downloaded in the last few days. Seasonal images are often put into play many months prior to the actual time of year. The conundrum is that the best time to shoot seasonal images is after the images have reached their peak download period. Now IS the time to create images emblematic of Easter and springtime.
(Still need iconic photos and illustrations for the current season? Please see more images in my collection Spring.)
It's raining today in Seattle. That's no news in this wet city in time of the year. In other cities, April brings showers signaling the beginning of spring. The best rain image and one that I have watched... [ Read more... ]
Comments (9)

Posted by Ellenboughn on March 24, 2007
You are correct about shooting recognizable people at an outdoor Easter sunrise service. The shot that I was thinking about is often of a cross or three crosses erected for the service. The "beauty" shot is the one with the sun coming up behind the cross(es) or first light shining on them. There will be a very short amount of time if the service really does take place at sunrise when the attendees can be back-lit or in shadow. Short of that, if it's your church, ask for releases from anyone that you know. Of course, be respectful of the service and those attending.

Posted by Lisacarolsdreamshots on March 24, 2007
Hi Ellen! Loved your Springtime article! I just joined and most of what I have uploaded is all Spring and Easter related. I would love to shoot a sunrise play. We've had one every year where I live for over 40 years! My question about this is: Would'nt we have to have a model release signed by each and every actor in the play that was photographed? That would be hard to do with total strangers in the play and being among a crowd of several hundred people there to watch the play. Any suggestions on this? Thanks, I'll go back to learning from your other articles now and come back later for an answer! Keep up the good work, it's very much appreciated!
Posted by Ellenboughn on March 21, 2007
A bell with wings? How wonderful. I was part of a French family at one time but the only Easter tradition that was different from my traditional American ones was gift giving at Easter. I almost put a few images of presents in the blog to honor that tradition. Getting presents is always a good thing!



Comments (9)

This article has been read 11036 times. 4 readers have found this article useful.

The I Hate to Keyword Guide to Keywording (part II)


posted on 26th of march, 2007
Correct Image Name, Description, Categories and Age of Models. Dreamstime offers a variety of methods to identify the important information in an image. The system provides variety and choice by offering four different means of adding information. These are the Image Name, Description, Categories and Keywords. Here are some tips to entering information that will give you the best success: Overall Impression. First, get a general overall impression of the image and note the words that come first to mind: • What does the image "say" to you? • What is the image about? • What is in the foreground? • What is the biggest... [ Read more... ]
Comments (9)

Posted by Heathse on October 01, 2008
Greatly appreciated!
Posted by Mpalis on June 05, 2007
Very usefull article. We must all follow your instructions/recommendations to increase our sales and make dreamstime much better and simpler...


Thanks for sharing..
Posted by Ichtor on April 02, 2007
Great post, thanks! I got a few tips that are common sense but was ignorant about them.



Comments (9)

This article has been read 38270 times. 13 readers have found this article useful.

Doctor in the House


posted on 27th of march, 2007
With an explosion of medical advertising and health care issues often in the news in print and on the web, there is an increased demand for images of medical professionals. To produce images of doctors and nurses, it's not necessary to have access to a hospital. It's been my experience that the most popular image in the genre is a simple testimonial or spokesperson image: The addition of a white lab coat and a stethoscope are all the props you need. For nurses a blood pressure monitor is a good addition. Remember to make certain that the facial expressions are realistic as seen in the photos below. A medical... [ Read more... ]
Comments (10)

Posted by Rxhope on September 14, 2011
"Doctors" should look mature enough to have made it through years of school, internship and residency... ha ha . as a doctor i laughed hard......cool images...excellent work,
Posted by Fotosmurf02 on April 02, 2007
What a coincidence! I just finished a 'medical' photoshoot and have some of them pending at the moment to be reviewed. You article gives me even more reason to continue down this road and fresh ideas on different medical topics to shoot. Thanks for the great ideas!
Posted by Ellenboughn on March 30, 2007
Its not the diversity issue that photographers face in photography in health care facilities. It's permission to shoot. Serious stuff is going on in hospitals and they are open day and night. Privacy is also an issue.



Comments (10)

This article has been read 17170 times. 5 readers have found this article useful.

About me

I have written a about microstock photography released in 2010. I was the Director of Content at Dreamstime for two years ending in Feb, 2009. You can order my book from amazon via my website at www.ellenboughn.com/blog.

(Ellenboughn)
Bainbridge Island, US

Blogs
Archive
2010
April (1)
January (1)
2009
2008
2007

Stock Photography that BLOGS!

Interact, make friends, share tips and techniques, have fun. Dreamstime wants your ideas and thoughts whether you are a photographer, designer or regular user. Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite images and photographers, post tutorials or simply exchange opinions with your with fellow dreamstimers.

Don't forget words and pictures go great together so make sure you choose some Dreamstime favorite pics to brighten your article. For inspiration, check out the hottest or the most useful blogs on the left.

Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite stock images and photographers

Create your blog

My favorite articles

    None

More favorite articles

Related image searches

images photos doctor advice portraits tips

Advice related stock images