Stuff Happens


posted on 25th of june, 2008

What does leaving my wallet at the bookstore yesterday, a flashing warning light on the car dashboard as I pulled out to drive back to the bookstore and an error in posting a payment to a bill have to do with stock photography? Typical everyday annoyances and frustrations make for great concept shots for editorial uses dealing with stress related issues and to illustrate products and services that supply solutions to common business problems.



Many of the ideas on the shot list below will have to be set up but some are very simple. To add to my suggestions just run through the day-to-day situations that get your blood boiling. Once you have an idea, create your own shot list of different ways to illustrate the concept. Check the collection. Have others already executed the idea in the same way? Can you expand beyond the obvious? Is there another point of view that you can take? A shoe as it hits a banana peel is a nice concept shot but what about shooting the banana in the foreground and a person recovering from the slip in the background?



Noise is a constant irritation. It’s invisible and a major cause of stress. Thus a challenge to conceptualize. The image here of the model pointing upward by Geotrac works on many levels. The concept could be irritation at noise from an upstairs neighbor or it could be exasperation at a leaking roof. Versatility of concept expands the usage of an image but sometimes one more element in a few of the shots will emphasizes one concept over another. If this model had covered her ear with one hand, the image would be perfect for the concept ‘noisy neighbor’. For inspiration read this article from a recent post on Salon


Frustratingly long lines and unavoidable crowds can be shot without any prior preparation except for being in the right place at the right time. I found a shot of the feet of several people standing in line in the collection but nothing about their body language suggested impatience. A tapping toe in the line or body language suggesting boredom or exasperation would heighten the message. Innocent enough encounters with law enforcement can ruin anyone’s day. Images of an expired parking meter or the inching over the speed limit that results in an expensive ticket will illustrate preventable nuisances. An image of a police car reflected in an rear-view mirror could exemplify the fate of a speeder for editorial commentary.


© Junial (Help)



See shot list below.










Shot list:
Waiting in line
Spilled milk (paint, any liquid) with people in the shot.
Shirt caught in zipper. Unzipped fly with shirt sticking out
Ruined meal with distraught cook standing by
Creative composition of burnt toast. Maybe a smoking toaster.
Small kitchen fire on stove
Screaming children irritating bystanders
Open full carton of eggs with several broken ones
Running from rain at a picnic or parade or other event
Broken egg on floor
Stuck in traffic
Rained out
Barking dog outside window. Irate homeowner inside looking out window
Noisy neighbors
Child temper tantrum
Trying to catch a taxi in the rain
Lost dog sign on a post
Leaking roof
Hole in a shoe
Big spill on a dress, shirt or tie
Inappropriate mobile phone use intruding on others
Dog or puppy tears up couch, unrolls toilet paper or chews on slippers
Missed the boat, plane or train
Fender bender
Broken high heel
Can’t sleep (images of sheep in a field should not be keyworded ‘insomnia’)
For this blog I looked for an image of rain on a picnic. None found. Rain on a parade? Only one series of images of a rainy parade in Japan. Go get wet.


Comments (14)

Comment by Ellenboughn on July 28, 2008