Stock Photos Articles
I will be posting articles of how I made stock photos, and the stories behind them. These stories or articles may include where the ideas came from, any problems or interesting anecdotes that occurred during the shooting and/or compositing of the pictures, and whether or not the images have been successful.
I know that as a photographer I love to hear stories from other pros about how they approach their work, what they go through to get the images, and whether the photographs succeed at their intended purposes. What I hope to provide here is similar information for anyone, amateur or pro, who might be interested. I picture this section as being a blend of entertainment and useful information.
Some of these stories will be from images made long ago, and some will be written pretty much as I produce the image. The common denominator will be that in my opinion there are, as I mentioned above, both useful information and some entertainment value. Since stock photography is my career I expect most, if not all, of the articles will feature stock images.
Some of these stories will come from the Photoshop book I had published several years ago: Adobe Master Class: Photoshop Compositing with John Lund. The book is out of print now, but much of what was presented is still true today. The book was written using actual stock photos that I had created and featured step-by-step illustrations about the details of how the image was made from start to finish. While not a runaway best seller, the book was published in English, Chinese, Japanese, and, of all things, Russian!
I also intended the book, as with these pages, to be inspirational in nature. I am always, to this day, amazed at what can be accomplished with a minimum of tools. One of my points then, and now, is that one dose not have to be a Photoshop Guru to create exceptional new photographic realities…a firm understanding of the basics will do very nicely.
Some of the earliest images were actually composited with Live Picture, a unique imaging program that unfortunately could not compete with Photoshop, though it had layers before Photoshop did, unlimited undo’s before Photoshop, and could, in most cases, move huge numbers of pixels far faster than Photoshop. For those images, I rebuilt them step-by-step using Photoshop, for the above-mentioned book.
I currently shoot and composite images for Blend, Getty, Corbis, and Kimball Stock. That keeps me extremely busy! I specialize in conceptual images, especially ones that require extensive imaging for their execution. I have dipped my toe in the waters of lifestyle shooting and actually do enjoy it from time-to-time. Travel is also important to me and many of the articles will have information in them about my approach to shooting stock during the course of these travels. Travel gets me out of my comfortable environment, and finds me with a camera in hand more often than not, exposing me to far more photographic possibilities than I would otherwise encounter. Stock photography allows me to travel with the knowledge that I will almost certainly make a profit from any given trip. I don’t believe I have been on a trip of any significance over the last ten years that hasn’t yielded, over time, a nice profit. Not a bad gig if you can get it!