For travel photographers, the winter can be a downer – cold, wet, snowy weather (depending on where you are of course) and little enthusiasm to brave the cold! Now is the perfect time to improve your portfolio and your skills with some studio shots. But what to take?
I find ideas from just generally browsing news and opinion stories, such as ones about people not saving enough for retirement. It was illustrated by a savings jar with a few loose coins in it, and I thought – I could do better than that! I had previously taken a photo of a dying house plant taken after our return from a vacation:
and so a bit of selection in photoshop was all I needed to extract the plant itself from the pot. The retirement jar was shot inside a white folding light tent with some LED lights shining through the sides to give some shape to the jar with reflections – the grey background is just the back of the light tent. I wanted some copy space for a buyer to put some text or other information. So after a short time, I had a new set of images to upload.
But where did I see the original? I often browse using my iPad and I use Flipboard as an App to browse upcoming stories. The thing I like about it is that is it a magazine format with three or four stories per page and every story has a small cover image. You can set up your own favorite themes for the stories to be presented to you in a sort of magazine format – personal finance, travel, photography, news, sports – there are thousands of categories to choose from. Every time you visit the App, the stories are updated and so you get a new set of potential images presented to you! You can also see your magazines via a browser on your PC/Mac if you prefer that, but I like the more relaxed iPad approach where I flick through my various magazines looking at the images (and sometimes reading the stories) and thinking about whether I could do stock photos like those I see. In fact, I sometimes see my own images there, so I must be doing something right!
You can also start your own magazine if you want and “flip” stories into it. I’ve done exactly that with a Flipboard magazine on Stock Photography. I’m gathering interesting blog posts and articles about stock photography (including some from my own blog) so if you are interested in following the sort of articles I find and enjoy, please “follow” that magazine.
So, remember – ideas are all around you. All you need to do is to create something better than what you see and you might have a winner on your hands!