Saturday, October 3, 2009

Funny Animal Stock Photo To The Rescue!

Cats And Dogs With Paintbrushes

A friend of mine owns a painting company and asked me to create an image to help him promote his business as he enters the slow winter months. In the past I have helped him with images of dogs holding paintbrushes and so forth. The animal-centered promotions have worked extremely well for him. After the first mailing he remarked to me that it was the first time ever that no one had contacted him wanting to be taken off the mailing list.

Funny Cats And Dogs Doing Human Activities

The first thing I did was to go through my Animal Antics images, a collection of funny cat and dog pictures, in which these pets are doing human activities, that I created for a greeting card line. If I could find the right image to start with it would save me the work and expense of shooting animals, locations, props and of all the stripping out of hair and fur that would be necessary. To charge adequately for putting together such a photo would take it far out of my friends price-range.

A Weimaraner, A Beagle And Two Cats
I found a likely candidate in a get well greeting card featuring a Weimaraner, a Beagle, and two cats, all waiting at a front door and holding soup, flowers and accessories for someone feeling “under the weather”. My friend, (we’ll call him Greg since his name is Greg), had asked me to create an image that included a stormy environment and the pets safe inside their home. I wasn’t coming up with a way to effectively show the pets inside and a storm outside. But when I saw the get-well card photo I realized I could drop a storm scene behind the pets and put various painting tools in their arms and come up with a great image to fit Greg’s needs. And I wouldn’t have to re-invent the wheel either. A great headline for the resulting image would be “We Are Here To Help!”

A Paint Brush, Masking Tape, And A Ninety-Seven-Layer Photoshop File

I gathered up some painting supplies and photographed each item separately. I pulled up my original layered Photoshop file for the greeting card. I used a clipping path to create a selection around each object: a paint can, a paint brush, a roller, some sand paper, a putty knife and a roll of blue masking tape. I copied and pasted each of the items into place in the layered file (after eliminating the layers containing the original get-well objects). Then it was just a matter of adding some shadows and dropping a stormy sky into the background. When I was finished I had a nice little, ninety-seven layer, Photoshop file!

Royalty Free, Micro Stock Or Rights Managed
What I now have is a humorous image that can be easily used by any painting contractor, distributor of painting supplies, or related business, to promote and advertise their enterprises. Now Greg certainly isn’t going to want someone else from his area using that image. If this stock photo is released as a royalty free or micro stock image, then there would be no control over that. You can see how the effectiveness of such a compelling image would be dramatically curtailed if more than one painting business were to use the image in any given client base. As a Rights Managed image, this picture can be used by many, many clients, with each one able to insure that they can get the exclusivity they want and need, and I, as the creator of the image, can get a premium for the imagination, creativity and plain old work that goes into such images.

A Key To Success

Choosing whether an image belongs in Royalty Free (includes Micro stock), or Rights Managed is one of my hardest tasks and one of the keys to optimizing your stock income. Ultimately I believe the success of a stock photo depends more on the photo and less on whether it is RM or RF. However, it can make a big difference and so I believe it is important to carefully weigh the criteria and try to make an informed choice. Oddly enough, in the case of this funny pet picture, I believe that by putting the image in an RM collection I am being of the most service to the client. It is hard to go wrong if you are putting the client first.


Amanda J. Midgette said...

They are the best painting contractor portraits that I've seen in my entire life and I love it!

John Lund said...


Bunch of animals...those contractors!



Nancy and my Weimaraner said...

You could have included a small pet who will play as the boss. Maybe a hamster.

John Lund said...

Nancy,'re right! Oh well....