Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Whats the rush? Give your images some time to rest!
Creating Stock Photos And Image Gestation
I am not sure whether it is panic or greed, or perhaps both, that keep inserting their insidious talons into my photographic flesh (can I turn a phrase or what). You see, the problem is that I have a very hard time finishing a stock photo well. That is, taking the time to make sure every detail is a good as I can make it. I have an even harder time giving it a rest period before submitting it. Yet that rest period is incredibly important. So often I am in such a rush to finish an image and get started on the next one, and to see that first one up online and potentially earning me income, that I don’t take the proper and appropriate time to let the image gestate a bit before declaring it complete and sending it off.
The Approach That Finally Works
There are many reasons to allow for this gestation period, which I think should be a minimum of three days, and better a week, though I imagine each image would have its own optimum gestation period. Some images, like elephants, might even be best with a two-year gestation…and though that might be taking it a bit far, I have actually had images sit in a unfinished condition for that long before revisiting them and coming up with the approach that finally works. In the elephant photo above, I let the image sit (no pun intended) for a few days before I had the idea of adding the line of Pelicans flying by. It was a small touch but it adds a tremendous amount to the final image.
Separation, Detachment And Increased Earnings
A waiting period allows you to get some separation, some emotional detachment, from an image. That can be important because, at least for me, the emotional involvement and excitement of creating a stock photo (hey, I hold stock photography in VERY high regard), can hide flaws in the image from me, as well as keep me from seeing derivative versions that can significantly increase the earnings potential of my efforts. Once I send that image off, it makes submitting similar images or alternative versions almost impossible.
Feedback, Breathing Time And Significant Improvements
In addition, having a waiting period allows me to get some feedback from others on a photo. Sometimes someone will point out something about one of my stock images, a problem of some sort, that I already knew on some level, but refused to acknowledge to myself. Other times people can give me a new and fresh perspective altogether. While ultimately I have to go with my own judgment, if several others point out a similar difficulty, or possible improvement, then it certainly behooves me to pay attention. I find it interesting that sometimes my ego has a very hard time accepting another person’s point of view or suggestions, even while I can clearly see the validity of those suggestions. Having the patience to give an image some breathing time can lead to significant improvements in one’s imagery with virtually no negative consequences. Now I am off to watch some mindless television while my images “gestate”!