Monday, January 10, 2011

Old Concepts, New Ideas, and Creating Stock Photos That Sell

Business executives climb ladders of success through storm clouds in an image of challenge, limits and possibilities.
Often re-visiting old ideas and concepts, such as (in this case) business people on ladders, and coming up with new treatments and your own personal vision and style can boost the success of your stock photo production efforts.

Climbing The Ladder of Success
Often when I am personally clawing my way up the rungs of that ladder of stock photo success, looking for a new idea for a stock photo, I turn to old concepts. While there are constantly new concepts, products and services coming up that need to be illustrated, such as cloud computing, crowd sourcing and tablet computers, the old tried-and-true concepts also need re-working with new and better photos, contemporary treatments and your own personal “twist”. If you can take a concept such as teamwork or standing out from the crowd or even success, and give it your own unique look, you are sure to do well in stock…even in these challenging times!

Businessmen And Women On Ladders
Take the case of ladders. How many stock photos have we seen of businessmen or women on ladders? Just the thought of it is enough to make me groan…so much so that I have avoided that cliché’ for a few years. I don’t remember what motivated me to look in this direction again…but look I did…coming up with the treatment at the top of this blog. A tired old idea, but in a way I haven’t seen it done before…though with billions of photos already floating out there in that digital realm I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t already out there! At any rate, I put the ladders in a different environment, with an unusual perspective and added meanings through the use of several different models.

Ladders, Competition, Glass Ceilings and Challenge
But I have to say, I really love this image (love is blind?)! It is about competition in the business world, success, and the ascension of youth, breaking through the glass ceiling, challenge and probably a half dozen other themes as well. A really creative art director, designer or writer can add a headline, add a design element, or put it in a context that adds any number of meanings.  A great stock photo grabs the viewer’s attention and then facilitates taking that viewer in a number of different directions (the more directions it can take a viewer the more potential sales). The best selling stock photos are generally positive (as is this one in the case of the young woman on the ladder in front), flexible in it’s cropping (this one works as either vertical or horizontal), and has room for Headlines and body copy.  Reading quickly as a thumbnail doesn’t hurt either since that is how virtually all stock photos are found these days.

Converting Step Ladders Into Extension Ladders!
If you find yourself at the top of your ladder, and it isn’t quite high enough for your tastes, you might try extending that ladder by re-visiting those concepts that have stood the test of time, but need a new approach…that need your vision! Accept the challenge of taking what you might perceive as a really dull and overworked concept, then coming up with (and executing) your own new visual interpretation. Not always easy…but if you make it a deliberate practice it will pay off.

BTW, the above blog is an exercise in what I understand to be an effective way to write for achieving good results in going after the long tail of keywords…in this case variations on the word “ladder”.


Michael said...

I have seen hundreds of stock photos of people on step ladders but none that I think particularly sell.

step ladders said...

If you find yourself at the top of your ladder, and it isn’t quite high enough for your tastes, you might try extending that ladder - this phrase is like a quotation. I like to use it. Anyway, aiming high is not bad but try to remember as high you step up that will be how far you'll fall. Watch you're steps in you're carrier like watching your safety as you climb up a step ladder.

Ladders said...

Who knew ladders could be seen in so many different ways. And we have always worked had hard as we can on our own stock photos.

fibreglass steps said...

Yes I agree think new and get better results. And like you said even I am tired of seeing the photos of men or women climbing ladders whenever I search the term "success" or even "reaching my goal"