Thursday, September 1, 2011

Riding A Rhinoceros And WTF Stock Photos

Picture of a businessman riding a rhinoceros in a corporate office.
WTF? Sometimes images, such as this businessman riding a rhino in a corporate office setting, doesn't have to make sense to be an effective stock photo.

WTF Stock Photos
I often espouse the importance of creating images that are needed in the market place, images that have a clear concept. But I also like to punctuate my work with the occasional WTF! image.  These are “Why” stock photos…as in why would I make that image and what the heck is the message or concept? Who is going to use it and for what?

Images I Enjoy Making
My WTF images are ones that I enjoy making and enjoy looking at. They are ideas that intrigue me enough that I violate my rule of making images with clear messages. The idea behind them is that if they are interesting enough then art directors, designers and art buyers will use their creativity to figure out how to use the images. Further, if they live up to my expectations they will stop a viewer and compel them to read the copy…, which after all is pretty much the job of a stock photo.

Versatile Compositions And Making Images Usable
I created a versatile composition that can be cropped as a square, horizontal, or vertical. Something pointed out to me by Rahul Pathak of Lookstat (which offers a great way to analyze your sales), is that in an increasingly Internet world horizontal images have an advantage, but I don’t want to eliminate potential magazine covers or other vertical uses either. There is also room for headlines, copy and inset photos. I always try and eliminate all the variables that I can that can make the image unusable for a given situation. 

A Difficult Image For Art Directors To Use
Because this image, in my opinion, is a difficult one for art directors and designers to use, and because it did take a fare amount of work to create, I believe it should be a Rights Managed image. I am certainly not afraid to put images that take a lot to create into Royalty Free, but the chance of this image being used a lot strikes me as slim, and at the same time my gut tells me that there are entities out there that are willing to pay a decent price to use the image. Time will tell on that one.

How Can This Image Be Used?
So just how can this image be used? I can see a headline that says something to the effect of “Does Your Sales Team Have The Right Tools?”. This type of outrageous visual can be used as an example of what not to do in order to bring attention to what should, or could, be going on.

Getty Images, Rights Managed And Blogs
To sum it up, I have now submitted this “WTF” image to my editor at Getty Images with the hope that it is accepted for one of their Rights Managed collections. If someone sees it as a result of this blog and wants to license…so much the better (hey, it actually does happen)!

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