I thought it might be fun to look at some really weird stock photos that actually sell reasonably well. Fairly often I come up with stock photo ideas that, after execution, actually strike me as weird, ill conceived, or just plain dumb. Yet some of these less than stellar images actually end up selling. In this blog post we will look at three such examples of weird stock photos that have sold multiple times resulting in over a thousand dollars in royalties each into my hot little hands. I will speculate on why these images are selling, as well as delve into what made me create the image in the first place.
A Super Hero, A Tight Crop, And Eighteen-hundred dollars
At a photo shoot in Bangkok I somehow got the idea of having one of the models dress up in a superhero outfit. I shot the model standing on a conference table cropping at mid thigh. I shot that crop as a alternative to the full length shot of the model because the full length version just wasn't working for me. The upward angle seemed to severe and the ceiling didn't make for a great background. I hesitated to send this image in because I couldn't for the life of me figure out what anybody would use it for! Lo and behold, in the last three years the image has been licensed over ten times for a total (to me) of over eighteen-hundred dollars. Go figure!
My friend Paula Zacharias and I were photographing models in Buenos Aires. We had completed all the usual stuff, people in meetings, at outdoor cafes, using cell phones, you get the idea. I don't recall why I asked them to undertake this pose, and to this day I can't figure out what people use it for, but it has brought in over a thousand dollars in the last three years. Perhaps it is being used to advocate a new perspective, thinking outside the box, or maybe it is advertising a product that makes business less arduous. Hey, if any of you ever see it used let me know!
Cloud Computing Or A Message From God?
I think I saved the best for last. Yes, I am a little embarrassed that i created this odd image, but hey, it sells! For what? Again, I just don't know. Perhaps it points to cloud computing, or has some sort of use in the realm of religion. What ever it is used for, I just can't put my finger on. But sell it does and has also earned me over a thousand dollars in the last several years. Perhaps the message here is that it isn't a bad idea, when shooting stock photos, to stretch into the realm of the silly, the oddball or even the outright weird. In the long run a little bit of "coloring outside the lines" can really pay off!