Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Classic Butler Stock Photo...With A Twist

A classic butler holds forth a silver tray with an intense burst of light blasting out from beneath the dome in a picture indicating service, success, creativity and ideas.  
A classic butler image with a "twist" illustrating service, success, creativity and ideas.

A Classic Butler Stock Photo...And No Model Fee!
Just had to share my latest stock photo. What I really like is the model…yes, the butler is me, or I am the butler…or something like that. I can’t take all the credit (or blame) though…the idea of having a burst of light beneath the serving dome belongs to the senior art director at BlendImages, Jim Doherty.

Success, Service, Creativity And Inspiration
I think it is a brilliant idea (okay, pun intended). While the butler is indicative of such concepts as success, service and all things upscale, the burst of light beneath the dome of the silver tray can be a metaphor for everything from creativity to energy to inspiration to possibility.

A "Snooty" Butler And A Dozen Stock Shots
Not sure if the butler is a little too snooty or not, but I do think it adds an element of humor which can’t be a bad thing.  My partner Stephanie did the shooting (with my brand spanking new Nikon D800) while I went through a range of poses and expressions. We shot enough variety to create at least a dozen different stock shots.

A Palace In India, An Office In Marin, And An Inverted Salad Bowl
The background is a lobby in an office building, though the marble floor is actually from a palace floor I photographed in Jodhpur, India. You never know when you’re going to need a marble floor! The silver (okay…chrome) dome is an inverted salad bowl that I hot-glued a cabinet knob onto. We bought the tray from Create & Barrel for $19.00. The Tux rental cost me $146.00.  Oh yeah, $9.95 for the white gloves too. The office-building lobby I actually got to shoot for free, with a property release, as a favor by another photographer who offered me the chance to join her in a gang shoot.

Flexible Cropping And Room For Copy
As usual I tried to create an image that can be cropped as either a vertical or horizontal. The background is simple so the image is a quick read at thumbnail sizes, and there is plenty of room for headlines and copy.

Production Costs And Profit
I often hear stock photographers talk about keeping their production costs down to under $50.00 per image, or even considerably less. I probably will have managed to keep the costs very low when I amortize them over the ten or twelve images I can get from this shoot. But I firmly believe that even if the image cost me $200.00 I will make many times that over the next few years…as either an RF or RM image (a determination I have not yet made). The total Photoshop time I have in the image is about three hours.

One Benefit Of Age And A Pretty Good Butler
Hey, I make a pretty good butler, don’t I? At least there is one thing good about getting older!


Anonymous said...

John: Do you plan to put this shot as RM or RF?

John Lund said...


I am going to have Jim Doherty make that decision. I personally think it will do better as RF...but I am not sure. Oh course, I never am sure!