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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

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Stock Photography Blues


If you're a designer like myself, inevitably you'll run across the following situation. While checking my hotmail account today, I recognized a stock photo in an ad for a "match.com." The funny thing about it was that I decided not to use that particular image for a printed flyer promoting educational material. Initially I had thought this twenty-something-female in-business-casual-attire-smiling would be a great photo to capture the joys of the product I was marketing. But the image struck me as a bit . . . well, not the twenty-something-female you'd find in a classroom teaching 10-year-old students. I had this odd feeling I'd be promoting some rock and roll fantasy Van Halen suggested years ago. So, I discovered another photo of a twenty-something-smiling-female standing in a classroom with a smiling student seated at his desk. I suspect that was a better way to promote educational materials than the previous image -- which now stares at me from my web browser stating "Single? I am W seeking M between 18 to 35". I don't know about you, but that borders on false advertising.

Another situation, I was designing a college ad several months back and used a headshot of this college girl. She had this expression on her face that suggested (to me any way) pleasant contemplation. Not furrowed brow inquisitiveness, but more of a wonder-if-I-should-take-chemistry-or-physics-this-semester expression. Then a few days ago I was flipping through a publishing industry trade journal and found the same image in a collage of book covers suggesting so-many-books-so-little-time. Just when I thought I had come up with the right image for the right copy I am humbled to find someone else had the same general idea. If only I could find a photographer with a day rate of less than $400 then I might be able to avoid the stock photography blues.

  1. Blogger woody | 10:08 PM, August 26, 2004 |  

    I'd be glad to shoot for just $300/day. Of course, you might or might not be able to use the resulting pics. But I'll wager that your "stock photography blues" would change to red or some other exciting color.

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