Karin Elizabeth | May
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Botany

Stock photography is something I still feel relatively new at. I’d been with Getty Images for several years: work I’d made earlier got curated, and, mehhh, it was easy this way. Step one was taking photos, step 2 was “Oh Getty wants this one. Eh, sure”. I didn’t really give it much thought in that sense. But now that it’s become a more important part of my photography, I have to turn it around by first asking myself, “What do stock buyers generally want? In what way can I contribute to stock photography?” and following that up by taking photos to suit these needs.

At first I struggled with this, because I focused almost too much on the question, “What do stock buyers want?” Yes, it’s good to look at current trends, but it’s very easy to try to emulate What’s Out There too much in order to fit in with What’s Hot Now. It results in trying too hard, and it shows in images. I want to avoid that. Like the writer’s mantra “write what you know”, for me in Stock there’s a mantra: “photograph what you love”. And that’s what makes for good stock because that’s what brings the extra flavor, the answer to the question “in what way can I contribute?” By staying true to myself as an artist, first. By photographing what I am actually passionate about, first. I get to combine at least two passions by working this way.

One of the things I feel deep appreciation for is nature. I enjoy hiking in national parks, and find equal enjoyment in taking care of, and being surrounded by plants.

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So this is one of my newer series that I’m doing for Stocksy. I wanted to photograph a subject I enjoyed myself, but it wasn’t until I looked through the viewfinder and my macro lens that a whole world opened up for me. (Yes, that song from Alladin kind of whole new world.) There were textures, colors, shapes, glitters (!), patterns, mixed and matched. And so my first actual series-for-stock was born!

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More leaves will be posted in the forthcoming portfolio section (I felt it was more important to first get the blog properly established, so the portfolio will have to wait a while longer).

It feels pretty awesome to have something that I can continue to work on… In a way I always have something to photograph and it helps against the stagnation I felt for a long time before now. And what’s even better, is that as a result of these photos, I have another idea brewing… for self-portraiture. I’m excited about this change in my creative process where I can build upon my own work and inspire myself in that way.

Alright, time to enjoy the evening. I need me some coffee and TV time. Wil and I are binge-re-watching Friends at the moment. Still one of the funniest feelgood shows everrr!

Get with the instagram

In all honesty, I’ve never been a huge fan of mobile photography. Not because I don’t think it’s good: photography is always about the person behind the lens. A good photographer can use anything and make it work. But despite feeling that way, for my own work I do have certain technological standards.

But there’s no denying it: mobile cameras are improving constantly. Photo quality isn’t as bad as it used to be. My iPhone 3gs, which I used for 5 1/2 years (NO JOKE), had such a shitty camera, I was always automatically turned off by the idea of using Instagram of VSCOcam. The amount of noise alone. Brrrr. And of course an old phone couldn’t possibly keep up with app improvements: the phone got too slow, the software it could handle too old.

But then I got a new phone, with a great camera, and it opened up a world of possibilities. I have to get used to it, but so far it’s quite nice to share bits of my life without taking out either the DSLR or my Panasonic point-and-shoot. My Panasonic is completely lovely, and in certain situations – when I feel a photo could be useful as a stock photo – I will prefer it to my cellphone camera. But for those quick moments, the “this is me, currently” moments, I sure do appreciate having the option of whipping out my cellphone.

Instagram (just cellphone) | VSCOcam (I edit Instagram shots with it, and bonus – I also share Panasonic shots)