Yes, But Will It Sell in Seattle?

Dance! First

Your sunset photos are great and everyone tells you they should be on a calendar. Your flower photos are stunning with dew drops on each petal. Your landscapes look spectacular and you know they’re just a good as the ones you’ve seen in magazines. Your sports photographs just scream, “action” but…will they sell in Seattle? Your images must stand out in the sea of 20,000,000 or more photos offered on just one stock photography website. Now multiply that by 15 stock photo houses!

Many moons ago, I took a class with a very successful photographer by the name of Robin Perry at his home in Waterford, Connecticut. The following link will take you to additional interesting information pertaining to Mr. Perry.


I personally discovered Robin Perry, photographer, author and teacher, through the many photography magazines that were popular at the time. He had many magazine cover images and illustrated stories and his photography stood out in our professional associations as well as amateur venues. He was a true professional who was not only happy to share his knowledge, but he did it enthusiastically!

Video was in its infancy when I attended his workshop and we were working with a model. I remember him asking our class, “How many images do you create in a portrait session?” Our class response was anywhere from 12 to 36 to 72 exposures. He then turned to his model, turned on some soft music and asked the young lady to relate to the music in any way she so desired. While she did this, Mr. Perry turned on his video camera for about 60 seconds and then stopped and turned back to us. “I’ve just captured 1440 images of her!” He then proceeded to run the video back to us one frame at a time and then he asked, “Which image or images do you like best?”

We sat in awe of Robin’s future thinking, where video capture would produce not just an image, but a range of specific images that we preferred from the volume of images created just seconds ago.

In another class, Mr. Perry shared his method of creating images that were non-existent except for his judicious use of alternate lenses and extension tubes. His point was to create an image that another photographer standing in the same position would not readily be able to duplicate. This technique or mindset would propel our photography into another artistic dimension. Essentially, he encouraged us to create photographs that were above and beyond those created by typical point-and-shoot photographers.

Today, of course, we have the magic of computers with excellent photo enhancement programs that allow us (in Captain Kirk’s words) “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” My illustrated image, “Dance” is a perfect example of digital magic. I created this image employing layers and various resident effects found in Adobe Photoshop CS6. Does it stand the Robin Perry test? Can you duplicate it?

Yes, but will it sell in Seattle? Of course! It could be used to promote a dance studio or a festive occasion or competitive dancing or other commercial applications. So, what kind of creativity will you use to make your photos unique/one-of-a-kind/stand out from the crowd?