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Editorials when random people decide to pose (does it add value)?


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Lately, while I've been out with my tripod doing street (editorial) photography I've had random people ask to pose in pictures or just photobomb. Beside the point, sometimes they ask me to send them the images (for free) which I generally have no problem doing.

 

My question is whether these "staged" editorials are useful or not when it comes to sales. I would much rather capture an "authentic" scene, not people playing up to the camera. 

 

Then, there's the ethical considerations that you're trying to depict a genuine factual representation of a scene (although I think in this example it doesn't apply). Look forward to your insight.

 

Here's two such examples:

 

 

 san-ludovico-bell-tower-parma-emilia-romagna-italy-europe-JAC7KP.jpga-waiter-and-waitress-pose-for-a-picture-in-juan-les-pins-cote-dazur-K2Y6D5.jpg

Edited by Brasilnut
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I could be wrong but I would think that those kind of poses will only limit the possibility of sales.  I think real people doing real things (that help tell the story of where you are and what is going on) will greatly help an editorial sale.   Like in the photo of the two cafe workers, it might have been better to get them in action clearing a table or serving food.   There are always stories about low wages, or benefits to working these sorts of jobs etc.  Or there could be a travel story about that city and the food scene.  Try to think like photo buyer and ask yourself what could be the use of the photo you are about to upload.  You can always take the fun posed photo for them and send to them as "payment" for helping you out.  

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1 hour ago, Brasilnut said:

Lately, while I've been out with my tripod doing street (editorial) photography I've had random people ask to pose in pictures or just photobomb. Beside the point, sometimes they ask me to send them the images (for free) which I generally have no problem doing.

 

My question is whether these "staged" editorials are useful or not when it comes to sales. I would much rather capture an "authentic" scene, not people playing up to the camera. 

 

Then, there's the ethical considerations that you're trying to depict a genuine factual representation of a scene (although I think in this example it doesn't apply). Look forward to your insight.

 

Here's two such examples

 

That would be a very simple test with a tripod: upload one image with and one exactly identical one without people posing.

For a fair test however, you would need attractive people doing attractive & relevant things in both pictures.

A better test still: 3 images, where one is totally without people.

 

The same question arises for images with or without people in general.

Pro: our eye is trained to look for people first. And in people the face, sexual characteristics and hands first. And in the face the eyes first.

Against: people (and cars) tend to age an image more quickly and shorten it's shelf life.

 

wim

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Good Question and good advice. +1

 

Alamy has been encouraging us to shoot this kind of stuff so I think you are on the right track.

Today much of photojournalism is staged. Think of those politicians shaking hands ten times so everyone in the journalism photo pool gets a chance. So don’t worry about people playing up to the camera. I would say that the guy pointing looks too staged. The cafe workers could be doing something. If they are posing awkwardly,  just ask them to do something.

The google lady by Jansos is an image that looks staged, but so what, it is a fantastic image that will eventually sell.


If you do not get a model release you can always declare them RF editorial only, or RM on Alamy. If you get a model release you can make them RM or RF. Take your pick. A master in this technique is Alamy photographer Jeff Greenburg. You can see his portfolio here by checking into the forum, for the purpose of people photographt ignore his excellent drone stuff.

http://www.alamy.com/search/imageresults.aspx?&xstx=0&userid={5473AC7E-598E-4DB4-A22C-3BDAD20CD050}&name=Jeff+Greenberg&st=12

 

Geoff’s shot when he travels by train

 

washington-dc-district-of-columbia-union

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Quote

Alex I'd say that you have an advantage here being young and cool. Use your advantages!

 

Thanks :) and I'll check out his work.

 

I'm usually quite aloof when out in public but friendly if people do approach me.

 

I see you got some nice natural shots of people in Norway. 

 

-----------

 

I prefer to capture people at their most natural state so I keep a distance, but my 24-70mm stands out like a sore thumb. The 70-200 f2.8 would be a beauty for some shots but it's way too "papparazi" style. I would like to have a smaller camera and lens with a powerful zoom...any recommendations?

 

Great tips above!

 

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I find that when random people decide to pose like statues or do something goofy, the results are usually awful (definitely no value added). I usually snap the photo to be polite and then delete it later. Jansos' "lovely lady" image (above) is definitely an exception. It shows genuine emotion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think: scenes with or without people, people smiling into your lens, people doing things are all valid for stock. What to do and what's available to do can be varied. We're not in a studio or working with pro models on location, right? 

 

I did a shoot for an airline once where it was decided to do a lot of local people smiling into the camera. The client was concerned about travelers who were afraid of people in strange lands. Xenophobia. I paid a lot of small fees and got them to sign releases. :)

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I very occasionally ask strangers to pose, sometimes directing where they should stand and maybe asking them not to look at the camera. You need to get into a conversation first and then it's surprising what people will do. I've not made a fortune this way, generally I can't summon the nerve/energy to do it,  but I've had a couple of successes as a result.

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On the same evening, there was another occasion when I was shooting a long-exposure of a seascape when a woman approached me and asked how much I would charge to take a picture of her daughter. I replied that I would happily do it for free and got her email address. 

 

Turns out the mother and daughter are Romanian gypsies living in France (there are many). I inserted such info in captions and keywords. 

 

Anyway, even 6 months ago I would have been reluctant to upload these types of images as editorials, but lately I'm much more likely to take calculated risks.

 

My two questions are, do you think there's any issues to upload these on here (both legally and ethically) -  legally I think not or else Alamy would not allow these types of images but still interesting to discuss. If no such issues, secondly, is there any value for sales?

 

A young Romanian gypsie girl poses for a picture in Juan les Pins, Cote d'Azur, France Stock PhotoA young Romanian gypsie girl poses for a picture in Juan les Pins, Cote d'Azur, France - Stock Image

Edited by Brasilnut
inserted sentence about Alamy accepting so no presumed legal issues
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17 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

I find that when random people decide to pose like statues or do something goofy, the results are usually awful (definitely no value added). I usually snap the photo to be polite and then delete it later. Jansos' "lovely lady" image (above) is definitely an exception. It shows genuine emotion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers - she just walked into the shot and posed. She was a natural! :-)

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20 hours ago, Bill Brooks said:

Good Question and good advice. +1

 

Alamy has been encouraging us to shoot this kind of stuff so I think you are on the right track.

Today much of photojournalism is staged. Think of those politicians shaking hands ten times so everyone in the journalism photo pool gets a chance. So don’t worry about people playing up to the camera. I would say that the guy pointing looks too staged. The cafe workers could be doing something. If they are posing awkwardly,  just ask them to do something.

The google lady by Jansos is an image that looks staged, but so what, it is a fantastic image that will eventually sell.


If you do not get a model release you can always declare them RF editorial only, or RM on Alamy. If you get a model release you can make them RM or RF. Take your pick. A master in this technique is Alamy photographer Jeff Greenburg. You can see his portfolio here by checking into the forum, for the purpose of people photographt ignore his excellent drone stuff.

http://www.alamy.com/search/imageresults.aspx?&xstx=0&userid={5473AC7E-598E-4DB4-A22C-3BDAD20CD050}&name=Jeff+Greenberg&st=12

 

Geoff’s shot when he travels by train

 

washington-dc-district-of-columbia-union

Cheers Bill - I hope you are right! :-)

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"Much photojournalism is staged"

 

thats really poor wording ... it's not staged per say in the way that sounds. The photographers and news teams do not stage it... there are many "performances" by politicians and businessmen for cameras but using that phrase is dangerous......

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