New Stock Images – Five friends at Times Square

Part three of my New York City  images shot last Fall during a Getty Images event. For the first time I collaborated on this shoot with my friend and colleague Martine Doucet as well as the always talented and inspiring Lise Gagné and her creative powerhouse of a partner Louis Leblanc (rebelz). In the weeks preceding the event, after deciding to go, we facebooked back and forth, casting models and pitching ideas. Quebec power! It was nice to work with such great people… and then the models! One of the great advantages of going to a place like New-York City is the availability of such great talent. Dozens of applicants sent us their portfolios of which five were selected. They were energetic, professional, open and authentic, and helped turned a rainy, overcast, cold Autumn morning into some radiant photographs.

I shot the whole thing with my 200mm lens out of respect for my colleagues who were using other focal lengths. Obviously when you shoot in groups like this the same scenes it is important to try and get very different images as much as possible to not undercut each other. Different angles, colors, approaches and of course unique point of view and sensibilities.  So in  my case, I went for character and bright colors, with lots of close-up trying to show relationships. The atmosphere of the city is present, but mostly in colorful blurred backgrounds. And boy did I push the colors to their limits. It makes for a rather chaotic result overall, but one with the bright optimism that I saw with in so many of the young people I met there. It is after all the place where all the dreams are possible…

You can view the whole series in this lightbox or this Photoshelter Gallery . Enjoy!

FivefriendsatTimesSquare

A. © 2015 Nicolas McComber – Available for RF licensing at Istock andGetty Images

B. © 2015 Nicolas McComber – Available for RF licensing at Istock 

C. © 2015 Nicolas McComber – Available for RF licensing at Istock andGetty Images

D. © 2015 Nicolas McComber – Available for RF licensing at Istock andGetty Images

E. © 2015 Nicolas McComber – Available for RF licensing at Istock

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My 2013 Top Earning Stock Images #52: Senior black woman relaxing by a tree

Senior black woman relaxing by a tree
Senior black woman relaxing by a tree

LogoBUYlogoISON Link to Getty Images

Uploaded: March 2013
Collection: Sig+ / E+

This is the first and only photograph lifted from the 2012 Orlando minilypse that crawled its way up to this list. Yes I’m majorly disappointed in their performance, but I have to remind myself that they were uploaded during the worst possible time for new photographs: in the darkest pits of Best match search engine hell and a mere few weeks before the collection restructure and the massive appearance of the cheaper yet very relevant main collection. To think that they made the search engine all about relevance and yet had no measure in place to give relevance to new photos – which basically means that they were thrown in against millions of photos that had a relevance history without any major artificial push, just a very meak and volatile one. In short, they were invisible, dead on arrival, and only got very few sporadic sales over the year. What a waste. Are things better? Not really. My patterns show that new material enjoy a couple of sales early during their Newness push and then go into comatose mode until they reach enough sales (around 4 or 5) to show up in “Fresh Match” searches. Nothing really happens until they hit 10 sales and head on up in the big “Best Match” leagues. Which can take years in this climate.

Anywho, back to this photo. When I edited this shoot initially, it was to give 3 photos to the models as per the agreement to attend the Lypse. So I chose photographs that were good, classical portraits that the models would love. This is one of them for the lovely Jeanette, who was fantastic to work with. Another shot, which was sacrificed to the situation above and is in a deep coma since is this one. And the third is this colorfully serene ranch shot – that hasn’t sold at all. (fill this space with fuming expletives).

It was a difficult day to work – full on hot Florida sun and deep, harsh shadows everywhere. And so I went looking for shade. And I loved the shade pattern on this tree. So I carefully positioned Jeanette so her face would be in the light and directed her expression, which I wanted joyful but in a calm and serene fashion. I think she did great. Here is a detail showing her face:

Black woman enjoying the sun - detail
Black woman enjoying the sun – detail

Why a panoramic? Well it was a phase I was going through. I loved the effect of using long lenses in a panoramic way. There is just something fresh and beautiful about it. It’s a lot more work when processing them, but I was thinking that the designer can just crop the shot to suit her needs. The left side, filled with tree bark, can be used as a texture. The middle as a portrait and lifestyle image for retirement and satisfaction, and the right side as a background with a great boca and progressive lens blur. See? Three photos all rolled into one. Plus sometimes when designing for the web, you do need the panoramic format. So why not do a few?

All good intentions, thwarted by a search engine from hell in regards to new material. Sigh. Well perhaps putting it here will help it in finding its clientele. And perhaps it shall rise in 2014? Who knows?

Featured Stock Photo – Children photographer at work

Stock Photo: Children photographer at work outdoors
Stock Photo: Children photographer at work outdoors

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This one just sold this morning for the first time and I’m quite glad to feature it here as it shows two good friends at work during the Orlando Minilypse last winter. The tall guy on the left holding the reflector is Adrian, from Switzerland, who came to Florida partly to have a good time with me and Lorraine (who’s the photographer and the resulting photo is here)… and the plan worked. We had a great time on the shoots, at a bar and we even played a couple of great runs of minigolf – and incredibly I won both runs. We laughed so much. Great times. Can’t wait to see them again. Adrian recently spent two months on a deserted island near Fiji just for the heck of it and is making a movie about it. I’ll link it when it comes out. Lorraine is about to leave for the UK for a Month and I’m sure she’ll be flabbergasted by the sights. As for me, I’m leaving for Paris tomorrow, so there will not be an update on this blog for a week since all my laptops have decided to blow up at the same time. Have a great week everyone!

Featured Stock Photo – Wild West Man Playing Harmonica

Stock Photo - Wild West Man Playing Harmonica
Stock Photo – Wild West Man Playing Harmonica

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Nice! Today I woke up to find out that this shot had sold, which is extra sweet for me since it is one of my very favorites from my trip to Montana. I remember making a list of props that I should get before I left and had jotted down “harmonica”, as I thought it would be appropriate for Wild West sets. So the day I went shooting backgrounds in Montreal, I stopped by a music store and picked one up, along with a tambourine, and brought it over to the shoots. I was always carrying this large white bag around full of props. Anyways, when I got to this set, it was rather late, the sun was setting quickly and the day had been long. I was given a quick 5 minutes with this model, so I got the harmonica out and he started playing. I directed his expression until he gave me this. Got it! I went for a deep sepia tinted desaturated but not quite B/W in post to give it that vintage look, and voilà! I hope it catches on.

Featured Stock Photograph – Candid moment between a preteen girl and her nanny playing card tricks

Featured Stock Photograph - Candid moment between a preteen girl and her nanny playing card tricks
Featured Stock Photograph – Candid moment between a preteen girl and her nanny playing card tricks

LogoBUYlogoISON Link to Getty Images

Another one from Orlando. This one is more of a candid moment, something most stock photogs are after since all the agencies are asking for them. I initially set the models to try and build a pyramid with cards, but these were brand new good quality plastic cards, so slippery that they just couldn’t build one. So they started throwing the cards at each other and I kept them going to catch a moment like this. The flash didn’t fire on this shot… luckily: the natural light is beautiful!

I’m still awaiting a first sale. Go check my Orlando Minilypse lightbox on Istock. New shots are added daily. Perhaps there’s something for you there right now… 🙂

Featured Stock Photograph – Little Girl at the Wheel of Huge Tractor

Stock Photo: Little Girl at the Wheel of Huge Tractor
Stock Photo: Little Girl at the Wheel of Huge Tractor

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bannerOrlando

Well, here we go. The first shot published from my 5 days shooting in Orlando earlier this month. This one is also right at the start of the Minilypse event on the first day of shooting. So here I am, the first photog to shoot with this lovely but very young model who just felt so intimidated by the whole thing that, despite her mom’s reassurance, she wouldn’t look at the camera or even smile a little. Note to self: befriend young ones before taking their picture. Or bring candy, or stories, or toys. And don’t shoot first. Wait ’til they are having fun. She ended up doing very nice shots with my pal Lorraine later in the day, but this shot was it for me: I quickly moved on to adult subjects for the rest of the wonderful day.

You can view my work from those 5 days (3 of which were the Minilypse event) in this Istock lightbox (to be populated over the next few weeks) or on Photoshelter if you prefer larger previews.

Featured Stock Photograph – Red Rocks Cliff near Sedona

Featured Stock Photograph - Red Rocks Cliff near Sedona
Featured Stock Photograph - Red Rocks Cliff near Sedona

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USA Landscapes Arizona and Four Corners Stock Photo Gallery

Small victory here: I was hoping for this file not to end up in my exclusive casualties (photos that will no longer be available comes my exclusivity for RF licensing due to istock rejecting them with the “no resubmit” notice), because I’ve always loved it. This moment, shot in Sedona just at sunset, is quite extraordinary in its beauty… so much so that I had to diminish the vibrance a bit to get the shot accepted. The original was deemed over filtered because of its strong colors. This place is magnificent!

Royalty Free License available at Istockphoto.com

Browse through related photographs in this stock photo gallery at Istockphoto.