Shooting With Purpose

17 Dec
Snow Bound

Snow Bound

I’m going to start this photo blog post out with a horse reference…  Makes perfect sense, right?

Picture yourself walking on an idyllic horse farm in Kentucky.  Crisp white board fences, manicured fields and paths, and running around inside those fences is a group of young race horses.  (Thoroughbreds, for those of you in the know.) They’re delicate, yet powerful.  Their hair shines in the sun and a cool breeze lifts their manes and tails, so they float in the air, giving the horses an air of magic.  One of them lifts his chiseled face from the grass and looks your way, and you almost drown in the liquid softness of his eyes.  That kind of horse makes a statement.

Now, picture yourself on a farm wading through ankle deep mud and a cloud of black flies.  To your left is a red, dilapidated barn, the paint is peeling and the roof is caving in.  To your right is a huge, clunky beast – a draft horse – standing 1.5 times taller than you, with dinner plates for feet and a matted, tangled mane and clipped off tail.  He is powerful, my god is he powerful, but refined…no?  Elegant?  Absolutely not.  Then again, he doesn’t need to be.  He wasn’t bred for speed or beauty (though I suppose it’s in the eye of the beholder).  He was bred to work.

Two very different animals, the Thoroughbred and the draft horse, but both serve a purpose.

In photo-land, you also have your statement shots and you have your work horse shots.  Your statement shots are the one that catch people’s eye, that whisper to their soul (hopefully whispering, “Buy me”) and help you build your brand.  On the other hand, your work horse shots are meant to build your wallet.  They are the images you take with a purpose in mind, to license, to use in products, marketing, etc etc.  The photo at the top of the post, that’s a work horse.

Currently, I have an online store and a a series of free images available on my Facebook page, and when I’m out shooting, those projects are always at the back of my mind.

Free Facebook Banner - Autumn Reflections

Free Facebook Banner – Autumn Reflections

This photo – taken in October in Granby, CT – is one of many, many work horse images in my portfolio.  When I took it, I knew the sky was a bit lackluster, but the crisp reflection in the swampy water were stunning.  (That’s all part of training your eyes to see the beauty in a scene, even if the scene as a whole isn’t breath-taking.)  Now, over the last few years, I’ve put together a series of banners for anyone who follows my FB page *hint hint*, which only utilize a narrow band within the image.  That made this autumn photo a prime candidate for one of my freebies.

As for the winter scene at the top?  That is already getting a lot of mileage.  When I went out shooting that snowy day, I knew I needed more winter scene images to put together “holiday products” for the store.  Know of any ladies looking for a pretty new wristlet? 😉

Wristlet - www.zazzle.com/skalahan

Wristlet – http://www.zazzle.com/skalahan

UPDATES!

The fundraiser for the typhoon victims is done!  Many thanks for everyone who helped by spreading the word, making a purchase, or donating directly to your relief organization of choice!  Also a big thanks to all of the small businesses who added their own donations to the pot.  There is strength in numbers, and I’m so proud to be a part of community efforts like this.

Also, if you’re interested in joining our fun little Winter Photo Challenge, email me your final photo by December 21!  Hope you can join us!

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5 Responses to “Shooting With Purpose”

  1. lauramacky December 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Two spectacular images!!!

  2. Shakti Ghosal December 19, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Thank you for sharing the concept.

    I can scarcely profess to be a professional photographer and all my photos remain for personal pleasure, memoirs and more recently, for some of my blogs. Your concept thus may not be relevant for me.

    Shakti

    • seeingspotsphoto December 20, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      Well, to a certain degree, if you’re taking images with the intention of putting them on the blog, then you are shooting with purpose! 🙂

      It’s a good exercise, if you’re looking to try something new. Think of a project you want to try…making a card to print, or a poster for marketing, or anything… Then, when you go to shoot, keep the project parameters in mind when you compose your image. 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Forest of the Ancients | SeeingSpotsPhoto.com - July 15, 2014

    […] shoot with purpose when I see a scene that intrigues me.  For a little more info about that, go here…it’s just another item on the mental checklist for those of you looking to make use of […]

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