Many times designers need an interesting color or background for their designs. Sometimes I need something more than just a solid color or bar of red or blue for my creative concept. That’s when I need to think outside the box and come up with a smashingly cool idea. Here’s a little trick I use when I need a nice look and have some stock photos on hand from other projects. I try out various areas or “slices” of existing shots I might already own. They could be of a fabric like this blue checked pattern, which might work well for a kitchen theme or cooking project… maybe for a cookbook…. Or maybe there’s an interesting little chunk of high-tech lights on an outdoor sign shot, as shown here below with the neon blue tones and bright highlights. This might work well for a web banner look. See how nice and bright this green slice from a recent stock shot looks as a bar or background color? It’s light enough to put some copy in as a pop-out bar. These unique tones and textures help me add interest into things I design. This could be used for a brochure cover, business card, package design or simple travel flyer, for example… SOME INSIGHT INTO THIS DESIGN: I needed a blue and green tone for a project I was working on recently, but I didn’t just want to use a solid bar. So I tried out a few color options that I chopped off edges of stock photos I owned already…..just to see the look and give myself some ideas to kick around. Below is a photo with a woman as the main focus. But notice the left edge of the shot, going up the side and about a half of an inch thick. It has an interesting mix of colors, created by light and shadow. Much more interesting than a flat solid color. Some designers use several parts of the photo for various needs and reasons. This is an interesting way to look at your shots in the future and see how they can sell on the Internet as stock. And, I used a slice of the photo for the top of the page in the sales brochure below. I love to get creative with stock photos and try out various new ways of showing a blast of color. I’m hoping this little tip can also get you thinking about unique ways to shoot some hot and successful stock photos using this concept. Share on Facebook

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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