I’ve learned from experience that sometimes it takes a very odd twist in a stock photo — and a different path from the normal everyday “shot” — to create something really memorable and worthy.  Below are several examples of photos that I didn’t initially think I’d use for their certain context.  I hope they inspire you to do great things… A recent project in the studio was positioned around selling a product for fresh breath and white teeth. This product had a variety of other benefits, but that was the main thrust. As a designer, my biggest hurdle was to imagine how a person sees fresh breath. Below are some of the shots I was kicking around to try on the front cover or on inside pages. The stock photo (above) of a woman’s open mouth and tongue has such impact since it really catches your eye quickly and makes you want to know more about what’s being discussed. I call this a  “teaser photo.” When you’re shooting stock photos, a good thing to remember is how a photo might be used. Try to think outside the box. Sometimes I find a photo that might normally be used for one thing and flip it an exciting way to show a service or product that makes the reader stop and think. The mouth shot makes me feel like this woman has good, fresh breath. Her teeth are white, her tongue is a nice healthy pink, and the lipstick color really makes a nice pop on a white page. Another direction I chose in my research for stock photos was someone covering their nose or mouth because the person they’re talking to has bad breath. I liked the next shot and felt like it might work. The one thing I had to consider was the deep dark tones. Sometimes, rich black tones give the right feeling for an ad or flyer. In other instances, a designer might want a fresh and clean, healthy look. The photo below really got my attention. I love how this woman is plugging her nose due to an awful smell. A stock shot on this level could really make a statement. The contrast of her light skin against the dark black ominous background sets a particular tone. This photo doesn’t say fresh. Normally, when I see a forest fire shot like the one above, I think of the obvious ideas: fire, trees, damage, insurance, heat, danger, emergency. We recently used this shot in a section of a brochure that was discussing mouthwash and how it feels like it sets your mouth on fire. It was such a great idea. Don’t be afraid to get creative and step outside of your comfort zone. Show a photo that gets the attention of the reader but also makes them think! Just in case you catch grandpa leaving his dentures laying around, make sure you consider taking even the most absurd shot. This photo has so much going for it. A huge percentage of mail lists for prominent healthy product and supplement companies have a reader age group that remembers when most people got dentures… My point is: be open. Stock photos are everywhere, just open your mind and let new and unique content ideas flow in. Share on Facebook

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