Bonnie here, again, coming to you with another stock photo tip from our Provence Stock Photo Workshop.

After leaving our Mediterranean villas, we drove out to a chateau and vineyard deep in the French countryside. It was nothing short of amazing, and we had the whole run of the place.

I’ll show you one “spooky” way we used the chateau tomorrow.

But first, here’s how we faked our next “reality” stock photo shoot…

While we were in France, Lise received a brief from her agency, iStock, asking for photos of a French man tending a vineyard. We couldn’t believe the timing… and our luck when the owner of the chateau, Louis, agreed to pose for some shots in the vines!

But the harvest had already happened, and there were no grapes left…

So we faked it.

We bought some grapes at the grocery store and Louis ran around the chateau looking for a twist-tie to attach them to the vines. (He was really dedicated to the shot!)

Here’s what we ended up with:

When planning a stock photo shoot, it's important to keep things looking authentic

Lisa Shipley

When planning a stock photo shoot, it's important to keep things looking authentic

Jan Corradini

When planning a stock photo shoot, it's important to keep things looking authentic

Barbara Hoversten

When planning a stock photo shoot, it's important to keep things looking authentic

Cindy Guthrie

When planning a stock photo shoot, it's important to keep things looking authentic

Tatyana Samodova

In stock photography, what matters is what you see in the shot. 

You can make someone appear to be talking on the phone… taking a selfie… cooking dinner… window shopping… or tending to their grapes… by faking it in a real way.

Since “reality” is the big theme these days, you do need to make your fake shoots look real. For example, if you’re buying grapes for a vineyard shoot, make sure they look right first. Ask someone who knows.

Next, Lise taught us to tell a story, and get your models in on it.

For example, tell a family that they’re at home in the afternoon, about to make dinner, and the kids are playing on their tablets while dad brings mom a glass of wine. Then, tell them to proceed as if they’re at home, living out the story. Then shoot.

Instead of making people pose, ask them to do real things. Tell real jokes. Share real wine. And let the “reality” happen in your shots.

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