June Photo Challenge Theme: Body Language

May’s Photo Challenge theme, “Silhouettes and Shadows,” introduced a fun way to take saleable people photos without needing a model release. I’ll send you May’s winners next Wednesday.

Today, scroll down for June’s Photo Challenge theme, with another way to take saleable stock photos that include a human element -- without needing a model release…

Lori Allen
Director, Great Escape Publishing

P.S. If you can master the elements of a saleable stock photo, you could make a living -- or a nice side-income -- selling your photos as stock. Once they start selling, you just sit back and collect the checks. Learn what makes a saleable stock image, and how to live life on your own terms, making money as a stock photographer, at the Ultimate Stock Photo Workshop coming up.

May 27, 2009
The Right Way to Travel, Weekly Photo Tip

By Shelly Perry in Portland, OR

People photos sell. You know that. It’s been our mantra around here for the last few years. And it’s true. My best-selling stock photos all include people. But not all of them reveal the person’s whole body, or even their face.

A lot of themes, concepts, and emotions can be expressed with only one or two body parts, like gesturing hands. And if you don’t include faces in your photos -- or anything else that could blow your subject’s cover, like tattoos, for instance -- then you don’t need a model release to sell them as stock.

So, with that in mind, June’s Photo Challenge Theme is: “Body Language.”

What I’d like to see from you is one strong, stock-quality photo, including a person or people, that:

A. focuses only on certain body parts, like hands, legs, etc. and…
B. Successfully communicates a theme or concept.

Before you get out your camera, think about images you can make with body parts (hands, arms, legs, neck, shoulders, feet… ) that you might see in an ad… on a website… or someplace else to illustrate a concept. To get you started in the right direction, here are a couple of examples that sell well on iStockphoto.com:

This one has a strong business concept. Notice that the focus is on the hands:

Body Language

And here’s one of my photos that fits a popular theme throughout the last few years -- a soldier’s goodbye. It’s a high seller for me on iStock, and there are no identifiable people in it:

This photo includes part of a face, but the person is still not identifiable:

Of course, before you enter, make sure your photo is in-focus, properly exposed, and well-composed. And keep it decent, please -- this is a family-friendly e-letter. We’re not afraid to delete any photos of body parts that wouldn’t be fit for prime-time TV.

Only one photo per person may be entered, and the photo must be taken by the entrant.

To enter, send us your ONE best theme-appropriate photo. Multiple entries from the same photographer will be deleted before judging.

Submissions for June’s Photo Challenge are due by 8 a.m. EST on Monday, June 29, 2009. You can submit your photos by clicking on the "This Month’s Theme - Enter to Win!" link on the right side bar of this page.

[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.]