I’ll give you some insight on how I approach a new stock photo concept. To make money from your photography you need to be constantly thinking of new themes that might be used to illustrate articles and blogs.


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I saw a drawing of three hands holding a bitcoin and thought it would be nice to cover something similar as a photo, especially as bitcoins are in the news as they hit record prices (and will be in the news when the price collapses!). I already have some mock bitcoins and so I thought I would create a stock photo of three traders fighting over a bitcoin.

Now this took quite a bit of planning to get the angles all right, so here was my secret. First, I set up a flash in a large umbrella and a black cloth as a backdrop. I used an LED flat lamp as a “table” so that I could get the same angle for each shot, and then I used a round pie dish sort of thing from the kitchen to pretend to be the coin.

Then I took a number of shots with the camera timer with me holding the pie cover from different places. In retrospect, I should have worn a different suit jacket for at least one of the shots, but these people are traders at a Wall St Bank with a strict dress code!!

Then we have the coin – here I put the bitcoin on top of a small rubber ring to raise it from the surface on the pie cover. With the macro lens (and trying to keep the same angle) I took a series of shots with the focus from front to back of the coin.

Now it is simply a matter of extracting the arms and hands (I used the pen tool for this as I find it is better than the various automated ways you find in Photoshop) and shrinking the coins so that they fit roughly over the pie dish in one of the images. Then bring in the other arms and hands to make the three. Not finished yet though – I painted some faded black around each thumb to cast a shadow on the surface of the coin to make it a bit more realistic.

So that gave me one image but what next? I then thought that a financial background would be good, especially with the way Bitcoins have been going up in value. All these are simply backgrounds that I already had, blurred and placed behind the isolated coin.

All told, I got 20 different stock images from one basic shoot. All of which illustrate different themes around virtual currency. I’m sure others will come to me in the days to come!

Hope this gives you some idea about how I approach a stock photo shoot. Of course, I would rather you didn’t copy the exact idea, but use it to think about approaches in your area of expertise!

More info: backyardsilver.com

Can you use a bitcoin to buy wine?

You need to get the same angle for each of your shots

Then you can replace the baking tray with an image of a coin

Simply replacing the background creates new images

Of course, you can make something wild – Bitcoin Mining!