Using the Same Stock Pictures as Other Websites

Stock pictures of beautiful people sitting around a table smiling, beautiful people standing around a water cooler laughing, a beautiful person, usually female wearing a telephone headset, smiling. Web picture cliches we all recognise. They’re boring, and an opportunity wasted – a better chosen image could say so much more about the business. But look at these examples below, it’s actually the same stock picture on different websites. It’s not likely that anyone will spot these because the businesses are quite different. But Google will. The web search behemoth encourages original content, so using an unoriginal picture might count against your page ranking. At the very least using the same stock picture as other websites is a form of plagiarism which can’t be disguised.
Not every budget can stretch to bespoke photography, so the use of stock pictures is only going to increase. Designers shouldn’t pick the first suitable image they find, and some reverse image searches are a good idea, to see where else they appear.

I have some stock pictures on Alamy.com, and when I get around to it, there’ll be more. It’s just really boring searching for them, quality checking, uploading and key-wording. Ok, I’m a bit lazy.

 



My post on taking website pictures seriously.

Here are some more posts about using stock pictures on websites…

Why You Should Never Use Stock Photography

Pros and Cons of Stock Photography

Create Authentic Images


Banking Conference Photography

banking conference photographyThere used to be three bank branches on our high street, now there are none. I didn’t use them, so I can’t complain. Banking is changing a lot, which I assume is the excuse for a banking conference in a London hotel. I’ve covered several, photographing the accompanying exhibition and getting shots of the speakers in the conference. They’re really interesting, no honestly! Getting to peak inside other worlds is one of the great things about this job. More exhibition and event photography…

RBR London Conferences

To discuss photography at your event, call me on 020 8977 2529 or message.

Practice Photography and Take Better Photos

practicing photography skills with Handmade WorkshopsPractice photography with me and Handmade Workshops at The Railway in Teddington.

We’re aiming to get more people taking better pictures, and it’s amazing how much you can learn in 3 hours. It’s intended for enthusiastic mobile phone camera users who want to move on to using a real camera. We cover the basics of what looks good in a picture, and how to get the camera to give us the picture we want! This is our ‘syllabus‘.

Best of all – we get cake! Plus tea or coffee and some time in lovely Bushy Park practicing photography.

Book here. 

Take Better Photos!

 

What’s so great about leading lines?

Edvard Munch, The Scream. Lithograph, 1895. CC BY 4 The Munch Museum.

Leading lines capture the gaze of the viewer and then lead them by the hand into your picture. They might be ruts in a road, ripples in the sand or tracks under a train. Almost any line, hard or soft can set a trail for the eye to follow. The lines might be more like a ‘zone’ – a transition between land and water, dark and light or one colour to another. Leading lines are the easiest of compositional tools – they give a picture depth you dive into, or take you irresistibly to the subject of the picture just as surely as Holmes follows the clues to the culprit. If artists like Munch use leading lines, mere photographers should too!

Bent is Best

The best leading lines to my eye are those with a curve, sensuously meandering this way, then that, roaming through the picture, unhurried but always certain in its eventual destination destination.



A good background can completely transform a portrait, the leading lines can emphasise or frame the subject, it can catch or sometimes contrast with personality that shines from the eyes.

If you’d like a portrait photograph, get in touch. More portrait photographs.

Kingston Chamber of Commerce Double Tree Event Photography

This Kingston Double Tree event gave the lie to the lazy prejudice that chamber’s of commerce are full of full of middle-aged white men. Many of us are actually beyond middle-age!

Kingston Chamber of Commerce growing membership is youthful and almost gender-balanced, so its events are all the more interesting and enjoyable. There are many great people in it’s membership happy to offer help and advice, and most importantly, pass on referrals for jobs.

I started my business after a career as an employee, so the Chamber’s been a great way to become a part of the local business community.

The Chamber sets out to be be fun, so this year’s President, Forbes Lowe of Forbes Design gave the annual charity fund-raising President’s Ball a Las Vegas theme with casino tables and an ABBA tribute group.

Get in touch to discus photography at you upcoming event. More event photography.


 

Kingston Guildhall Event with the Chamber of Commerce and Mayor

Bentall Breakfast – Photography at the Business Networking Event

Election Hustings in Kingston

 

Kingston Guildhall Event with the Chamber of Commerce and Mayor

event photography Kingston

This Kingston Guildhall event was for anyone like me, in business on their own. It’s important to get out and network with other people in business, to share experience and expertise and sometimes pass on business referrals. I attend Kingston Chamber of commerce, it’s not as middle-aged, male and pale as many networking groups, and it’s growing in size.

These pictures are from the Chamber breakfast in Kingston Guildhall with the Mayor. A group involved in the Young Enterprise Scheme came to pitch their product, a series of children’s book which they’d written and illustrated. They were very impressive.

 

Bentall Breakfast – Photography at the Business Networking Event

Election Hustings in Kingston

 

Artist Portraits Photography

It so happens that the artist portraits I’ve photographed for the Richmond Art Society are of people my age. Which is to say, not young. Well, most of them are, and I think all the more interesting for it. Painting and drawing can be a ravenous time-eater, so most people don’t really take it up as a hobby until their children have grown up and they’ve retired. The dedication people bring to art is immensely impressive, as is their art!

These artists portraits were taken the ‘Featured Artist’ page of the societies website. The society stages two exhibitions each year and a substantial lecture programme.

See more of portraits and other people pictures here.

Get in touch to talk about getting your portrait photograph taken.


Family Photography in Their Home

Kingston family portrait

Doing family photography in their home is a real privilege. You’re being granted access to take pictures of the most precious thing, and being invited into an almost sacred place. The family and the home. Treat them both with the utmost respect and consideration. But remember you’re there for a reason and to do the job properly you need to take a degree of control and be prepared to assert yourself.

Family photography at home has to be fun, or no-one’s going to smile! Children will always be the most wary, if not downright suspicious so it’s important to speak to them straight away. That means a smile in your voice as well on your face. Ask the children for their advice about the best place to take the picture, who should sit where, who’s going to be the most naughty! Get ready to start taking pictures as quickly as possible, while the kids are still curious. Be prepared to move the furniture around to create a setting for the picture. Ask for the washing to be moved out of the shot if you need to, and then get on with it. Sometimes one parent isn’t very keen on being in the photograph. If they’re not going to smile don’t make too much effort to win them round. Instead, make them the brunt of your jokes, the kids will love it. Once and they’re laughing, most parents will too!

Here I am photographing Talya Stone’s family, she’s given me permission to show these pictures here, and this is the fabulous post she wrote about the shoot on her Motherhood – The Real Deal blog.

 

Here’s my post on How to Get Your Family Loving Photography


All these images are included with permission.

Quiz Night Photographs

Apothecaries Hall London event photography

Apothecaries Hall, London

Quiz night photographs from the Apothecaries Hall in London. Every year a I photograph the quizzers at an event held by the Medical Journalist Association. They split into teams for the quiz and soon forget that someone’s taking photographs. It’s always good fun photographing such expression – from concentration to exasperation!

Event Photography

Venues for Events in London

Photographing Your People at Work – 5 Reasons to Do It & 6 Ways to Make it Easier

Customers and clients love getting a glimpse behind the scenes, and pictures of your people at work is an easy way of providing it. Of course, allowing a photographer into the office could be disruptive if it’s not planned for. The factory floor or research lab presents health and safety and security challenges. Hardly worth it? Well yes it can be….

5 Reasons to Photograph People at Work

  1. Put a human face to a business
  2. Get customer/client engagement
  3. Tell the story
  4. Build the team spirit
  5. Makes the business look accessible and accountable 

6 Things to Make it Easier to Photograph People at Work

Having the photographer around the work place can be fun, but it can also be a stress point, so make preparations and keep the staff onside.

  1. Put together a comprehensive shot list to make sure you get everything
  2. Inform staff involved in the shots
  3. Allow them time to stage specific actions you want to see in the pictures, don’t rely on hit and miss machine-gun camera work
  4. Make allowances in work targets so staff aren’t stressed or resentful
  5. Strike a balance between 3-line whips to make staff co-operate, and a genuine aversion to being photographed 
  6. Pamper the staff by getting a hairdresser in for the day