Shooting stock photos – Tall Ship Celebration, Bay City, MI

This is one from last summer, catching up.  Went with a friend to the Tall Ship Celebration in Bay City, MI last summer, had a great time touring some of the masted ships:

Tall Ship Celebration in Bay City, MI 2016Tall Ship Celebration in Bay City, MI 2016

Since the point was to spend a lot of time looking at the ships I had plenty of time to take photos without my friend having to wait for me.

What I did right:

  • Took both long shots and close-ups
  • Framed the shot as I wanted it, then waited for people to walk into my shot to give it more interest.
  • Was mindful of the crowd, waiting until I got just the right look for those where you could see the people, and everybody looks good – I make a point of not uploading any photos where anybody doesn’t look reasonable, wouldn’t want someone to do that to me…
  • Took photos of the names of the ships as I took them, for future reference
  • Checked camera settings every so often to make sure I had ISO set properly, etc.
  • Took a boat ride that was available, so I could get some shots from the river, allowing for very good looks at some of the ships.
  • Took some photos from the bridge between the two sides of the river, so I could get some overall shots.
  • Took a range of photos, I had over 50 photos, submitted 9 of them – and they all got in :)

What I would change? Really not much, it was a great day, I got some good photos without making my friend have to wait, my settings were pretty good for the most part, I’m happy about this day. You can see the photos in Shutterstock here.

Shooting stock photos – Outside a UM football game

I didn’t write a blog entry at the time because I hadn’t submitted photos yet, but I had a really fun time in early Fall taking photos of fans outside the University of Michigan football stadium.  Here are a few:

UM football 1

UM football 2

UM football 3

 

Things that went well:

  • Found a great spot in the path of people walking to the stadium, behind a divider that split the crowd so they had to walk past me, and I could stand behind the divider and prop my arms on it, making for steadier photos.
  • Fans were posing for me as soon as they saw my camera, didn’t have to ask anyone to pose or anything, everyone was friendly, enjoying a great day. The advantages of the social media age…
  • I ran into a number of people I know, so I was able to take their photo and send it to them – I don’t submit photos of people I know to stock sites, don’t want to blur that line…

To keep in mind next time:

  • Submit the photos ASAP, shouldn’t have waited this long…
  • Watch for distractions such as porta-potty in background of some photos, distracting…

Fun crowd, fun time! You can see these and other photos I’ve taken outside the stadium here.

Shooting stock photos – Tulip Time Festival in Holland, MI

I have always wanted to go to the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, MI, where those with Dutch ancestry are kind enough to share their heritage with the public, and what better excuse than taking stock photos for going this year? Also great to finally have some more time to devote to stock photos…

I checked out their website and figured out that the mother-daughter dance would make for good photos, so I based my schedule on that.  Many stock photo websites want names of any children in even editorial photos so I planned to skip that one.  I got to Holland and found out that it was graduation day at Hope College, so I hung around and got some good photos of people taking post graduation shots:

Hope college graduation

Then some photos of the Art Fair, thinking of shots that might be of demand by people writing about the event in future  years, so wanted to make sure I got the logo in there.  I hung out there for 15-20 minutes taking shots of people walking in and out of the fair until I got this shot of some photogenic people:

Tulip Time art fair

The funny thing is that Michiganders are a generally considerate people, so many of them on seeing that I’m taking photos stop to not get in the shot, when I’m trying to get photos with people IN the shot…  Fun..

I got a good seat in front of a church so I’d have a nice background, and waited half an hour for the mother-daughter dance. Wish I’d had the ISO a bit lower than the 1000 I had it set at, but the photos were acceptable to Shutterstock much to my delight:

Tulip Time dancers

tulip time dancers church

Afterwards some of the dancers were posing for photos. I was feeling a little shy at first, but then, inspired by Ron Scubadiver, one of the photographers I follow, I asked them to pose and they were so nice about it:

Tulip time pose

Then I went to Windmill Island hoping for a great shot of the windmill with tulips in front of it, but the tulips weren’t quite cooperating, poo…  So, decided to try for another tourist shot and hung out for quite a while until I got a cute couple taking a selfie with the windmill, to add a personal element to the photos:

Holland windmill

Had to wait quite a while to makes sure I had a cute couple, and no unflattering views of other people in the background bending over or anything, so another 15-20 minutes here too. You can see all the photos Shutterstock accepted here.

It’s great to be back to taking stock photos, and having time to process them – tons of logo photos to get to this week…

Best wishes to you on your photography adventures…

Susan

Shooting stock photos – Michigan Football Youth Day!

Had lots of fun last week-end shooting photos of UM football players at the University’s Football Youth Day open house! How I prepared:

– I checked into permission to take photos, since it took place inside the stadium. I sent an email to their media relations person, asking for permission using the text Shutterstock likes to see:

To whom it may concern,

I grant (photographer name) credentials to photograph (name of event) at

(location) on (date)

(Name, role)

(Organization)

(of course I had filled in as much as I could…) He replied with “The Youth Day is open to the public so we won’t have a credential for media.” I saved my email request and his reply with full organizational info as a PDF file and a JPG file to submit to stock websites so they’d know Michigan folks were OK with me taking photos.

– I looked over the UM football website to see that they had a roster of players with photos, so as long as I could see their jersey number I would be able to match up players to names, so I didn’t have to worry about that.

OK, off I went, went there early and they let us into the stadium, then got a cool behind-the-scenes photo of the team getting their team photo taken before the start of the event:

Football team photo

Then they let us in, and remembering that Shutterstock won’t accept editorial photos with identifiable children unless the child’s name is included and not wanting to deal with asking for kids’ names, I decided to focus on photos of the players only (see what I would differently below…).

The players were quite obliging, particularly if I caught them at a break between autograph seekers and asked them by their name and with a smile on my face, and wished them a good season afterwards, got lots of great close-ups of many players, including Sione Houma and Jake Ryan:

UM football Houma

UM football Jake Ryan

Since I started out on the field I stayed there and got shots of the freshman players, followed by a photo of coach Hoke, though not too thrilled with that one but there was a really long line so I didn’t dare ask him to pose for a photo, had to shoot between autographs…  I then started with the players closest to him going around the stadium, taking the time to get an overall shot:

UM football day long

I worked my way around the stadium, taking photos of each player in their position, but unfortunately didn’t make it all the way around before time was up, the hour and a half just flew by!   To review…

What I did right:

– Good prepwork, so I knew I had permission and that I didn’t have to waste time writing down everyone’s name.

– Asked the security folks for suggestions of strategies to take photos, they were most obliging with ideas, and treated all security folks with utmost politeness.

– Wore my cheerful “Michigan Happiness” t-shirt again, that seems to put people in a good mood.

– Kept checking photos and adjusting ISOs as needed as I went to different levels of shade, with a goal to keeping that 1/400 or 1/500 shutter speed to help ensure focus.

– Was mindful of backgrounds as much as possible. Just a few inches to one side or the other was enough to avoid having too many pop dispensers in the backgrounds.

– Focused and composed as the players were signing autographs so I knew I had the settings all good by the time I asked for their photo. I didn’t want to waste any of their time, and got most shots the first try.

– Took the time to get that shot looking down the stadium, I love the composition on that one.

What I would do differently:

– Worn more comfortable shoes, what was I thinking wearing flip flops?

– Skipped the field to start, gone with coach Hoke first then starting with the more popular players and working my way the opposite direction that I took. But then who knows, one of the freshmen I got photos of might just hit the big time and I’ll have his photo from back in the day and seem brilliant…

– Taken more photos of players “in action” signing autographs for grown-ups, thus avoiding my “no kids” rule and yet getting more action shots…

– Reminded myself of the numbers and names of the most popular players, to have a “must get” list…

You can see all the photos from University of Michigan Football Youth Day at my Shutterstock website. If you have any other suggestions for such events I invite you to share it as a comment, thanks!