Not your average stock images : The Photo Forest

I’m SO excited to announce that my ridiculously talented friend Nora is launching a wonderful new not-your-average stock photo site – The Photo Forest.

 

everybody-needs-beautiful-photos

 

Nora first came up with the idea when searching around for good stock photos and yet again being disheartened by the lack of quality, REAL-looking photos. Stock photos seemed to be always too slick, or too bland, or… something. And the good ones were being used by EVERYONE.

Nora is a photographer herself (besides being a totally kick-ass graphic designer at norawendel.com), and went out in search of real scenes and real people doing real things to fill that gap. But as many photos as she could take herself, she wanted to build something bigger and create a community at the same time.  So, she dreamed up the fab idea of creating a membership site where other photographers could contribute, and visitors could put in requests for whatever photo they wanted! So, if you want a picture of a teddy bear sipping a pina colada next to a swimming pool – request it, and someone will take that photo for you. How good is that!? It’s a fantastic concept, and nothing like it anywhere else.

 

what-photos

 

Here’s what Nora has to say –

“I’m on a mission to revolutionize the stock photography industry by providing custom on demand stock photos to lifestyle, wellness and smaller niche businesses that are underrepresented in big name stock photo sites.

At The Photo Forest we are about DIVERSITY -in all forms of the word! Race, size, economics and more! Our aim is to provide Real Life Stock Photos through our platform so that every business can have beautiful imagery to market themselves with.

The other important aspect of The Photo Forest is the community that I want to build and engage with – there will be a members only community where we can share what we are looking for, how we have used the stock photos, ask for advice and also talk to me and my team on how to make The Photo Forest better in terms of design, functionality and usability! I will be open and honest with all members about the inner workings of The Photo Forest so that everyone can understand how it works and feel included in some big decisions. It’s totally going to be community over competition.

So far there is no other stock photography site like this out there and that makes it even more exciting as I and all our members get to decided on how we want this to work!

What started your interest in photography?

I have a passion for photography – when I lived in India I used to do real life situational photoshoots for travelling yoga teachers and I really loved that – but that was location dependent and I have since moved to Cape Town in South Africa – so for the last year I have been trying to come up with a way to still be a photographer but be able to work from anywhere. Yep a total digital nomad 🙂

I started making some photo packs and sold them through my website norawendel.com. As part of that I did some market research into what type of photos people where looking for and couldn’t find. I called it #RealLifePhotography as that was my style – shooting situations as they were in life. – When I  started to get more and more feedback from my market research about the struggles people were having finding niche photos or photos that represented diversity like coloured women, or women over 50, or photos of plus size people – I knew I was onto something.

How does it work?

The whole idea of the platform is that members get to request the themes of the photos they really need and can’t find anywhere else. Since this has never been done before I can’t say exactly how long it will take from request till download of the photo to your computer- however I am estimating that it can take anywhere between a week to three weeks – it really depends on the photographers and how many photographers pick up the request! Each photographer can choose which request they want to go out and photograph and every photograph is reviewed before it is released to the members. As much as possible will be automated but we will still be reviewing each photo submission form the photographers to make sure they align with what we represent  – reality and diversity!

How soon are you launching and what have you got already?

Keep in mind though that there will already be more than 1000 photos ready to be downloaded when we do launch in October, and this number will be increasing as the requests come in and the photos get taken. It will be a continuous cycle of new content on a monthly basis, likely even a weekly basis depending on the amount of request that come in and the amount of photographs our carefully selected photographers submit to the platform.

Overall it’s going to be one juicy platform!”

 

the-first-community-stock-photo-site

 

Want to find out more? Check out The Photo Forest here! ->

www.instagram.com/thephotoforest

www.thephotoforest.com

www.facebook.com/thephotoforest

 

Review: The Photographers directory

review: photographers.com.au

photographers directory

Have you ever stumbled across a website and thought, “hmmm… this has potential!”? That’s exactly how I feel about this offering from photographers.com.au.

Essentially, it’s a directory site. So, if you’re a photographer yourself, you can put your own details up there, and depending on what level of support you choose, you can be found through the search bar which sorts photographers via category (product/studio, wedding, food, nature, portrait, etc), and via location. The basic listing is free, and it ranges up to $32AUD/month for a Professional Plus account. If you have a paid account, potential customers can pick you up from seeing your work featured on the home page. When they click on your link, they’ll be taken to your profile page on the site, which has more examples of your work that you’ve uploaded, a short “About” section, any testimonials you’d like to include, and various other sections for listing awards, high profile clients, and contact details.

If you’re a member of the public, You can search by category and location, although you can’t search by name (but then there’s always Google, if you’re looking for someone you know 😉 ). Then once you’ve found a few potentials, you can request a quote from them; and after you’ve used one, you can leave a review and a star rating for the next person too.

 

The site is very easy to find your way around in. For photographers who’d like to join, it’s easy to set yourself up with a directory listing (and a teensy bit amusing as well). There’s a fab blog to boot, covering lots of the issues that are common to creatives – several years worth of posts such as “How should you respond when a customer asks you for a discount?”; “At what point does creative photography become misleading?”; and “Is imitation the best form of flattery?”

 

Having said all of that however, the site does have a few issues. The clunky branding for one. For a photography site where the image should be king, there’s just too much going on on the home page. From the patterned background, to the drop-shadow on the edges on several of the boxed areas, to the inclusion of the map of Sydney. Then there’s the tiny writing in the menu, the very generic blue search box, some boxes with rounded corners and some with square, and the ‘Meet Some of our Members’ section laid out like a real estate showcase (not to mention the techy glitch of weird characters showing up where there should be quotation marks). Aesthetic things, to be sure – but I think that if you’re dealing in images, the aesthetics have to be top notch. Make it cleaner, make it neater.

 

photographers.com.au

 

Overall however, I think it’s worth having a look at – it seems to be well-populated already, which means that there’s lots of good, dynamic stuff happening. If you’re a photographer yourself, or even if you’re someone who needs a photographer for your next profile shot or product shoot, maybe this is the place to investigate.

*

This post was supported by photographers.com.au; but please rest assured that my opinions are honest, and entirely my own.
I only ever share things that I think will benefit my readership.

Music + pictures 5 : Kooks

Music + pictures {or even more simply, “music pictures”} is a collection of beautiful from around the interwebs while I’m on holidays for January – at the beach, camping, with my family.

Have a fab New Year, and I’ll be back on the 1st February.
{p.s. I’ve just joined Instagram, so if you’d like to find out a bit more about me and where I live (and holiday!), I’d love for you to come and join me. I’m at tractorgirlmakes.}

 

The Kooks aren’t kooky. They do write a damn good song. This song of love and trust comes with handclaps and a choir, and sure is a toe-tapper and I love it.

But be warned, the clip has graphic nudity and a substantial amount of graphic violence.  So if you prefer, simply listen to it via Soundcloud.

 

 

 

 

 

deer - mazurek - unknown source

deer – mazurek {unknown source}

 

 

rudee tancharoen - necklace - klimt02.net

rudee tancharoen – necklace – klimt02.net

{via here}

 

yuko nishimura - folded paper - yukonishimura.com

yuko nishimura – folded paper – yukonishimura.com

 {via here}

 

the sea - unknown source via pinterest

the sea – unknown source via pinterest

 

 

seed capsules - christine jaschek - flickr.com/photos/christinejaschek

seed capsules – christine jaschek via flickr

{via here}

Music + pictures 4 : alt-J ~ Hunger of the Pine

Music + pictures {or even more simply, “music pictures”} is a collection of beautiful from around the interwebs while I’m on holidays for January – at the beach, camping, with my family.

Have a fab New Year, and I’ll be back on the 1st February.
{p.s. I’ve just joined Instagram, so if you’d like to find out a bit more about me and where I live (and holiday!), I’d love for you to come and join me. I’m at tractorgirlmakes.}

 

 

Driven to the edge, full of fear and hope and yearning for what you can’t have.

alt-J ~ Hunger of the Pine.

 

 

 

 

blossom via japanesepaperplace.com

blossom via japanesepaperplace.com

{via here}

 

original butterfly by jonathon mccabe

original butterfly by jonathan mccabe

{via here}

 

little houses by freekhand via society6

little houses by freekhand via society6

{via here}

 

waves via 4-designer.com

waves via 4-designer.com

{via here}

 

{unknown artist via tumblr}

{unknown artist via tumblr}

 

Surface design : Hey Tangerine {Caitlin Meara}

I love these large scale repeats by Perth-based designer, Caitlin Meara. There’s something about the possibilities of engineering a cut so that it adds meaning to the clothing that makes me just a bit giddy. Yes, I’d like to look like something out of Star Wars. Or possibly a secret midnight garden…

 

hey tangerine - bougainvillea

hey tangerine – bougainvillea

 

Currently working in a fabric shop, but with plans to set up a portfolio and do freelance graphic design work in the near future, she says she always loved drawing and designing from a young age. “I was always crafting as a child! My close family and friends are all creative, clever people who always encouraged me. Some of my earliest memories are of my grandma teaching me how to knit and how to use watercolours.”

 

hey tangerine - bubbles 2

hey tangerine – bubbles 2

 

It was towards the end of high school that she started experimenting with illustrating tiling patterns by hand – rolling the paper into a cylinder so that she could make the pattern meet up. “I discovered Spoonflower in 2009 and the thrill of my first sale got me hooked. Since then I’ve been producing designs on and off when I get the chance.”

 

hey tangerine - markers 2

hey tangerine – markers 2

 

hey tangerine - building blocks 9

hey tangerine – building blocks 9

 

She uses a variety of techniques to achieve her designs, although most of the designs on Spoonflower are photo manipulations. “I like taking photos of everyday objects and manipulating them in Photoshop into something unrecognisable. I have done quite a few moving an object (a branch, flower…) across the scanner bed as it is scanning, which gives an interesting and unexpected warped effect. I would love to do more illustrative designs but I find it hard to make time for it.”

 

hey tangerine - cave 2

hey tangerine – cave 2

 

A self-confessed daydreamer, Caitlin loves going for long walks. “Often something little will inspire me on my way – I just noticed how gorgeous snail trails are, glittering in the sun!” She also confesses to being an “internet-aholic” and finds trying pinpointing only a few artists that she admires incredibly difficult.

 

hey tangerine - fireworks 4

hey tangerine – fireworks 4

 

Having someone choose her fabric for their wedding décor was the absolute bees knees. “To think that someone thinks my work is good enough to feature in one of the biggest days of their life, it really spins me out! Just seeing photos of what people have made, no matter what it is, always makes my day.”

 

hey tangerine - glass 4

hey tangerine – glass 4

 

Her best piece of advice? It’s this, and comes from ZenHabits – “The Little But Really Useful Guide To Creativity“. Caitlin says she printed it out and stuck it on her wall.

Whenever you’re feeling stuck, I urge you to read it too – it’s fab.

 

You can find more of Caitlin’s work in her Spoonflower shop, HeyTangerine.