Friday, September 27, 2013

A Stock Hunting I Will Go

I blogged about this a while back and it pertained to my search for stock. Only then, my example was men. But the vast majority of models I sift through are women. And let me show you a little bit about my "journey".

Keywords: Beautiful Woman yields 1.4 million results.
I don't have that kind of time.

So, to narrow things down, I have to start adding keywords. Brunette, young, emotion; sometimes I switch woman to girl because woman always seems to bring up naked woman. Often what I do is stumble upon great images, and I check out the keywords that the photographer uses. Some photographers are men, and men think differently than women when it comes to how they label their images. They don't often put "sexy" under images of men. Instead, they might put athletic or masculine.


Once I've narrowed down my search, I began scrolling. Oh Jaysus! Hours and hours of scrolling.

What I've learned to do to cut time in the future is when I stumble across awesome images, I store them. So for future books, it's not square effing one again.

Now after I've plugged in my relevant keywords, these are the types of images that come up on the most "relevant" search.

Orange you glad you kept reading? Cute huh? Well, there are PAGES and PAGES of this - using different fruits. I'm not sure what use would come of out of this, but if I put it on an Urban Fantasy cover, I just might get locked up.

And all those poor fruits who were harmed in the making of this photoshoot!

 I did not use any questionable terms during my search to bring up a cat.

Any cat owner knows this look. Ears back, eyes beginning to hood, the left paw staring to raise up.

Someone is about to get owned.

So then I think I need to get serious and put the word "sexy" in my search. Perhaps I'll get less wholesome images.

I sure hope there ain't no gaters in that swamp.

Realizing I'm not getting the quality images I want, I try keywords like "vogue" and "fashion", because photographers who take professional pictures like to imagine they are Vogue-worthy, and will label them as such.

What I'm looking for at this point is not the pose, but the model. Then I go through her portfolio.

The only problem with the search is now I'm pulling up a lot of girls doing what I like to call.....

the pee-pee dance.

Awkward posses, facial expressions, and sometimes the model is sitting upside down in a chair. This is also the search that brings up a lot of flowy dresses, and we've seen those on a lot of YA covers. Yards and yards of dress fabric, blowing off a mountain cliff.

But at least all the women aren't smiling. That becomes the most difficult challenge for a cover artist who is searching for a model to put on an Urban Fantasy cover. Fantasy chicks don't smile. Face it - they're too busy kicking supernatural ass.

And on a side note, if I ever look this happy before I've had my third cup of coffee, then you better just back away slowly.

In the end, it comes down to luck and patience. I have literally spent 8 hours searching through images with breaks inbetween. The most important thing is finding an image that works with my vision. Even if you hire your own photographer, you're still going to be limited to the models they use and the image may not come out exactly as you envisioned. Plus, you'll pay a lot more. I work on a budget and I think I do well with the resources available.

I'm still knocking out the cover for MB5. I have about 50% of the cover done and I'm still deciding between three models. But based on what I have so far, it's going to be awesome! I've nailed down the idea for the back cover and I'm also choosing between a couple of images for the insert that you guys enjoy so much, because you never know what you'll get and it always ties into the story.

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