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This photo was a happy accident: I spent some time carefully crafting a word out of flowers. It meant separating flowers from their stems, so that they would lay flat on white paper. When I was done, I didn’t want to get rid of all the beautiful, stem-less flowers, so I placed them in some water in a plate. In the end, it was so pretty, I decided to add a fork and a knife. I love stuff like this. When you just let your creativity go at the end of a shoot. Oh, and here’s the original “word” photo I took with all of these flowers: It’s actually six photos combined into one, and it was a lot of fun to create. For each letter, I tried different combinations of flowers placed on white paper. For nice, soft light, I used a single flash with an umbrella. Incorporating words into your photos is a fun way to add a message and make an impact. And you don’t have to create a word, as I did. Since words are everywhere, it’s easy to walk around town, capturing words and letters you see here and there. Here are a few word and letter photos I’ve taken with my phone, just for fun: If you want to create or hunt down great word photos for stock, keep these things in mind:

  • Copyright – Make sure the word you photograph isn’t copyrighted, or part of a logo.
  • Theme – Try to find some kind of theme for your words. Especially something that’s relevant today, such as recycling, green, money, the economy, or seasonal themes.
  • Interest – Look for or create words that are more than a simple font on a simple background. Get creative and try to find something that stands out.
  • Surroundings – How can you use the surroundings to enhance the word? For example, instead of simply photographing a fortune from a fortune cookie, try including a cup of tea, or the broken cookie.
  • Technicals – Always make sure your photos are in focus, properly exposed, and free from noise or compression before you submit to an agency.

— Bonnie Bonnie Caton Creator, Breakfast Stock Club

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