Finding Inspiration

I’ve been with dreamstime for about a year and a half now, so I’m hardly at newbie in stock photography anymore (it’s hard to think of yourself as a newbie in anything once you’ve reached a Half a Century), but I have just recently started to look at photography as a serious endeavor

Disposable Camera

I think one of the appeals of photography is the low barrier to entry. Anyone can pick up a camera and start shooting. But just like the invention of the word processor did not turn everyone into award winning authors, the digital camera does not make us all photographers.

Back to School

Fortunately I am finding a lot of resources available to learn

Scientist with Petri Dish

and I’m a big fan of trial and error as a powerful learning aid

As part of my development plan, I’m challenging myself to take a picture of SOMETHING everyday. Making myself pick up the camera and try new things. I thought I would share a few of the tricks I use to Find my Inspiration day after day.

Sometimes all you have to do is grab a camera because nature provides the rest

Vista Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument


Rock Formation at Palo Duro Canyon

Other times you need to draw inspiration from what is around you.

I do a lot of jogging, following my own advice from Fit at 50, and I like to use that time to brainstorm for ideas.

When you open your mind and let it wander, it’s easy to find inspiration from

Vote 2012

current events

Phlyin Censored

Resell Gold

trending news stories

Health Care Denied

Hiker at Clays Bridge


At the Beach


Lady Bug


No Fun like Snow Fun

And of course, upcoming holidays

Halloween Cocktail

Thanksgiving Turkey

Vintage Christmas

Special Delivery

Look around your house and you may be surprised at what you find that is interesting or unique. When I was a child my parents called me a pack rat – I saved anything shiny or different. Little did I know I was just preparing myself for a life as a stock photographer.

I mean

Casino Chips

why else

Very Old Bible

would I have

Walking Liberty Half Dollar


Tea Party



Brightest Crayon in the Box

One of the very first image I submitted to stock was of a pine cone. But not just any pine cone. The light was awesome, the focus was crystal clear, the colors and textures jumped off the image. In short, my friends, it was the perfect pine cone picture. I anxiously submitted the image with visions of the piles of money that pine cone was going to bring me. Imagine my disappointment when the message came back saying something like “database is saturated with this type of image”. I was crushed, but I looked it up. There are 2,200 pictures of pine cones. Although none of them were as perfect as mine, I realized sadly I was too late, the pine cone market had already been cornered.

There are over 12 million images in this database. You would be very hard pressed to find everyday objects that aren’t already well represented, the trick is to find a way to represent everyday objects uniquely.

Strawberry with Nutrition Label

Eat Veggies

Concept images are very popular

Future Wedding

PreNuptial with Rings

and there are still

a lot of universal themes

Carbon Footprint

Converting to Green Power

Death Knocking

Death and Taxes

that haven't been covered

to death

Skeleton in the Closet

Death by Taxes

The trick is to look at all the “things” in your life and use them in way to represent the “themes” in your life

Eliminating Debt

Words of Enlightenment

Coin Collecting

Rubber Duckies

Driving NY

And never forget your sense of humor

Which came first?

even if

Christmas Crime Scene

you're the only one

Sleighing under the influence

who thinks it's funny!

The best advice I can give someone trying to find their muse is to

Spa Day

Book a spa day

Hiker at Rainbow Falls

Go to your favorite spot

Winter Jogging Footprints

Or use whatever quiet time you can find to ponder the many things and themes that surround you - just waiting to be captured through your lens.

Photo credits: Karen Foley.
  • Karenfoleyphotography
  • New Cumberland, United States
I'm a freelance photographer, videographer and writer with a passion for travel. Please contact me (by leaving a message on any of my photos) to discuss image, video or article requirements I could help with.

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October 10, 2011

Thanks everyone for the kind comments. I have so much fun writing these, it's nice to know someone enjoys reading them!


October 06, 2011

Great article! Your pics are amazing!


October 06, 2011

Nice done, good luck in the future!


October 06, 2011

Beautiful images, great blog!!!


October 05, 2011

I'm so surprised to see that you don't had any comments on this blog. I find it very inspiring and motivational and of course,very well documented :). Good job and best of luck


October 05, 2011

Great blog, you have amazing images. Good luck.