Inspired by Life

In Finding Inspiration, I wrote about the things and themes from which I draw my muse. You don't have to be active in stock photography very long to realize that images containing people tend to be the most popular with buyers. If you are like me, however, you have neither the skills and equipment to justify hiring models, nor the bravado to approach random people to sign model releases.

The obvious solution is to use your friends and family.

Man eating lobster dinner

The key is to find their price.

I like to lure my models with food.

Although I've found a good single malt scotch works well also.

You can also find suitable stand-ins.

At the Beach

Meet Clancy

He's my favorite model

Special Police

He doesn't mind me dressing him up.

Craps Player

He's very patient while I work on lighting and props

Office Worker

And he is exactly the same height as I am when sitting on a stool.

But thanks to my Fit at 50 routine,

we are NOT the same width!

Which brings me to the cheapest model you will ever find.


Just remember to check your preconceived self image at the front door.

The camera doesn't lie, and when you're a Half Century, neither do the keywords.


aging hippie

Business Woman on Sofa

mature business woman

Disappointed woman with jewelry box

older woman with earrings

Kissed Under the Mistletoe

And remember to keep that sense of humor.

This image was flagged for keyword spamming

The word was SEXY ...


Serving the Community

Use your imagination, and you might find other people ready to help.

Young girl at MLK Memorial

And there's always the unsuspecting model,

Bryce Harper Statistics

so long as you understand the difference between RF and Editorial.

Once you have the models, it's time to create the setting for them.

Man with Breakfast in Bed

Just remember the market for smiling, happy people doing xyz

is pretty full already.

Draw on what you know. We would all love to take the candid shot of surgeons huddled over the operating table mid-surgery, but unless you're in the medical profession, or undergoing surgery while conscious, there is little chance of capturing that shot.

Stick with what you do know and do have access to.

Mortar and Pestle

What is your profession?


My parents were pharmacists.

Aerial image of agriculture field. Fruit field. Industrial agriculture.

Data Cleaning

I'm an engineer

Conductor with Engine

No, not that kind of engineer.

Tourists at Cherry Blossom Festival

What is unique about where you live?

Hiker at Rainbow Falls


Or where you travel?

Atlantic City Boardwalk

Chef Chopping

What are your hobbies?

Mass Ascention at Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Inside the Dishwasher

What do you do in everyday life?

Fresh from the dryer



Cable Junction Box

Filming the Crime Scene

Find your inspiration from a favorite book, song, movie or expression.

When I was young my favorite book was The Borrowers by Mary Norton about tiny people who live in the walls of your house and borrowed common household items for their own unique uses.

Wherever I find my muse, I like to make sure the inspiration comes from

my personality

my passions

and my dreams

Photo credits: Christian Inga, 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.

Your comment must be written in English.

We value all opinions and we will not censor or delete comments unless they come from fake accounts or contain spam, threats, false facts or vulgarity.


January 20, 2012

Getting sharp focus on your eyes when being your own model isnt that easy That's where Clancy comes in. I can use him to set up the shot and then swap myself in at the last minute. Like I said, he's very patient ;-)Thanks everyone for the kind and encouraging comments. I can't tell you how much they mean to me! K-


January 19, 2012

Nice blog! thanks for sharing :-)


January 18, 2012

Very funny and full of good ideas.


January 18, 2012



January 18, 2012

Excellent blog with graet photos!!! Good luck for 2012!


January 18, 2012

Great!!! thanx...


January 18, 2012

Wow love this. Made me smile a lot. A lot of good information as well. Nice to read, thank you :)


January 18, 2012

Just about the most intelligent blog that I have ever read. Congratulations on your creative ideas. Getting sharp focus on your eyes when being your own model isnt that easy but a radio trigger can help and taking lots of shots.


January 17, 2012

Great photos !