Part II: Shooting Stock with Model

If you missed out on Part I: Shooting Stock With a Model, here’s the link.

I had another opportunity to shoot this handsome young dude, this time in the bohemian Navigli area of Milan. It’s kinda like Shoreditch in London or Marais in Paris. There’s a basin with some restaurants / bars lined up next to the canals. This is where the Milanese come to hang on evenings to enjoy an aperitivo.

navigli busy-2

Anyway, another evening shooting and this time shooting at golden hour, which produced some better lighting conditions than the previous shoot.

I’m still new to working with models as most of my work is more spontaneous, but  enjoying the experience nevertheless. Enough talk, here’s a selection of my best shots from the evening.

Cool as a cucumber

Young man in Navigli, Milan-3
Cool guy with the canal backdrop. As always, include plenty of copy space and I’ve done well to direct him to look into the open space

Above, genuine smiles all around, which you can tell by the eyes. Contrast these two images with the one below of a plastic studio smile.  What buyers want are genuine emotions, people! If there’s one thing you should take out of this post is to try to get the model to appear genuine…in this case, I cracked a few jokes and tried to make him laugh!


Using technology to add value

Next, I combined technology with the setting which adds commercial value to these images making it more versatile. My mistake was not asking the model to bring a plain white t-shirt as I had to clone out the design and any other logos in order for it to be accepted, which took time. I also had to clone out his tattoos as they bizarrely need a property release from the tattoo artist. Who makes up these rules?

This one I submitted as an editorial because I think the t-shirt and backdrop make it quite interesting if you know what I mean 😉
A cool shot of him going/coming back from the gym with the Milan backdrop. A premium strong shot and was not easy since it was a moment in the break of traffic but I managed to get the focus right and blurred out the background using my F1.8 50mm prime lens
Unfortunately this shot won’t be able to be uploaded due to the graffiti in the background as Shutterstock has an anti-graffiti policy for both commercial and editorial images (unless a release is available)

Some fine art

As always, I managed to capture some fine art images of the 1920s trams.

View of old yellow tram in Milan, italy

Hope you enjoyed the images and learned something for your next photo shoot! I’ll keep you updated on how these do on both Shutterstock and Fotolia.

Until next time.


Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography, to purchase a copy of the book, click on this link.


  1. That lead photo is very strong!

    I understand the tattoo policy – they are artists and their work deserves to be protected – but I’ve always wondered about the graffiti policy. Are these vandals seriously going to come forward and claim copyright?

    I’ve had several promising stock photos rejected because of graffiti on rail cars. I don’t know how bad it is in Europe but in North America it is rare to have a rail car without graffiti on it. It takes a lot of cloning to get it stock ready!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, same here…graffiti everywhere, some of it is quite artistic. Fair enough that they shouldn’t be allowed for commercial purposes but editorial???

      Next time I’ll have to ask the model to leave his tattoos at home 😀


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