Need a creative stock photography distraction?

A woman food photographer in the background leans down to take a close-up, in a modern kitchen, of autumn fruits and vegetables - mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, and cranberries.

If you’re a “creative type” like me, you’re probably always looking for distractions when you get bored or stuck on a project. This is why I keep an emergency bar of chocolate nearby at all times.

But when it comes to shooting stock photos, it’s important to keep them as clean and “distraction-free” as possible.

This easy little technique will change your photography forever. Look at these two photos from my recent kitchen shoot, for example:

Notice how the first photo is cluttered and kind of hard to “read” as a viewer? Whereas the second photo looks more professional? It’s because I eliminated the distractions in the background.

Here’s how my process went, from start to finish…

At first I wanted to include the food processor as part of the “story,” but it was too prominent, so I moved it to the background…

It was still a little cluttered, so I tried a different angle, to get rid of the background:

And finally, moved the bottle and almonds to the closest edge of the counter and really angled the photo down, to remove as many distractions as possible, while still keeping a “kitchen” feel:


This is important to do when you’re shooting with a big camera… but especially important when you’re taking photos with a phone, as it doesn’t blur out the background to hide distractions as easily.

How to eliminate distractions when you shoot for stock:

  1. Decide on your main subject. It’s easy to put the camera to your eye, point it at something pretty, and shoot. But ask yourself… what *IS* my main subject? In this case, it’s the glass jar.
  2. Compose your photo to make your main subject look its best. Consider light, angles, other objects touching it, things you can remove, like tags or price stickers, etc.
  3. Now, look around the edges of the frame and move, change your angle, zoom, or physically move something out of the shot to make sure that nothing distracting is taking attention away from your main subject.

That’s it!

When you’re paying attention to what’s going on AROUND your main subject, your photos will instantly look more professional… and become better sellers as stock, too.

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