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Gah, stock art hunting is going to kill me!

974 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Jena H
I'm looking for a stock picture of a couple, and I'm being a bit picky, but I can't find what I'm looking for!  :'(

I would like her hair to be short or cropable
that they would not smile, maybe shy, holding hands close
face to face, maybe looking in each other's eyes or in the same direction
with clothes on (that seems to be the hardest part)
and that they would look beautiful and not plain.

Where do you get your couple photos?
I've tried Shutterstock and DepositPhoto, but did not find what I'm looking for. Maybe I just don't get which tag to search for, but anyway.

Please help?
Pretty pleaseeeee!  :-*
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I have a really hard time finding couples, too. Especially couples that haven't been used to death already. Sorry I can't be of more help. :(

I SWORE I was going to have a kiss-a-thon for stock photos this Valentine's Day, but I don't think it's going to happen. I have seen the issue with couples too.
Razzledazzle have some couples in stock who might fit, if you look under stock images>>contemporary:
We source a lot of our images (including some of couples) from BigStockPhoto. Maybe check it out.
I feel your pain! It really is hard to find the perfect couple WITH CLOTHES ON or without those cheesy smiles directed at the camera.

Most of the big stock photo sites will have the same photos. Big photographers submit their photoshoots to all of them. The only difference is which photos each site rejects. Dreamstime will occasionally have some unique ones because they offer a decent percentage on exclusive photographers, but I don't really like their search engine.

My best results come from finding one photo that is semi-like what I want and using the "find similar photos" feature. Keep doing this until you get on a good string of photos you can manipulate into what you need. I suggest starting with one of those perfect yet overused photos you spoke of, and branch off from there.

If you find a photo you like that just isn't perfect, make sure you check out the photographer's portfolio and use the right key words to find the whole photo shoot. Sometimes they have less popular and still similar photos out of the bunch that will work for you.

Anyway, that's my $.02; good luck! I swear half of what I get paid for is the hours and hours of time I spend on Shutterstock.  :p
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Did you try They don't have caps amounts on licensing like some of the other stock photo sites and nice inventory.
Searching for images takes forever. Have you tried hiring someone to search for you? It can save you a ton of time since you'll be able to focus other things. Normally VAs can find things in a few hours since they are super focused and know just where to search. Only draw back is finding them and getting the image at a good price.

Be sure to look at free stock images sites as well. :)

My philosophy is ... get more flexible. If the book isn't published yet, you can change hair and eye color.

Pick an image that resonates with you on an emotional level. Don't worry about being too literal. The cover is not the story!
I hate it too. I'm going to start shooting again so I dont have to deal with it. That tells you how much time I spend looking for stock. Its easier to do a 3 hour shoot and then process the images. Bleh. Since I have spent a fricken long time going through everything, I can tell you that everyone from Getty to istock to depositphotos has the same photogs. I favorited a photog on istock, found him again on deposit photo, and then again on Getty. Seriously. I've been thinking about shooting several couples so I dont have to deal with it anymore.
I have been doing the same search for the last few days! One question I have been meaning to post is whether others feel it is worth it to buy the exclusive rights (and if so, for one year, three years, or forever). 

I have started to recognize some of the kissing couples by whose book they appear on.
Thanks for all the links and help, I think I found what I was looking for on Dreamstime! :D

For this one, I've painted myself in a corner, because I wanted a short haired girl, and asked Claudia to paint short hair on my three very beautiful and quite expensive covers - not thinking that I would have problems to find stock afterwards.
I'll surely be more careful in the future! ;D

I want to add that I am doing all the searching part, I'm NOT putting this on the cover artist.
She starts the work when I've found a suitable photo that she agrees on.
This is not a case of being demanding to her.

If I want to spend two weeks finding the right stock picture for that cover, this doesn't harm anyone but me, right? :)
And except for this one, I think I've pretty much found my cover photos in a matter of less than one hour.
I don't know why it's different for this one, but all the couples that could work are either undressed or smiling to the camera.
For the hair, it's just a matter of croping at the right place if she does not have short hair.

I think I found just the one I need, though, so now it's just a matter of waiting for Claudia's inspiration and beautiful work. :D
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I too hate looking for cover images.  You can find stuff that is very close, in this way or that way, to our ideal image, but there never seems to be easy--no photo seem to have ALL the exact desired elements.  Or even close enough to tweak it that way.  Next time instead of using photo art, I may have to go with illustration.
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