How to Give Commercial Stock Photography a Creative Twist

What happens when an art director and a driven commercial photographer join their creative energy into a project? They create a series of imagery that is truly unique. Lauren Catten, creative art director for Getty Images and Martin Barraud, photographer, manage to give these images a truly artistic twist:

In a world that’s dominated with CGI imagery, they put together a dedicated team that’s driven to create something from scratch, by hand.

Catten explains the attempt:

“The way that this particular shoot is different aside from the fact that this is very high end photography, we’re taking something that is quite crafted and small and jovial, such as a balloon and repurposing that material to bring texture to old concepts.”

classic icons re-pictured

This 5 meter DNA was recreated using balloons by a team of 20 people.

This shoot stands out because, where most commercial attempts to demonstrate DNA would be a simple CGI overlay on a white background, the team created a 5 meter tall DNA structure by hand using balloons. This resulted in a high quality, hand-crafted look and feel to every image. The look is professional, usable, and completely unique.

hand-crafted images

Classic icons recreated in a way that has more resonance

“The brief was an idea that I had a while back, when I was thinking about re-picturing and reimagining old icons. With creative research we looked into which icons would be best to re-picture which ones have been most successful throughout the last couple of years in terms of looking at different ideas such as happiness, wealth, success,” explains Catten.

real images minus CGI

These images come off as a very high end offerings, certainly above and beyond what the market has to offer currently

The commercial possibilities are great, and the team certainly took that into consideration before setting up the shoot. Catten sums it up:

“We made the shoot commercial by making sure that the icons we are covering are things that are looked for by our customers. So, people now looking for science pictures won’t just have an option of a CGI DNA, they will also this very fun, high-end conceptual option for them to use, which is a great offering for us to be able to give.”

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2 Comments

  1. Chris C. says:

    The idea to use balloons was great. It’s cheap and we can shape them in pretty much anything. The location was also a key factor to those great shots I think ;)

  2. Nate Hart says:

    Great collection, always like to see photos by photographers thinking outside the box.

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