Pretty Girls, Cool Guys and Gadgets too
So What is Cool?
It's so hot, that's actually cool. I have often wondered how these two opportunistic terms work so well together when describing something that's so appealing that is really cool simply because it's so hot.
The idea of capturing images that represent something hot, represent something cool and represent both at the same time seems to be a contradiction in terms and practice, yet it has become a photographic project which has gained in popularity in the last few years, probably thanks to the words themselves and their colloquialism but definitely thanks to the advertising industry.
Photographing hot has many variations; one can photograph images of things that are actually hot by temperature or hot simply because they are in style; the new rave. Images of "cool" follow the same definition, it's either cool by temperature or it's a really good thing, fun to use or do. First a definition of each word, as per the web;
"Something regarded as cool is an admired aesthetic of attitude, behavior, comportment, appearance and style, influenced by and a product of the Zeitgeist. Because of the varied and changing connotations of cool, as well its subjective nature, the word has no single meaning. It has associations of composure and self-control (cf. the OED definition) and often is used as an expression of admiration or approval." wikipedia
"The term (hot) often implies sexual attractiveness or desirability, but can also be distinct from the two; for example, humans may regard the young as attractive for various reasons, but without sexual attraction. There are many factors which influence one person's attraction to another, with physical aspects being one of them." wikipedia
OK now that we got that out of the way, look for images that are generally regarded by most people as being cool because of how fun they are to use, to be in style, how they perform or are generally well made or very attractive.
The subjects can be cars, gadgets, scenes in nature some clothing etc...your intention should be to capture an image that when seen by an audience will elicit a "that's so cool" reaction.
You can also record some images of things that are cold, but only do so if they can also be used in a "cool" theme; a frozen lake which is used for ice skating would be such an image. A magnificent ice sculpture would be another.
Excellent examples for both cold and cool are plentiful during the winter months so take advantage if you reside within a snow prone area.
Animals who strike a funny or amazing pose or display some unusual antics are good images for cool. A good guide is to go with your first impression when you notice a subject; if your initial reaction is to think " that's cool " then you have come upon a good subject.
The same applies for the "hot" theme. Subjects that are beautiful, well made, very attractive, exciting or are today's "rage" make good subjects for this theme.
As with cool, you can also record images that are both hot by temperature and hot by their appeal; like an erupting volcano and its lava flow, a really good bonfire and the ambiance which revolves around it.
Don't forget people as subjects, since it is quite popular to refer to really beautiful women or very handsome men as being "hot" due to their looks and assumed sex appeal.
Although "cool" usually applies to gadgets or situations, "hot" mostly applies to people and circumstances or events like the "hottest" party of the year, the "hottest" bachelor and so on. Use creativity and keep a keen eye for such samples.
Good sources of ideas would be to browse current popular publications, including fashion magazines and technical reviews. Good images are very marketable to product manufactures and contemporary publications.
These images are also quite sought after by photographic stock houses as advertisers are always searching for new and fresh ideas from which to develop marketing and advertising campaigns that can brand their products as "hot" or "cool".
Research current trends, browse through articles and have a general idea of the theme or specific topic that you want to portray before undertaking such a photographic campaign. This will help you focus on the main subjects to be on the look out for.
Contact photographic stock houses and request their wants list; articles or images most in demand at the time.
This will help you to narrow your list of subjects. Keep in mind that most if not all photo stock houses will only accept the very best of technically perfect samples, if they are not 100% perfect you will be wasting your time in submitting them.
A good idea is to concentrate on one topic or theme at a time. This will assist you by not offering a distraction from your main goal.
However, even if you are actively looking for subjects that represents "cool", if you come upon a subject that's totally "hot" by all means go ahead and snap some shots. It would be far worst to pass up an opportunity to record such an image in the hope of finding it latter, and off course, never leave home without your camera.
- Girls of FHM | The World's Hottest Girls and Sexy Women | FHM.com
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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez