Financial Nest EggThe truth is occasionally I have an idea for a stock image that turns out to be, ready for this, stupid. Hey, it happens. I usually get past it. But this post isn’t about one of those times.

This is about the times I have an idea that’s actually not half bad but somehow the final image doesn’t perform as well as I expected. That was the case with this image that I added to my portfolio three years ago. The idea of the “Golden Nest Egg” was easy and universal enough but I thought I would bring the whole financial element home by having a nest that appears to be made out of US hundred dollar bills. Again, not too hard to make. I shot it, uploaded it and the image has been well, sort of a dud, though not entirely a disaster.  In three years it was licensed enough to have been worth my time to create, but barely. There’s nothing technically wrong with the image but it has some things working against it. The composition is weak, the lighting may be a little too harsh, the white balance is a little too warm. But as I said, it generated income, so it’s been allowed to live.

Financial Nest EggRecently while working in the studio on an unrelated new conceptual image, the image of my money nest popped back to mind. Whenever I thought of it something in me sort of pinched so decided to try to improve on the original. I pulled the same nest and eggs off the shelf. (No, I’m not quite Hoarders material yet but there may be cause for concern.) Knowing what I didn’t want, I created the new set up quickly using entirely different lighting, background, and camera angle. I also put the nest into better context by nestling it into a tree branch. The resulting image was so much better than the original and has in less than one month already enjoyed more than 20% of the sales that the original took three years to amass. Maybe I got it a little more right this time. I’ll keep you posted.

Sometimes it’s worth taking a second look at an image or idea, and then having another go at it. Lack of success is never definitive proof that something’s a bad idea.