Discussion: Can the art world appropriate photographic commissions as art pieces?


© Man Ray Trust / ADAGP, Paris 2018

Can the art world appropriate photographic commissions as art pieces?

“Madame, pleurez au cinéma, pleurez au théâtre, riez aux larmes, sans crainte pour vos beaux yeux…”

This tagline probably doesn’t ring a bell, but the photo attached, « Glass Tears », is a masterpiece of Man Ray (1933). We wouldn’t have been able to enjoy this prestigious artwork without the commission of a mascara brand.

It thus seems legitimate to explore the fuzzy borders between art and commercial works. Can the advertising market borrow art standards or does the commissioned artist remains limited to commercial, advertising selling standards? Can both industries create unique iconic artworks? What is the role of a commissioner?

Following Ooshot’s reflexion, Paris Photo proposed to lead a discussion on this topic at the Paris Photo 2018 edition.

The discussion was led by Christoph Wiesner, Art Director of Paris Photo with following guests: Thierry Maillet, co-founder and Managing Director of Ooshot, Florian Ebner, Chief Curator of The Centre Pompidou, Oliviero Toscani, photographer and David Furst, International Picture Editor at the New York Times.

You can view the video here which shows the vast terrain yet to be explored.



Thierry Maillet

10 Examples of Seductive Food Photography

Sensual [adjective]

Pertaining to, inclined to, or preoccupied with the gratification of the senses or appetites.

Given that food appeals to four of the senses – taste, sight, smell and touch, it’s no wonder that it’s directly linked to carnal desires.

Certain foods, such as oysters, chilli peppers, avocados and figs, are renowned for their aphrodisiac properties. The effects vary, as some lower inhibitions, while others release “happy hormones”. It’s said that chocolate even creates the same sensation as falling in love, as it encourages the release of serotonin in the body.

But beyond that, clever photography is able to create visual stimulation by using shape, light and suggestion. Whether it’s ice cream dripping gently onto a warm waffle, or a thick burger toppling out of a glazed bun, particular shots just seem to flick all the right switches.



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How to use a drone for your professional real estate photography

Capture d’écran 2016-08-24 à 17.03.44

Image courtesy of Sky Vantage aerial real estate photography.

Unless you’re blessed with your own helicopter, or you happen to know a giant professional photographer, you might want to think about using a drone for your aerial real estate photography.

What is a drone?

A drone is essentially an unmanned aircraft, or to give them their full name, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). They can be controlled remotely or fly autonomously, and demand is increasing rapidly. Up until recently, they were primarily associated with military activity, however, UAVs are now being used for all kinds of activity, from traffic monitoring to parcel delivery.

In the US, a recent study discovered that 44% of realtors use drones for their real estate photography. A further 18% stated that were intending to start using drones in the future.

UAVs are cheaper than you’d think, with entry-level models, such as the Syma X5-sc1, starting at around $45 (€40). However, if you’re looking to take some high quality images, then perhaps consider the DJI Phantom 3, which comes equipped with a 12 megapixel camera. It’s also a lot easier to fly due to its stabilisation technology.

The pricier models also allow you to take video footage, which can be edited without a great level of expertise. Just like a usual camera, any footage is stored on an SD card, so it’s easily transferable to your property listings.

Why use them?

As you’ll already know, aerial views enable potential buyers to fully appreciate the scale of a property. It helps them to understand the overall plot and learn how the building fits into its local environment.

It may also be useful to take take some images of the surrounding amenities, as maps can be difficult to contextualise.

Check your local laws

There are several national (and regional) laws governing the use of drones, so do check with your appropriate organisation before getting started. In most countries, you’ll need to apply for a permit to operate a UAV for commercial activities. In the US, the FAA sets out various rules which need to be adhered to. These include:


  • Always fly under 400 feet of ground level, or a structure.
  • Keep the drone within sight (of you, or an observer).
  • Only fly during the day.
  • Keep speeds below 100 mph.

And, of course, do check with neighbours before taking images which could include part of their property.

If you’d rather leave it to the experts, there are hundreds of professionals that can take and edit footage for you. Generally, all of these will be cheaper than hiring a helicopter.

Drone photography is here to stay and it certainly increases your real estate marketing potential. Maybe you could be the first in your area to offer it?

Clash of the Dessert Titans – Chocolate or Fruit?

Seemingly since the dawn of time (or the creation of chocolate), this age old question remains unanswered. Which are tastier, chocolate-based or fruit-based desserts?

In one corner, you have chocolate, with its silky smooth ways and alluring demeanour. Home to the Lava Cake, the brownie, the truffle, and the fondant. Just as nice gooey as it is atop a torte.

Yet in the other corner, fruit-based desserts offer something completely different. Whether it’s a wholesome apple pie, a cheeky pavlova or a summer cheesecake, you can claim that whatever you’re eating constitutes one of your five a day.

So which are you? Chocolate or fruit? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s some mouthwatering inspiration.

Representing Team Chocolate

Mount Blanc by Studio Zebulon


Read more…

10 Best Real Estate Photographers in Paris

A blend of architectural styles, including Roman, Renaissance, Art Deco, and Postmodern make Paris one of the most creatively inspiring cities to call home. This captivating juxtaposition of old and new provides the perfect base for leading photographers to hone their artistry.

Equipped with this wide array of references, it’s no surprise that Parisian real estate photographers are considered some of the finest in the World.

Here are 10 of the best:

Read more…

10 Best Food Photographers In London

London’s bustling streets, alive with gastronomic delights, are a source of inspiration for the most exciting food photographers. A multi-cultural array of vibrant eateries coupled with an endless selection of artisan street snacks, exemplify the capital’s obsession with cuisine.

With a near unparalleled level of curiosities, London can spark a photographer’s imagination. Bunga Bunga in Battersea, for example, is accessed via an Italian phone box and features a gondola-shaped bar. Whereas, at Circus in Covent Garden, you’ll need to duck under trapeze artists as they spin perilously close to your table.

Across the City, foodies weave through eclectic markets, to sample flavours from every corner of the globe. The most popular, Borough Market, dates back to the 13th century and houses an abundance of organic goods, such as cakes, bread, fish, meat and olive oil. An array so vast that sensory overload is practically a given.

London – a food photographer’s Shangri-La… It’s no wonder that our top ten currently reside there.

Michael Hart
Michael’s fastidious approach to detail has led to shoots for Waitrose, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, among others.


Read more…

When to invest in a professional photographer

You know that old t-shirt you own? The one that turned a strange colour in the washing machine? You wouldn’t wear that to a first date would you?

Imagine ordering a lobster thermidor, as your potential life partner sits wondering if you’ve just finished the decorating​. But at the back of your mind you’re thinking, if this goes well, I’ll dress up for the wedding.

Most people wouldn’t do that, as they know you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. In a world of short attention spans, where image is everything, people make up their minds in seconds. From choosing your forever home, through to deciding who to spend time with, all of your decisions are based on an immediate emotional response.

So it’s a little strange when people put off hiring a professional photographer until after they’re successful – when it’s actually a catalyst for their success.

For example, researchers discovered that real estate listings, without a compelling image, only had 2 seconds to grab someone’s attention. This increased ten-fold when professional photography was added. Also, sometimes you need to capture a specific one-off moment, like an event or a presentation. The differences between the two images below are pretty clear…

Before a professional photographer.

Before a professional photographer.

After a professional photographer.

After a professional photographer.

There’s never been a better time to pull on your finest threads. Keep the old t-shirt for those lazy weekends.

7 guiding principles

Every morning at 10am, the Ooshot team stand in formation and chant the company mantra. It’s our version of the All Blacks’ Haka, but with fewer face contortions and better use of lighting.

Not really, that would be ridiculous and we’d spill our delicious French coffee… We do, however, live by a set of 7 guiding principles.

1. React like a cat

Need a photographer this evening? Not a problem. OOSHOT’s production experts work as fast as lightening. They’ll spring into action at a moment’s notice.

2. Be here, there and just about everywhere

What’s an international boundary between friends? OOSHOT’s vast photography network covers 44 countries. Wherever you are in the world, we’re right with you.

3. Create partnerships, not passing ships

The most creative ideas evolve over time. OOSHOT gives you access to a creative partnership where you can speak to a photographer at any point – at no extra cost. Share ideas with moodboards, create various specifications and get to know each other properly.

4. Affordable prices with no surprises

OOSHOT’s trusted network is a result of 15 years’ hard work. Hundreds of handpicked photographers, selected for their quality, but also their reasonable rates.

5. Banish admin

Paperwork shouldn’t get in the way of a creative relationship. OOSHOT handles all the legalities so you don’t have to. From rights management to underwritten insurance, it’s all taken care of.

6. Pay fairly and squarely

OOSHOT pays every photographer the highest share of each transaction. We value the dedication of a network that continues to put its creative heart into every single shoot.

7. Experience matters

OOSHOT’s founding members are a walking set of creative encyclopaedias. A diverse blend of artists, planners and media specialists, that all share a life-long love of photography

Come and join in and maybe we’ll do that Haka after all!
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A clear profile means more clients. Our tutorials.

Ooshot Youtube Banner Wanda
It’s Back To School Time.

Introducing the new Ooshot youtube channel with tutorials on how to make the best use of your Ooshot account.

Photographers and clients are using Ooshot more and more, and we are seeing many things that could be better if addressed at the source. You, the photographers are part of the solution. So here, we will strive to make things as clear as possible, to make your journey on Ooshot more productive and fruitful for you. How to create the best, most enticing profile that will put you under the spotlight, and get you the best clients.


Images Don’t Speak To Search Engines. Words Do!Tutorial_BlogPost_Categories

Once you have uploaded some of your best images into your portfolios, you think clients are just going to love them and book you right away. Right? Wrong! Clients start by doing a search on the subject they’re interested in. This search is made by our internal engine. This engine doesn’t yet make sense of images, it understands words perfectly well, though. So if you want your images to show up in a client search, and therefore give them a chance to click on your profile and book you, you need to assign the right categories to these images. Also, a few of you seem to think it’s a great idea to assign all, I mean AALL the categories to each one of your images, maybe because you think your name will come up whatever the clients are searching for. There’s a name for that. It’s called spamming. Not a good idea. At all. A recent study found that 100% of all clients will not type « Food Photography » when looking for « Architecture ». Just keep categorizing your images with the relevant categories, and client searches will be much less frustrating for a client. And who wants unhappy clients, right?  (click on the image above to see the tutorial)



Hello, Nice To Meet You!

It’s nice to work with someone you know. So fill out your interview and let people know you, what moves you, how you became a photographer and why you love it. Tell clients what kind of jobs you love doing, what your ideal client would be, and, why not, what you don’t want to do. The Interview is where you do all that. It is also important for your SEO, because it counts as content creation, and the words you use are attached to your name, so if you talk about your travel photography, you’ll come up faster on a search on this subject. (click on the image below to see the tutorial)Tutorial_BlogPost_Interview



We are currently adding new tutorials, about the briefing, legal info, and pricing section, you can find all of them here but do feel free to tweet @_ooshot your suggestions about what you’d like us to explain.


Instagram. All You Need Is Like. Like. Like Is All You Need

Photographers have a love-hate relationship with Instagram.

Mashup of Manet and Instagram by Thierry Van Biesen

Mashup of Manet and Instagram by Thierry Van Biesen

There’s the ones who “got it”, have tens of thousands of followers, and love it…and then there’s the ones who are struggling to take their follower count off the ground, and hate it.

This is because Instagram is linked to our emotions, through the process of validation, of “likes”. So the more it loves us, the more we love it. And, unfortunately, vice-versa.

But beyond the emotional aspect, there is also the commercial aspect. Instagram means business. So it can be treated more methodically. And there are best practices to follow. Hence the importance to share experiences and look for advice.

INSTAGROW is a group that will help you build your Instagram account and use it as a marketing tool and a revenue source.

Below is a list of tips and advices gathered during our workshop: aside from some “form” advices (did you know that pastel or soft colored images attract 7 times more likes than saturated ones?), there were also substance advices. It is important for photographers to research the values that their current or ideal clients need to communicate, and try to illustrate them in their imagery.


1. Avatar and Bio => your profile should include an attractive avatar, a short exciting Bio, and of course, a link to your website/blog

2. Keep a balance of  75% pro images & 25% your daily life (it can be your professional daily life) => IG is the reign of the authentic instant

3. Keep it square. Even though IG recently allowed other formats, the original and still preferred format on the platform is the square, and square images integrate seamlessly into other people’s feeds.

4. Warmth: it is important to keep your tone warm, your images’ tone as well as your comments and captions. IG is where people come to connect and connection is warmth.

5. Post regularly, even if it means you produce a lot of images at a time, but spread out posting times over the period it takes you to produce your next batch.

6. Hashtags must stay relevant, and not show a craving for attention. Ideally try to stay within 8 and 10. Don’t forget to tag other accounts that are bigger than yours, and have the same style of images.

7. Try to find a hashtag that fits your specialty, that is very scarcely used for the moment, that you can adopt and can become your trademark.

8. Research the biggest influencers in your photography niche, follow them, and interact with them. Also, connect with bloggers whose niche is relevant to your specialties, and try to collaborate with them.

9. Networking: it is important to start discussions and dialogs within the community, it is part of the IG game and is recommended to interact with bigger influencers, to increase your influence too.

10. Love endlessly: don’t be stingy with your likes, and comments on others’ posts. The more you interact, the more you grow.

One last general rule, especially true if you have less than 1000 followers and want to grow your account sanely, you need to have 5-10% of followers interacting with your content (likes+comments). Less than that is a sign that your account isn’t getting enough audience and will be seen as less relevant.

Then, the more you grow, the more you’ll tend towards a ratio of 1%.




3•Desaturated colors

4•Faces (35%more likes when there is a face in an image)

5•Graphic compositions

6•Sharp, no blurry images

7•Decor/Interior Design


9• Social living

10•Urban connections.

Lastly, information, as always is key, and there are tools, like Websta, to analyze your Instagram account, but more importantly to look for other successful users in your niche, find users by keyword, analyze your trending hashtags etc.

So go at Instagram like a business, not a romantic affair, and who knows, you might fall in Like.

written with the help of Salomé Bidaux