Model poser

It's a simple fact - photographs of people in sell better than any other.

But where to get the people to appear in your photos?

First, if you are hoping to sell your photographs for commercial purposes (rather than editorial, which is a different matter) for every recognisable person you need a model release. That cuts out, for example, photos taken at sporting events, or shots taken in the street. Can you get a whole football team to sign model releases? And what about the crowd in the background?

In fact, many apparently candid photographs that you see in magazines or on posters are carefully posed, with professional models.

But professional models are expensive. For me, at this stage of the game, it's not economically feasible to hire one. I'd never recoup the cost.

So what about using family and friends (or dog)?

It's a possibility. But getting the right image often requires a lot of faffing around ... trial shots ... adjustment of lighting or props ... changing of angle or backdrop. Family members tend to lose patience, and friends don't stay friendly very long. Even the dog gets twitchy.

There is one last resort. Use yourself. With a bit of ingenuity almost anything is possible.

I had the idea of taking a series illustrating an alternative view of computer use. The majority of images available in this area show smiling people working peacefully, even contentedly, at their machine. You know the scene ... Mum, Dad and a kid gazing down at the monitor with its soft glow gently illuminating their happy, oh-so-happy faces.

Don't we all know the reality? Scowls, howls and hair-tearing, more like, as the computer throws up incomprehensible error messages, or a paper clip taps irritably on the screen at us.

Here's the sequence I came up with, using myself as a model. After all, if Alfred Hitchcock can do it, why can't I? And you can see it took some time to achieve ... spot the difference in one image.

First puzzlement

Then incomprehension

And finally, downright fury

(Please note, no computers were harmed in the making of these images.)