Family Paid $250 for “Professional Photoshoot” and This Is What They Got

A Missouri family recently got a taste of internet stardom after sharing a series of hilariously bad “professional photograph” that they had paid just under $250 for. And the funniest thing is they consider it money well spent.

In May of last year, Dave and Pam Zaring, of Hillsboro, Missouri, were contacted by a middle-aged woman who marketed herself as an experienced professional photographer. Having gotten married three years ago, the couple decided it was time for their first family photo shoot, so they took the so-called professional photographer up on her offer.  The couple, their two sons, Cade, 12, and Connor, 8, and Dave’s mother Sharon drove to the lovely Forest Park, in St. Louis, where they paid the photographer just under $250 to snap a few pics of them as one big happy family. The shoot went great, and the woman said she would be in touch again in a few weeks, after editing the photos. However, weeks turned to months, and the family nearly forgot all about the pics. I guess, they figured they got scammed and moved on with their lives.

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People Are Now Renting Grounded Private Jets for Instagram Photo Shoots

Inspired by popular Instagram accounts like ‘Rich Kids of Instagram’ or ‘Luxury Kids of Instagram’, as well as social media stars like Gianluca Vachi and Dan Bilzerian, people who can’t actually afford to fly on private jets are renting them on the ground for professional photo shoots, just so they can post their own lavish lifestyle photos on Instagram.

Just because you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on renting a private jet doesn’t mean that you can’t make your social media friends turn green with envy. With just a few hundred dollars, you can actually rent a luxurious Gulfstream G650 aircraft for a couple of hours and have a team of professional photographers and makeup artists create the illusion that you are actually living a life of luxury. You can then post the photos on Instagram and sit back as your friends and fans drool over them.

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Artist Plays Dead at Popular Tourist Spots to Protest Selfie Craze

Selfies have become such a huge part of our lives that it’s hard to believe that they only became popular only a few years ago. People are snapping pics of themselves virtually everywhere, from the top of skyscrapers to their bathrooms, and we even gadgets and accessories designed around selfies. Things have gotten so bad that one artist has decided to take a stand against the selfie craze in a very unique way. Meet Stephanie Leigh Rose, the creator of “stefdies”.

What are “selfdies”, you ask? Well, Stephanie describes them as “anti-selfies”, but more specifically it is just the artist playing dead in random places, many of them popular tourist attractions. She just drops to the ground, face down, and pretends that she’s dead for a few moments, while someone takes her photo. She chronicles her unusual series on Instagram, where you can see her playing dead in a variety of places, from the Eiffel Tour and Louvre Museum, in Paris, to the Golden State Bridge, in San Francisco.

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Artist Saves Up His Recyclable Trash for 4 Years to Create Powerful Photo Project

We often hear about the insane amounts of trash we as a species currently generate, but words and figures don’t make a very big impact on most people. Images work much better, so one French artist decided to actually show just how much trash a single human being generates over time. To do that, he stopped throwing away recyclable trash for four years.

Antoine Repessé stopped throwing away recyclable waste like plastic bottles, toilet paper tubes or newspapers back in 2011, storing it in his apartment, instead. That wasn’t a big issue at first, but as time went by, trash started covering the floor of his home, and soon began piling up and covering every available space. After four years of collecting trash, Repessé’s apartment ended up looking like the home of one of those extreme hoarders you see on TLC.

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Chinese Women Are Going Crazy Over This $1,400 Camera That’s Literally Made for Selfies

Casio’s latest offering, the Exilim EX-TR70, is priced at a whopping $1,399! That’s rather steep for a compact camera, but the price tag is justified by its unbelievable selfie-friendly features. Targeted mainly at Chinese women who are obsessed with taking photos of themselves and sharing them online, the camera is expected to earn the Japanese company a $403 million profit this year.

The new TR70 is a third generation Exilim, a line of unusually shaped cameras that are specifically made for selfies. Right from the physical features to the UI, these cameras are streamlined to help the user click the perfect pic of their face every time. The hinged frame helps the device support itself, so it can easily be placed on any surface to face the subject. It offers several ways to actually click a picture, including squeezing the body, using the ‘selfie pad’ on the side, using a countdown self-timer, placing the hand on a certain part of the frame to be detected by the camera, and by touching the 3” LCD.

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This Photo of a Potato Sold for over $1 Million

If you thought spending money on painted firewood logs was ridiculous, you’re not going to be able to wrap your head around this: a man in Paris recently spent a whopping €1,000,000 (over $1 million) on a photograph of a potato, making it one of the top 20 most expensive photos ever sold!

To be fair, it wasn’t any ordinary potato portrait – it was clicked by Kevin Abosch, the hottest photographer in the world right now, according to Business Insider. His claim to fame includes photographing major Silicon Valley bigwigs like Sheryl Sandberg, Eric Schmidt, and Jack Dorsey. Some of his other famous subjects include Johnny Depp, Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Hopper, and Malala Yousafzai.

Irish-born Abosch is also apparently obsessed with potatoes – he’s taken tons of photographs of the starchy tuber set against his trademark black backdrop. “Kevin likes potatoes because they, like people, are all different yet immediately identifiable as being essentially of the same species,” his studio said in a statement. “He has photographed many potatoes. This is one of his favorites.”

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Man Takes Perfect Photo of Diving Kingfisher after Six Years and 720,000 Tries

It’s a trite saying, but ‘Try, try until you succeed’ does hold true even today. Case-in-point is Scottish photographer Alan McFadyen, who spent six long years trying to get the perfect shot of a kingfisher diving into water. 720,000 tries later, he finally succeeded!

Alan, 46, was adamant about getting the shot in memory of his late grandfather Robert Murray, who often took him to see the kingfisher nesting spot at the beautiful lakeside near Kirkcudbright, Scotland, when he was about six years old. In fact, those childhood treks actually inspired him to take up photography at age 40.

“As a small boy of about six, I remember my grandfather taking me to see the kingfisher nest, and I just remember being completely blown away by how magnificent the birds are,” Alan said. “It was extraordinary how quick they flashed into the water with their brilliant blue colors – they didn’t look real, they were like a bullet they were so quick. So when I took up photography, I returned to this same spot to photograph the kingfishers.”

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Couple Keep Long-Distance Relationship Alive with Touching Photo Collages

Long distance relationships are hard, but a Korean couple have found a creative way to deal with physical separation. Danbi Shin and Seok Li are both artists, and they’re working on a cool photo-collage project that bridges the distance between them.   

Despite the 14-hour time difference between New York and Seoul, where Danbi and Seok live, they photograph themselves doing similar things simultaneously. Then they merge the two pictures, careful to ensure accuracy and symmetry, to make a single image. They also try their best to find similar scenes in totally different environments, and later post the collages on Instagram, where they collectively go as ‘ShinLiArt’.

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This Man Has Been Taking Selfies Every Day for the Last 16 Years

Long before selfies became a way of life, this Alaska man began to take pictures of himself every day. Now, 16 years later, Jonathan Keller has released an extraordinary time-lapse video consisting of a whopping 5,840 pictures of his face! The three-and-a-half minute video shows his transformation from a 22-year-old young adult to his current 39-year-old self.

Keller’s project, titled ‘Living My Life Faster’, began on October 1, 1998. Ever since, he’s been taking one picture of himself every single day, wearing the same emotionless expression. His goal, it seems, is to show that the daily changes to his appearance are almost insignificant when viewed in chronological order. But the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures show that he has indeed aged visibly.


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Israeli Restaurant Uses Special Plates Optimized to Look Great on Instagram

Inspired by the growing trend of photographing your food and sharing the photos online before tucking in, a Tel Aviv restaurant has launched a special program that allows patrons to take the best food photos possible. Called “Foodography”, the unique concept relies on color-coordinated dishes, perfect lighting and custom-designed plates that either spin around to offer different photo angles, or come with a smartphone holder, to make the photos worth sharing on sites like Instagram or Pinterest.

“We wanted to reconnect with a new generation of customers – youngsters who connect with food through the lens of a smartphone,” said a spokesman for Carmel Winery, the company that developed the concept along with Baumann Ber Rivnay advertising agency.


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Breathtaking Photo Almost Cost the Photographer His Life

When Pakistani photographer Atif Saeed set out for a drive through a safari park in Lahore in 2012, little did he know that he would end up risking his life for what is possibly the best photograph of his career – a close-up shot of a charging lion!

It all started during the drive, when Saeed spotted a lion a short distance away. “It as an adult male lion, and what I liked most about him was the beautiful, dark hair on his neck,” the 38-year-old later recalled. He got out of the car, left the door open, and crouched in the grass to take pictures with his 500mm telephoto lens. He did realise at the time that it could be a foolish move, but he told himself that it was the only way to get a natural photograph.

Saeed got his opportunity within seconds – the sound of the shutter apparently irritated the lion, and it turned around to charge at him. The lion’s expression at that moment was ferocious enough to send even the bravest of huntsmen into a state of shock. But Saeed managed to quickly gather his wits. He clicked a picture at lightning before leaping into his car and slamming the door shut, missing the aggressive beast by inches!

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Meet Slavik, the Most Fashionable Homeless Man in Ukraine

55-year-old Slavik, a homeless man from the Ukrainian city of Lviv, is making waves online with his outrageous fashion choices. Although he appears disheveled, he puts together stylish outfits using the various articles of clothing that he picks up from the city’s trash bins and homeless aid centers. He changes clothes at least twice a day and never wears the same outfits. He also styles his hair and beard to match each ensemble, and even shaves his armpits!

Slavik’s unique grooming routine was introduced to the world by Ukrainian photographer Yurko Dyachyshyn. Yurko was drawn to Slavik while working on a project in the city center; he noticed Slavik approaching strangers asking for spare change. Soon, he began photographing the homeless man’s sartorial choices, paying him roughly $1 per meeting.

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The Dark Hedges – Ireland’s Real-Life Fantasy Setting

Along Bregagh Road, near the village of Armoy in Northern Ireland, lies a tranquil byroad called The Dark Hedges. For the past three centuries, a stretch of Beech trees have been guarding either side of this road. They have reached up and intertwined with each other, creating an ethereal tunnel of trees with shadow and light playing through the entwined branches. The effect is nothing short of spectacular.

The trees were planted in the 1750s by the Stuart family, on the grounds of Gracehill House, James Stuart’s Gregorian mansion. They wanted to create a compelling landscape to impress visitors who approached the entrance to the mansion. Needless to say, the Stuarts managed to achieve the desired effect. Even today, the Dark Hedges attracts locals and tourists alike.

Up until fifteen years ago, only locals knew about the Dark Hedges. In 1998, Northern Ireland’s national tourist board began to use the setting to promote tourism. Visitors have been pouring in ever since. It is one of the most photographed places in the world, and has become a desktop wallpaper cliché. Several scenes of the hit series ‘Game of Thrones’ have been filmed here and it is also a popular location for wedding photography.

The Dark Hedges

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The Truth about “Heaven’s Trail”, the Infamous Photo That Captured the Imagination of Millions

Heaven’s Trail is a breathtaking photograph that went viral almost the moment it was published online a couple of years ago. Like most good things on the internet, the original source was soon lost; no one had any idea where the picture was clicked, or even if it was real.

One explanation on the internet was: “There’s this place in Ireland where every two years, the stars line up with this trail on June 10th to June 18th. It’s called Heaven’s Trail.” Many thought that the view in the picture was impossible. They assumed that the photographer had taken two completely unrelated shots and merged them together.

Heaven’s Trail was shared extensively on blogs, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr. One blogger wrote, “I feel pretty comfortable calling utter bullshit on this.” The photograph itself is pretty spectacular. I can understand why people would be curious to know its origins. The stairs in the picture lead up to pretty much nowhere. At the horizon there’s a surreal, heavenly light illuminating a man who appears to be running into the stars.


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Russian Photographer’s Photos Reveal the Unique Beauty of Snowflakes

Alexey Kljatov is a photographer with a difference – he takes incredibly breathtaking shots of snowflakes with equipment that he developed at home, eliminating the need for cameras and lenses worth thousands of dollars.

It’s hard to believe that Moscow-based Kljatov is an amateur. Take a look at these close-up snowflake photographs and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. The amount of precision and clarity he has achieved with just a home-made rig is amazing.

Kljatov used parts from old cameras and attached them to wooden boards using a bunch of screws and some tape. Doesn’t sound like much, but this set-up is really working wonders for him. The close-up views of the snowflakes are enchanting.


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