Creating Stock Photos of Money with Photoshop
I’ve photographed a ton of money over the last thirty years. I have photographed money coming
out of faucets, being thrown in the air, squeezing through an hourglass, covering a planet, as
jigsaw puzzles and serving as a flying carpet. I have PhotoShoped money trees and coins
exploding out of piggy banks. I have made fashion design sketches of money being stretched,
filling shopping carts and being raked into piles. I have pictures of money on trees, pictures of
piles of money and pictures of stacks of money. I have pictures of money from around the world
including, English pounds, Italian Lira, Japanese yen, German marks and, of course, Euros.
Heck, I have even created an animated stock footage clip of “raining money”!
The first stock photo I ever created using stock illustration was a picture of money…flying
through the sky on egret wings. As a matter of fact, seventeen years after I created that stock
photo it was used on the cover of Time magazine! It took me two days and ton of work to create
the flying dollars. I was using Photoshop 1.0 on a Mac II computer. Just rotating a 30megabyte
file took 40 minutes! I could do that image now in an hour at most. Back then I had to have a
color separator scan the files and that cost $80.00 per file.
I had photographed Snowy Egrets in the wetlands of Marin for brochure advertising a new
housing development. I photographed a hundred dollar bill and had that, and a stormy sky,
scanned as well. Back then I had no clue about clipping paths, if Photoshop even had clipping
paths back then. There was only one level of undo and no layers at all. Selecting the dollar was
done with the lasso tool and cleaning up the selection seemed to take forever.
A number of people told me that professional work could not be done with Photoshop, and even
more told me I was getting into it too soon. But here we are 18 years later; the image is still
selling, and, as I pointed out, even ended up on the cove