Crushing the eight ball: a tale of product photography and competition

Productfoto van keukenmixer op zwarte achtergrond met zwarte biljartballen. Dit beeld heet: 'Crushing the eightball'.

Hey there, photography enthusiasts and art aficionados! If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I often venture into the thrilling world of photography competitions. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in the Master Photographers Network’s (MPN) theme photo contest. This year’s theme? “Ambition.” Let me take you on a journey behind my submission, an image I lovingly named “Crushing the Eight ball.”

Lees hier waarom je voorzichtig moet zijn met fotowedstrijden.


Initially, I had a completely different vision in mind for my submission. I aimed to create a photograph depicting a man alongside a house, a tree, and a dog. You see, in the Netherlands, we have a saying: “huisje, boompje, beestje,” which translates to a small home, a tree, and a dog – the epitome of simple contentment. However, I planned to print this image in a small format and frame it within a grand, classical frame, reminiscent of the 17th century. It was a concept close to my heart, but I knew it might not be a crowd-pleaser. Sometimes, though, you just have to create what you love, not what’s expected.


Then, serendipity came knocking in the form of a phone call from a delightful woman. She explained that her brother’s birthday was approaching, and he had a very specific image in mind for his wall. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find this image anywhere. She asked if I could bring this vision to life, saying, “Don’t ask me what it means, but he wants a black and white image of a traditional mixer, filled with eight balls, ready to crush them.”

Intrigued, I immediately began researching “eight ball” as we continued our conversation. I discovered that the eightball symbolizes luck and fate. Eureka! I realized the significance and potential of this request. If executed well, this could become my competition photo!

With a rush of inspiration, I made the woman a sweet deal and invited her to my brand-new studio. She brought all the necessary props, and together, we crafted the image in just one hour. For the mixer’s base, we used a sleek black acrylic plate, but the eight balls proved to be a little too adventurous, constantly rolling off. Our solution? Chewing gum! It might not be the most professional tool, but it worked like a charm.


I had a hunch from the start that the symbolism of the image might be challenging to grasp. I didn’t expect to win any prizes, and indeed, that prediction held true. However, what pleasantly surprised me was the overwhelming love and appreciation the image received. Many people, even if they didn’t fully understand the meaning, still voted for it. To those wonderful individuals, I extend my heartfelt thanks!


Let’s wrap this up by exploring how this image perfectly embodies the theme of ambition. I believe that luck and fate should never be the sole determinants of our path, success, or achievements. Instead, we should seize control of our destinies, mix those uncertainties in a blender, and grind them into a pulp! “Crushing the Eightball” is a visual testament to the notion that we can shape our own fates, regardless of what luck has in store.

So, there you have it—a story of ambition, artistic inspiration, and a touch of whimsy. Life hands you eight balls, but you can make them your own and develop them in your favor. After all, that’s the essence of true ambition in photography and beyond!

Wanddecoratie: mooie foto aan de muur van uw woonkamer

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