Hey FashionPhotographyBlog.com readers.
This time around, we’re going to look at something a bit more conceptual. I can give advice and guide you, but ultimately it’s your job to really dig in and put it all together. That being said.. This post we’re going to briefly explore “Concept to Creation.” How to take an idea and turn it into an editorial or, if you’re lucky enough, an advertising campaign. Granted this post (hell- this whole blog) is geared more toward fashion photography, but the same principles apply for all walks of photography.
One of the biggest things I didn’t understand when first starting out was what an editorial really is. Sure, it’s a “story.” It’s a group of images that go together. Easy enough. So what was I doing wrong that I couldn’t get any of my “stories” published? They were good pictures but I lacked concept and intrigue.
When planning a shoot, there is no precise way to tell you how to get from initial inspiration to final image. However, we can look at developing an idea and the unwritten rules behind the images we see.
Let’s start at the beginning. First off, find some inspiration.
Many people ask where to find inspiration. There’s no right or wrong answer. For some people it’s reading a book, watching a movie or going to a museum. For others it’s found walking around town or listening to new music. Everyone gets inspired differently. The hardest part is finding out how you’re inspired and taking it from there. Are you stimulated visually? Auditorily?
The best piece of advice I could give you is to NOT look at fashion photographers work when trying to get inspired. Sounds silly, I know. Look at fashion photographers work all the time! Knock yourself out. But when it comes to initially conceiving an idea and you’re looking at the work of other fashion photographers, you’ll run into a few problems.
1) You’re most likely going to steal a bit of their idea/image subconsciously
2) If you’re looking at the work of masters such as Guy Bourdin or Steven Meisel, you’ll drive yourself mad! There is no way your work can stack up against these guys.
Browsing online and see something you like? Create an inspiration folder on your desktop to keep images for later reference.
Stayed tuned because we will be diving a little further into turning inspiration into concept next time.
Until then –
Image 1: Francis Bacon
Image 2: Alana Tyler Slutsky