Concept Shooting is a way of approaching photography that can take your work to a new level. It takes a little more thought than just going ‘snap happy’ but can really help you to convey a message with those viewing your shots. Christina N Dickson from www.ChristinaNicholePhotography.com looks further at Concept Shooting. Image by ~*Leah*~.
Winter is coming for many DPS readers. The weather is turning cold and frightful. And sometimes, you just can’t motivate yourself to bundle up and head outside to practice your photography. How can you keep developing your skills in the winter and prepare for next the next season?
Concept shooting is similar to advertising, stock, and photojournalism for several reasons. First, concept shooting involves some intense analyzing of a “message” you want to strongly convey. Second, concept shooting involves careful consideration of your audience and how the message will touch them most powerfully. Third, concept shooting is centered on emotions, and the telling of a story in its message.
Concept shooting involves a great deal of “mental” preparation, rather than on scene analyzing. Before you shoot, you decide several things. For example, we’ll apply each of these considerations to the concept of love:
- Message: Is your message true love or broken hearts?
- Angle of the message: Is your angle the true love of family or the true love of kindred spirits? The bitterness and pain of broken hearts, or the recovery?
- Audience: Is your story written for first time high school lovers, or 50-year marriage partners?
- Emotional connectors: In what ways can you cause your story to resonate best with your audience? The love that brings a sense of belonging? The love that will last forever? The pain of betrayal? The despair of no hope for recovery?
- Creative composition: An audience of high schoolers will require edgy, high contrast, and inventive imagery. An audience of older couples will perhaps be impacted more by elegant, soft, and expressive imagery.
- Dynamic artistry: Camera angle, type of lighting, color, venue, depth, and motion…all such factors will influence the overall outcome of your concept shot.
- Story telling quality: In one image, does your concept tell the complete story? A picture is worth a thousand words, so one image can capture depth of story. It will simply take some time in thought, and some well developed shots.
The following three images all expound on the concept of love. Each is an independent story. Each effectively reaches its audience. Take a moment to evaluate each image based on the 7 criteria before reading the project creation description.
- Concept: Love
- Message: Broken Heart
- Audience: Young women who lost their first love
- Emotional Connector: Feeling of aloneness and walking away from what once was;
- Creative composition: Taken from the ground so the broken heart is considered first before the girl; the girl is anonymous adding to mystery of who is experiencing the broken heart
- Dynamic Artistry: The broken heart is in 2/3rds of the frame dominating the image, but attention is given equally to the girl due to the fact that she is walking toward the vibrant blue ocean
- Story telling quality: Does this single image describe the feelings, the experience, and the hurt of a broken heart?
Starting to make sense? Let’s evaluate one more. Remember to pause for a moment to evaluate the image for yourself before going on to the explanation:
- Concept: Love
- Message: True love
- Audience: lovers who know commitment
- Emotional Connector: Feeling of beauty, delicacy and precious value
- Creative composition: Taken from above to take advantage of a perspective of innocence
- Dynamic Artistry: the shallow depth of field completely isolates the rose without taking away from the story telling quality contributed by the hands, and the black backgrounds provides for no distracting elements
- Story telling quality: Does this single image describe the feelings, the experience, and the precious value of true love?
No matter what level of photography you are, no matter what field you dominate, if you take the winter months to practice conceptual photography, you will find your imagery grow leaps and bounds in whatever field you pursue.