Concept Shooting in Photography

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.

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:

1. Message
Is your message true love or broken hearts?

2. 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?

3. Audience
Is your story written for first time high school lovers, or 50-year marriage partners?

4. 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?

5. 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.

6. Dynamic Artistry
Camera angle, type of lighting, color, venue, depth, and motion…all such factors will influence the overall outcome of your concept shot.

7. 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.

No matter what level of photography you are, no matter what field you dominate, if you take time to practice conceptual photography, you will find your imagery grow leaps and bounds in whatever field you pursue.

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