What is Creativity in Photography?


We rarely think about creativity as a concept, therefore it's hard for us to follow a recipe or two. The testimony that follows, comes from a person whose life met the visual craft in 2009 and found himself complete while enduring his scientific journey a couple of years ago.

This close relationship with academia got me even closer to the craft of teaching. Back in 2018, I had my first teaching experience in a graphic design faculty from my first Alma matter; which by the way had nothing to do with photography. Eventually, that turn in the path made me a scientist who acknowledges the study of cultural meaning. And words are just the sometimes-clumsy wrapper in which concepts reside.

One of the most fascinating things teaching has given me is the opportunity to discuss things. And if you recognise the humble conception of knowledge, this exercise just feels a lot like working in a lab. These discussions are normally gathered around the concept of identity and creativity; more poetically, the inner voice.

So, what does creativity mean?

As an academic, I've had some occasional encounters with huge abstract concepts like “culture”, or “identity”, concepts so vast their meaning simply gets dissolved into nothingness.

Creativity is one of those large concepts too, and I want to share my proposal for solving this tedious conundrum. Although, the definition that follows isn't just mine, but also from all the students I've had the pleasure of discussing this topic as well.


Creativity is all about giving a solution to something. In the case of science, achieving such a goal depends on effectively seeing through the deep-dark abyss of the unknown. In the case of graphic design for the students I've worked for, is all about delivering an effective solution for an issue or a problem while triggering an aesthetic experience as well.

Therefore challenging

If coming up with the solution wasn't enough quest by itself, requiring it to be visually attractive makes it challenging every time!

And that's it, that's what we in quality management call a cycle. You've just created the most useful tool there is to never stop evolving as a photographer; the one that allows us to systematically change.

And don't you worry if you haven't touched your camera in a while, I haven't touched mine in a while either. Nevertheless, what helps me keep my photographic spark alive is watching photographs and jotting ideas from wherever they come. Although I can't help you with ideas right now, I can share with you a very insightful resource and some examples of how to apply creativity to products with photography!

Photo by Rajat Sarki
watch product photography
Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi
red sofa commercial photography
Photo by Engin Akyurt
absolut vodka product photography
Photo by Engin Akyurt
sport shoes commercial photoshoot
Photo by Fachry Zella Devandra
amazon product photography
Photo by Hello I'm Nik
cutlery creative product photography
Photo by hue12photography
earphones red and pale blue
Photo by Icons8 team
shoes colorful product photography
Photo by Martin Adams
backpacks lined up commercial shoot
Photo by Mitchell Griest
cosmetics cleancut product photography
Photo by Nery Montenegro
milk creative photoshoot
Photo by Mae Mu

If you're running out of creative ideas for your product photography,
take a look at The Creativity Catalogue by Photzy.

pastel colors creative photoshoot
Photo by OLA Mishchenko
pasta ad
Photo by rawpixel
cooking ad eggplant creative
Photo by Toa Heftiba
knives commercial photography
Photo by Val Vesa
minimal product photography
Photo by Vinicius Amano
cosmetics creative product photography
Photo by Kadarius Seegars
coca cola zero red and black product photography
Photo by Mahbod Akhzami
cheese dark background
Photo by Virul
modern ad pastel colors
Photo by Alex Azabache

But what about something more artistic? Well, now that's a fun challenge to try! Here's another great recommendation for you, the work of Chema Madoz; the best example I've come across of surrealism being approached in photography.

Further Reading:

About Author

Federico has a decade of experience in documentary photography, and is a University Professor in photography and research methodology. He's a scientist studying the social uses of photography in contemporary culture who writes about photography and develops documentary projects. Other activities Federico is involved in photography are curation, critique, education, mentoring, outreach and reviews. Get to know him better here.

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