Conceptual photography is a type of fine art photography that is hard to define since it transcends the definition of genres such as portraiture, landscape or abstract photography. Shooting conceptual photography means that you have a very specific idea you want to share with your audience. What kind of idea or concept you want to share is totally up to you – it can be something rather simple like happiness or sadness or something more complex such as gender identities, existential issues and so on.
In conceptual photography, you always start with an idea and work on developing this idea through the choice of setting, props, and models. Even though having an interesting concept is the single most important factor in conceptual photography, it is also important not to forget about the aesthetics and rules of composition.
The following hints and tips will help you understand the challenges of conceptual photography and learn how to represent you ideas and emotions visually.
Let Your Imagination Run Wild
Conceptual photography is tricky in the sense that it requires a vivid imagination and probably a little bit of talent when it comes to storytelling abilities. Unlike regular portraiture and landscape photography, conceptual sessions require a great deal of planning and preparations.
For instance, if you’re doing conceptual portraiture, you can’t take a person out and simply take their portrait, you need to plan the entire session. Long before you even start looking for a model, you need to have an idea of what you want to do and where you want to take the photos. Some conceptual photo shoots are quite elaborate and require a lot of different props and costumes. All these preparations can take a lot of time and patience, but that’s a part of the magical experience that conceptual photography aims to create.