The Concept Exercise

Concept photography is much harder than object photography. Or at least it is for me. It is easy for me to see a hot dog or some exotic salt and think WOW! That, I should shoot right now, and go get my camera (if it isn’t sitting right next to me.)

On the other hand…when I really need to work my brain and my skills, I try the concept exercise.

The concept exercise is a great one to get you thinking from another part of your brain and to expand your portfolio.

Go down the list and pick one of the concept categories, say, Abstract-teamwork. (This is one of the easier ones for me.) and start thinking/looking for things that demonstrate teamwork. Today for me it was the people all trying to make sure the hot air balloon stayed where it belonged and the girl and her horse at the jumping event. (At this point they are in the queue waiting approval.)

So here is what you have to work with.

Background, blurs, colors, competition, craftsmanship, danger, exploration, fun, help, love, luxury, peace, planetarium, power, purity, religion, seasonal and holiday, security, sports, stress, success, teamwork, textures, unique.

Of course, often you can work more than one concept into the same photograph. For instance today, the team working on the balloon was working with an exceptionally colorful balloon and the horse and rider were also a sport!

Often purity and religion go together, as well as danger and exploration, luxury and power and sports and blur.

Grab a piece of paper and a pen, make a decision and start writing down some ideas. Don’t forget to include the possibility of editorial use for luxury images with logos. Obviously, this is an editorial shot because it is boldly logoed but it is one of my favorites.

The thing about concept images is, often the designer doesn't quite know what they want until they see it, so your image is more fluid and surprising for them.

Now go have some fun!

Photo credits: Ginger Sanders.

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July 26, 2011


Thanks everyone!
Glad I could be of some help/inspiration. We have so much fun with what we are doing when it gets to be a j*O*B..then we need a little boost.

July 26, 2011


I enjoyed your blog so much today. Thank you for all the ideas, you have given me lots to think about, and work on.

July 26, 2011


Great advice! Thank you.

July 26, 2011


Thank you for helping to inspire the creativity in all of us. Great food for thought. K-

July 26, 2011


you have inspired today, great blog! I will go have some fun!

July 26, 2011


I'm always happy to work on the "blur" concept! ;)

July 24, 2011


and yours are some of my very favorites!

July 24, 2011


Yes.When i make concept compositions im very happy.I know is very hard to do it and very beautiful at the end.Here are some examples from my galery:)
   Running in the rain   
   Street fog   
   Plane crash   
   Driving on surreal mist   
   The war is starting   
   Screaming for help   
   Image not available or id is incorrect.   
   Brain storming   
   Image not available or id is incorrect.   
   Halloween creepy women   

July 24, 2011


inspiring! thank you :)

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