We're back with another blog post! This time geared toward creative photography ideas that might help to make your work more interesting without, the need for additional gear or studio time, or a location change. I've been implementing a few of these creative ideas into my work lately as I've found myself hitting a bit of a rut when it comes to all of my photographs looking the same. What can you do?
Well, these tips are not only great way to add variety to your portfolio but can also be fun for the models that you're photographing. It can make the shoot more dynamic, more fun, and add interest to the final product.
1. Use Prisms
This is something I've just started to implement and a technique that has been tried and tested by numerous photographers in the industry. Prisms (they can be found on amazon or at your local craft store) help to refract and bend the light coming into your camera to create interesting rainbow or visual effects on the subjects face. Simply put the prism in front of your lens (I'd recommend something a little shorter like a 50mm) and watch magic happen! I've found that prisms create a natural vignette that helps lighten up the scene and works particularly well when faced with an otherwise boring backdrop.
2. Change Your Photoshop Tones
This photography tip might go against all advice you've ever been given but I personally think it's fun to try a completely different tonal range when you're editing colors now and then. Not only does this help keep you on your toes but it can really change the way you see color and the types of changes you can make to an image. I've been experimenting with color balance and selective color more and more lately. Make sure you also don't neglect your white balance when editing. If you're in a pinch, use the photo filters in Photoshop to change the overall tone (warm, cold, etc...) and keep a consistent look throughout the whole image.
3. Try Black and White Photography
Here's a photography tip that even I'm afraid to touch. If you're used to color, give your old friend black and white photography a swing. Black and white photography forces you to focus more on the subject matter, depth, and emotional connection you have with an image. It's also a great medium to play with shadows that can be dark, deep, and dangerous. I've only shot a few black and white images (guilty as charged) but I do know that if you shoot in RAW + black and white mode on your DSLR camera, you can easily switch between color and black and white while editing in post for added convenience if something goes astray.
4. Use Off Camera Lighting
I'm a big advocate for off camera flash and off camera lighting when you're able to utilize it on a shoot without much hassle. For years I would try to experiment with Alien Bees, Pro Fotos, and DIY lighting systems that I thought would help add clarity and dimension to a particular shoot. I'll do a write up on different types of off camera lighting and their uses in the future but even a simple softbox (or lamp if you're inside) with some sort of diffusion can be a great way to creatively experiment with your work. If budget and finances are an issue you can find cheap kits online or go to home depot for a portable light. I've also used the IPhone(s) flashlights when I'm in a pinch.
5. Check Your Kitchen..... For Photography Resources
Well I'm sure you didn't expect me to say that. Kitchen objects (knives, spoons, latels, pans) add another surprisingly interesting way to diffuse incoming natural or artificial light for a subject. This tip is inspired by master photographer Alessio Albi whom I admire and whose work is much more refined than mine... I need to give credit where credit is due. Check out great examples of this technique on his website.
6. Use More Photography Subjects
One of my favorite ways to great creative is to utilize more than one model on a shoot. This is not only always a great time for everyone involved but can add so much more interest to your given shoot. Having the perfect pairing of models can make your shoot even more exciting and allows you to create a variety of images that you wouldn't be able to with just one subject. Just remember that two subjects are more difficult to photograph (well) at times so choose your battles wisely. Take your time on the shoot but remember to have fun.
7. Find a Change Of Photographic Scenery
If you're in a rut it's only natural with your photography. One way to easily break out of that and get more creative is to find a change of location! Forest. Mountains. Beach. Studio. Desert. These can all be perfect for keeping your work not only fresh but in line with the seasons or even your mood. At the end of the day go out there and have fun with your work. Be sure to send over what you've created to email@example.com
Thank you for reading!
Want To Learn More About Photography?
If you’re interested in learning more about a specific modeling subject or idea, shoot me a message on Instagram or contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org I’m always happy to answer additional questions or comments.
Morey Spellman is a Los Angeles based fashion photographer.
His work combines a love for beautiful light, authentic beauty, and natural scenery.