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The importance of exploring & developing concepts in photography [Portrait Photography]

Miami, Florida, USA | April 8th, 2021

I recently developed an interest in famous photographer, Albert Watson. While watching his latest master class, something he said about the importance of always having a concept resonated with me. See, just like Albert, I’m a graphic designer by trade, and a lot of the work involved in that profession derive from the notion of developing concepts.

Strangely enough though, I never applied that towards my photography. Well, not with the same intensity and purposefulness as I do as a designer. I’d be inspired by the work of another photographer or painter, and just go with what comes to mind. I tend to know exactly what I want the end result to look like, but only I do. So, I decided to try my new approach in this photoshoot with Kaitie. I wrote a short story about an actress/model from the 50’s who traveled through time and got stuck in 2021. I know, wild right?! As I was writing it, I found myself fully immersed in the whole process and I loved it! So did Kaitie.

Rather than just talking about the look, the garments, and my source of inspiration (which doesn’t always work with some models as they just revert to their safe go-to’s), I described a scene that she could visualize herself into, thus helping her easily translate it on camera. I do not know why I never did this before, but I truly enjoyed it. Additionally, Kaitie is very much into cinema and acting so this was a breeze. During the sessions, it was far easier to focus on forms and composition rather than continuously trying to draw out some of the expressions I was looking for from her.

I firmly believe that great photographs tell stories. Without that intention, they are, in my humble opinion, just photographs of things and people, and that is fine for some. At the core of a great photograph lies a concept. The more the concept is developed, the better the story. Thus, the better the photograph.

Enjoy : )

Thanks for looking.

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