Today, we’ll discuss creative photography tricks in this article. It is essential to develop creative skills and creativity for everyone who wants to take pictures that catch the viewer. Based on my photography experience and many years of teaching practice, I’ve prepared ten tips on creative photography tricks for a photographer to create impressive shots.
11 Best Ways to Develop Creativity in Your Photography
How do you take beautiful photos? Indeed, sometimes even technically perfect shots do not evoke emotions. Why do some photographers have their vision while others do not? Here are the 10 best ways to develop creativity in your photography.
1. Repeat After Other Photographers
When children learn to speak, they first repeat simple words after adults, then put them into phrases. Language is based on the repetition of constructions and symbols. Creativity also works through repetition. Just as it is impossible to speak the language of Hebrew overnight, so it is impossible to create a masterpiece with zero knowledge. It is important to repeat and feel many times what has been done before us. This is how scientific progress works; this is how even evolution works.
Photography is a visual language of self-expression.
By the way, not in all cultures, creativity means creating something new. In Japan, for example, art is an excellent skill in one area or another.
Some people think that “everything has already been filmed before me, so I won’t even take it.” This is a disastrous approach. The opinion is imposed on us that art is always about something unique. But sometimes, the one who has put together well-known elements in the best proportions gets recognition. Don’t be afraid to repeat stories, ideas, compositions, and photography approaches after the photographers who inspire you.
When a person uses his analytical and emotional abilities, creativity interprets what he saw, realized, experienced before. You will have to copy a lot; your approaches will develop over time.
2. Inspection and Cultural Experience Are What Distinguishes A True Photographer
So, creativity is what our brain saw earlier, comprehended, and repeated in its interpretation. And to have a guideline, you need to form the observation consciously. Suppose your cultural outlook is limited to workdays, TV shows, and memes from social networks. In that case, you are unlikely to become a good photographer (even if you thoroughly master the shooting technique). Have you ever seen a photo with a bride on her palm or a girl “holding” the setting sun in her hands? Banality? And for some people without cultural baggage and with minimal oversight – a real creative revelation.
We are fortunate because, through the Internet, we have access to all the knowledge of the world. It would help if you didn’t waste this opportunity on watching low-quality jokes and fake news. Go to gallery sites, view artists’ work and recognized masters of photography, get acquainted with the peculiarities of the style and approaches to shooting.
Visit the Photo Galleries, the Museums, the old photographer’s works. It is especially evident in the results of the old photography masters that they masterly combined the techniques of working with plot, composition, and material known to them. And the novelty was obtained as if by itself, evolutionarily.
Don’t forget about the movies. There are tons of incredible films, and even TV shows that a photographer needs to watch. The so-called “cinema is not for everyone.” The authors put in these films a little more than the layman can understand.
When building up cultural experience, there is no need to divide works into “like/dislike”. Many people, for example, do not like K. Malevich’s “Black Square“, but it is imperative to know about the painting and what happened to the fine arts at the beginning of the twentieth century. It is better to decide how you will react to this or that work after acquaintance with it. The technique “I have not read, but I condemn” does not work.
Try to evaluate films not only through the prism of the plot. Pay attention to working with composition, lighting, colors, stage setting, how the author sets the mood. Often filmmakers pay more attention to this than the story itself, which may not exist if it is not needed.
An excellent place to “build up” the view is the Nikon website. Collected here are the works of the brand’s ambassadors. They are all world-class professionals. The photographs are accompanied by the author’s stories about the shooting, which is no less valuable.
3. Create Collections of Photos for Inspiration
Save the images you like, study them, see how they were made, get inspired. Putting together a bunch of the shots you are targeting is a great approach. If the photographer grows, the gallery will replenish, and something, perhaps, will disappear from it (and this is also part of the way).
Another technique is to create a mood board for a particular shoot. Let’s say you need to conduct a creative photo session with a model. It is not enough to discuss the image and location with that. Most likely, you will have a different idea of what should turn out. It is beneficial to compile a selection of photographs close to your vision in mood, plot, composition, poses, the model’s image, and color schemes.
This approach will allow you to understand the result you are working on and synchronize this understanding with all participants in the shoot. Experienced models are often asked to send references, that is, to show examples of what the photographer wants to get. The presence of references becomes a specific guarantee of the success of the shooting for the model.
Travel photographers, urbanists, landscape painters will find it helpful to compile selections with locations. Perhaps even your hometown is wealthy in places to get great shots. I also keep a table where I add locations for filming and their main parameters (examples of photos, routes) not to lose anything.
Today, any social network allows you to create collections of pictures. But there is also a more convenient service. Pinterest is a kind of social network for working with saved images. There you can create your galleries, think over their structure, and get inspired. Make it a rule to save at least one picture every day, and soon the collection will become a veritable encyclopedia of your visual interests.
4. Travel, Visit New Places
Good shots will not fly through the window; the courier will not bring them. You will have to follow them yourself. And for inspiration, the brain needs new information. Watching films provides a cultural experience but not an incentive to create beautiful portraits. The stimulus arises when there is a shake. So, deviate from your usual routes, explore your surroundings at home, travel. There is always a way to see something new.
Travelling is essential even for studio photographers. Take a walk in a new place, come to the studio, and see that shooting is easier, ideas appear. I have a photographer friend who shoots commercials in a studio. And at the first opportunity, he breaks off into travel, moreover, rather extreme ones, to recharge with emotions for new masterpieces.
5. Consciously Shape Your Social Media Feed
It is essential to put your brain on a diet of good photographs, paintings, films. Therefore, it would be nice to unsubscribe from all the acquaintances who post their everyday pictures on the social network like “me and my children” and “my cat is sleeping.” We do the same with local photographers and the public, such as “the best photographers of the New York region.” After watching this content, you will start filming similarly.
Sometimes a photographer forms an information bubble in social networks with mediocre landmarks and authorities and therefore does not develop professionally. He does not see outstanding photographs.
However, it would help if you didn’t unsubscribe from all your relatives. Social networks shape the news feed based on our preferences, so follow what you watch and like: shape your media environment to grow. Let it be genuinely talented photographers, publics about classic photography and cinematography, pages of exciting people who create beautiful content.
6. Don’t Be Technical About Your Shot
Photography, like any creativity, defies technical measurement. And yet, many try to assemble the frame as if following the instructions, like a constructor. Having studied the rules of composition, they try to abide by them strictly. But a good shot is not perfectly exposed and not one that is neatly composed according to the rule of thirds. And a portrait is not good when the sharpness is strictly in the eye. The main thing is creativity.
There is no absolute in photography. The language of photography changes like the language we speak. And even in different countries, it is different. That is true; any rule can be violated. Heard the idea that “to break the rules, you have to learn them”? It is not always so. If you don’t know how the golden triangle rule works, don’t change anything. So, it is unnecessary to adhere to the rules strictly; they can and should be broken. And the already mentioned observation and visual experience will help to do this harmoniously.
There are laws of perception based on anthropology. They always work. So, it is worth, for example, getting acquainted with the theory of color with such elements as rhythm, balance, with how objects with different geometries are perceived in the frame.
Many rules describe only the geometric construction of the frame (the Fibonacci spiral, the rule of golden spirals). But they do not consider the main thing: the peculiarities of the plot, texture, lighting. So, these are not rules but cheat sheets. Such recommendations always begin with the phrase: “To make the frame look better, place the subject in such and such a fragment.” They were invented in photography schools to explain to a beginner where to place an object easily. This rule does not mean that using, for example, the rule of thirds is terrible. But this is not a law but a cheat sheet to simplify the work with the composition.
Personal experience, observation, and cultural background will allow you to compose shots without using compositional rules. A simple answer to what story you want to tell in the frame will help you craft the image according to your story. It is the experience that is often lacking in the works of novice photographers.
7. You Are the Best Critic of Your Work
It is almost impossible to get good criticism in the modern world. On the Internet, I will praise your loved ones and scold “haters” who are simply looking for an excuse to throw out their negativity. Those who could disassemble your footage and give sensible recommendations will never do it for free in the comments because their time is valuable. There are paid courses, private tuition, etc. But this is not available to everyone and not always. How to be?
Develop a habit of being critical of your work. If you are delighted with the filming results, this is a wake-up call. The Dunning-Kruger effect is distinguished in psychology: a phenomenon when a person has just begun to understand a particular field but already considers himself an expert. No genuinely successful photographer is one hundred percent happy with his photos. He knows where the weaknesses are in his work and how to do better next time. Try to find flaws in your shots in time to be taken into account in further shooting.
8. Take Part in Photo Contests
To show yourself and see others, take part in a photo competition. These contests are a way to create specific goals and objectives, which is essential in creative photography, an excuse to analyze and choose strong shots. Do not be offended by the results that are not in your favor. In any case, this is an excellent creative and emotional experience.
Get started with regular photo contests and annual awards. The peculiarity of the latter is that you can see the rating of your work in real-time and compare the pictures of the participants. There is also an international competition from Nikon, held since 1969 – Nikon Photo Contest. Current contests are easy to find on the Internet. And if you join the photographic get-together, announcements will constantly appear in the news feed.
9. Focus on Your Direction of Photography
I work next to a photography store, and I know that newbies are most often interested in the most versatile technique “to shoot everything.” But advanced photographers know exactly what interests them.
It is permissible to spray on everything only at the beginning of the creative path. If you shoot a portrait, landscape, reportage, macro, stars, and something else, you are unlikely to reach serious heights in any genre. Try to concentrate on as few directions as possible. Preferably on one. So, you can delve into the topic, develop without being distracted by the secondary.
10. Choose the Optimal Set of Equipment
There is nothing wrong with collecting photographic equipment; this is also a hobby. But if our goal is beautiful shots, an excessive set of techniques will not help but hinder. It turns out that an artistic portrait on the street can be shot without pulsed light, and a dozen lenses will not be helpful on a trip (while you juggle them, the plots will scatter, you will not even notice them).
To optimize a set of equipment, you need to decide on the tasks (more on this below). Work with minimal means. For example, to shoot a landscape, you need a tripod and light filters. Track which equipment you use most often and leave the rest at home.
11. Choose Your Direction in Photography
Shoot something that makes your eyes burn. I often see this light in students, which signifies that they are doing the right thing. Are you interested in extreme sports? This is a reason to try yourself in such as sports photography. Do you like to travel? Then strengthen your travel photography skills.
Do you like communication? Become a portrait photographer. Do you like beautiful clothes, unusual looks? Take a closer look at fashion photography. Finding a topic that interests you is the key to staying focused on photography.
Try to see more in your chosen subject than others. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. Everywhere has its aesthetics, depth. The main thing is to feel it; this is the work of a photographer.
The development of photography skills and creativity is a process.
While reading the article, you thought that all this is boring because you already have an impeccable taste? A sure sign that the tips will be helpful for your photography prowess. The development of the photographer is a route without a finishing point. Each of us needs to improve in something. I’m not an exception. We can always learn, see, feel what will enhance our creativity.
10 Creative Photography Tricks for Taking Cool Photos
Photos have become dull and monotonous. Have you noticed? I often meet these in the vastness of the network. I want to bang the camera on his head and say: “Dear photographer, wake up!”
After all, there is much more to the world of photography. When I started developing my blog, I wanted to push the familiar boundaries and inspire me to experiment. What am I doing?
There is a lot of photography and one trick to make your picture more interesting, more attractive, and stand out from the gray mass. If this offends you, think about it: it means that you are hooked on the patient. And this patient must be treated.
1. Long Exposure
“Sci-Fi, commonplace. Everyone knows that” someone will say. And there is one “but” here: do you use it?
I do not work with a tripod; I always shoot handheld. I select the optimal exposure for the situation and lighting. Recently: a girl in a crowd sticks to the phone. The crowd is blurred at 1/4 shutter speed. And voila, a semantic load is formed, how life rushes by while we are immersed in gadgets.
2. Macro Photography
How much you can create with macro rings. I’m not saying you have to run out and buy a macro lens: rings are inexpensive and work well.
In the mirror, in the puddles, in the window. How many of them are around? Just have time to notice.
If the light permits, I always render several frames with shadows in a series. People are standing, doing something, and you are filming their shades. Beauty!
Imagine a beautiful sunset in all tones and the silhouette of two lovers looking at each other. There are two options: either take people completely black or slightly stretch the shadows and show them a little in post-processing. The main thing is not to overdo it. Be guided by the logic that against the light, they cannot be as bright as in the sun.
Here the field is not plowed. The entire range of lenses costs $428 (Amazon link); the drawing is unique and practices manual focusing.
These are “50mm f/1.8” and “10-18mm” Lenses.
Shooting through Glass – this is for someone who has enough imagination for that. Glass can be colored, convex, faceted: both the glare gives a beautiful, and the blur adds interesting.
They are everywhere: arches, windows, arms, fences, etc. If you turn your attention to looking for frames, you will notice them everywhere.
9. Multiple Exposure
This option is available in cameras; you can also use this technique in Photoshop.
10. Do What You Don’t Do
With this creative photography trick, I, perhaps, will end. If you are constantly shooting at 135mm and think this is the coolest thing you can do, screw up 35mm and shoot. Take 24 mm and walk only with it. If you only shoot children, take a portrait of a woman, a landscape, or a neighbor’s cat. Even returning to your usual photo-thinking, you will be filled with how great you are and how much you tried it.
I want you to look at your work from a different perspective, more critically and selectively. Are there any who you are, and are you proud?
These are all you can do for creativity in photography using creative photography tricks in your photography journey.