What Is Creative Photography?

Creative photography is a wide open field for all people. Honestly speaking, there’s no straightforward definition of the term, as a good number of people think of a creative photo as something that’s both abstract and out of focus. Others simply think the term “creative” is just a fun way to praise an overall bad photo. But what would be the next best thing that can define creative photography for us? Some artists think of creative photography as something that contains extra elements which are used to improve the original version of the photo in a creative way.

If you noticed, that definition has two very important aspects which make a big difference between a creative photo and an everyday photo:

Extra Elements, which are mainly outside of the regular process of taking a photo, and have plenty of space for interpretation. Creative minds always include some simplistic kind of workflow in photos, and they can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. The main goal is to simply get only the best out of a single photo.

Intent, or the intentional use of extra elements. When taking photos, photographers always lack that extra creativity. This is why getting good camera exposure will never make a photo look or feel creative. But the intentional underexposing with a goal of getting a darker image does add an extra touch of creativity.

When capturing a well exposed image of anything, no artist will consider it as a creative sample. If you’re asking yourself why, you should know that it’s because nothing outside of your normal photography workflow was used to take the image. As good as your location, lighting, timing, and all other real life factors are, you just can’t bring out the colors and other details of an image without good post-processing skills.

Once you compare a non-stylized photo with something taken under harsh light, a shallow depth of field (DOF), and the rule of the thirds, you can create an image that will get your audience to dream about whatever your image showcases. With that approach to photography, not all artists will admit that your work has a creative touch, but when you take the definition highlighted above, the extra elements and the intent can be nature itself.

Of course people will always differentiate creative and non-creative photography, but just like art, there is no pattern that will direct you in any way whatsoever. There’s no definitive answer to what makes a photographer creative, because unlike the technical side of photography, which has a clearly defined workflow, the creative part doesn’t have it. That’s the more challenging and exciting part in creative photography, and that is also why people think of learning photography as something they spend their whole lives on. Even though you can grasp knowledge of the technical side of photography, it’s the creative side that will demand you to always look for new ways of accomplishing your goals.

The unfortunate thing is that almost nobody can ever give you a straightforward workflow on creativity. The only two things you can work on are careful observation and thinking outside of the box. These two methods are absolutely mandatory for capturing creative photos.

The best practices for capturing an image ready for a creative touch include improving the frame’s composition by removing all elements around it that are distracting to the eye (such as trees or buildings). The end result will, of course, look dull and boring, even though there are no technical errors on the image. It can take as little as a sea wave to make a picture look stunning, and it’s a completely natural occurrence.

Elvis Photography Book – A Review

Elvis Presley the King of Rock and Roll, what more can we say, he captured a generation, and embodied the spirit of America through his music. Still, it was the image that we hold on to as well.

There are still annual Elvis Impersonation contests every year across the nation, where the best of the best then go to Las Vegas to compete. No, none of these people are the King, and yet, they take us back to a time when life was much different, don’t they?

What if I told you of a book that could take you back in time to the days when the King of Rock and Roll lived with energy and essence? There is such a book you know, one I’ve certainly come to love over the years. It still sits on my shelves today. The book is:

“Elvis – A Celebration in Pictures” by Time Life Books; Editor Charles Hirshberg. Time Inc. Warner Books, New York, NY, 1995.

You will be utterly amazed at the pictures of Elvis in his youth, who looked like just an average teen ager, then you will see the transition into a young stud that put all his female followers in a deep love trance. As this book takes you throw the best years and the toughest ones of his life, you will feel as if you were there, with him every step of the way.

This book brings him alive again, and if you do not have a copy of this book for your library at home, buy one. It will bring back the memories of one of America’s greatest eras, through undoubtedly one of its greatest icons; Elvis, he lives on!

Photography For Profit

There are ways for an amateur photographer to get recognition and financial reward and that’s by selling photographs. Publications are always in the market for appropriate photographs, colour or black and white. The major national and international magazines usually pay the best rates for pictures. But they are the most difficult to sell because you have competition from staff photographers and professional free-lancers who are hired on a regular basis.

Fortunately, many regional, specialty, and company magazines, as well as area newspapers, are glad to have colour transparencies or prints, or black and white prints submitted for publication. Payment can range from only a photo credit line mentioning your name to a check for hundreds of dollars. Contact the publications and ask for a copy of their guidelines for submitting photographs.

The most valuable source for finding publications that buy photographs is Photographer’s Market, a book that is updated and published annually by Writer’s Digest Books. It describes hundreds of publications, including their addresses and telephone numbers, the types of pictures they use, rates of pay and the name of the photo editor or art director to whom you should submit your photos. Copies of this exceptional photo market guide are available at libraries and bookstores. Be certain to use only the current year’s edition, because publications frequently change their picture requirements.

Pictures bought for advertising rather than editorial use pay the most money. However, use of a photo in an advertisement requires model releases signed by all recognizable persons. These releases give the photographer permission to use the photograph and help avoid any subsequent lawsuits by persons in the picture. Advertisers may also require property release if a building or other identifiable property is prominent in the picture. Standard release forms are sold at many camera stores; carry some in your camera bag in case you come across a subject you think might eventually be sold to an advertiser.

One of the best publications with down to earth advice is the ASMP Professional Business Practices in Photography, 6th edition, published by the American Society of Media Photographers, Inc.. Copies are available at some bookstores and camera stores or directly from ASMP.

If you are thinking about becoming a professional photographer, it’s also worthwhile to read magazines published for the pros and their special interests. Among them is the newsy Photo District news, which covers everything from stock and advertising photography to digital imaging. It’s available by subscription and is also sold by some camera stores, bookstores and newsstands.

One way to start on the road to a photographic career is to take informal portraits of friends and other people. You can improve your camera skills while making enough money to cover the cost of film and prints. However, until you achieve a state of proficiency and confidence in your work, be careful that your subjects don’t expect a more professional result than you can deliver.

Whenever money is involved, make certain your subjects know how much you will charge them for photographs. And be sure that they understand you expect payment upon delivery of the pictures. Although people are always anxious to see the finished prints, once the photographs are in their hands they often are in no hurry to pay you; let them know you expect to be paid immediately.

Many times recognition and payment act as stimulants toward making you a photographer. Well-known photographer Philippe Halsman, whose portraits were featured on more than 100 Life magazine covers, put it this way, “I drifted into photography like one drifts into prostitution. First I did it to please myself, then I did it to please my friends and eventually I did it for money”.

Regardless of your specific interest or goals, the more you photograph, the more your photographs will improve. Start making photographs, then keep making better photographs. And most of all, enjoy your photography.