Sometimes I like to Google questions I already know the answer to because I like to see how other people define things. It’s weird, I know. I’m kind of a quirky gal. Today I happened to search for concept photography. Concept photography is dear to me. It makes my creative heart sing and that is why I specialize in it. If I could shoot nothing but concept sessions for the rest of my photographer days, I’d probably be the happiest photographer on the planet. A few of my photographer friends have been mentioning to me lately that they’ve noticed that people don’t really know what it means when they hear “concept photography” and when I searched, I couldn’t find any blog posts or articles where it had been defined for consumers. That is a problem for a photographer specializing in this niche! So, it’s time to educate! I’m going to tell you my definition of concept photography, how it relates to children, where I draw my inspiration, and what my process is.
Concept sessions stand out from a typical photo session in a big way in that a lot more planning is involved. Concept photography is similar to editorial photography in that it is usually planned out to the very simplest detail. Everything matters and nothing is overlooked. Concept photography tells a story or sends a message and is more than just simply capturing a memory or showing a subject’s personality (although, I make sure that happens in my concept sessions, I am speaking generally here). The point of concept photography goes deeper than that and is even further into the realm of art. I believe it is different for every photographer and that there are levels of concepts (as in how realistic you want it to be or how much you want to draw the viewer into the photo). For me, I aim for as much realism as possible even when I am shooting unrealistic things. My goal is always to create photos that make people (particularly my clients) want to crawl in them and live inside them forever. I have a theatre background, which is probably the heaviest part of my inspiration and why I am a concept photographer. I love to create visually striking photos with elaborate costumes and sometimes props. Usually, I am inspired by a play, idea, song, folk tale, piece of literature, etc. and that idea begins to grow in my mind until a single image forms and that is what I begin to gather my props and costumes from and what I stage my set around. It almost never is what I originally envisioned as it always evolves as I am creating. My passion is taking these wonderful pieces of culture (which are usually thought of as intended for adult consumption) and shrinking them down into child size form. There is something fascinating and ever-whimsical about the innocence of children that translates so beautifully into this genre. When a client books me, the first thing I do is have them fill out a questionnaire that I have created specifically for my creative process. It has both practical and off the wall questions that help get both of our creative juices flowing so that we can begin to plan all the crazy details. After the questionnaire is completed, I usually have at least a vague idea of where I might want to take the session, which is usually enough to draw even the most “uncreative” client in and get them involved so it is truly a unique and custom experience. I never shoot the same thing twice!
As much as the work of other artists – from eras both past and present – inspire me, my deepest inspiration comes from those that I photograph. Sure, every now and then I get a crazy awesome idea and execute it on my own (I’m in the middle of a couple of those right now and I am so super excited to share them once they are complete!); however, every family has a different story and a different personality. Every person has something new and interesting to share with the world – yes, even YOU! My job is to dig deep and find what that is and then show it off in a way that makes your heart sing… remember, I’m here to create photos that you want to crawl inside and live in forever! Concept photography is such a unique and fun experience. It’s true that it isn’t for everyone. I am not the photographer for you if you are looking for traditional posed studio work, but if you are looking for something that makes your family stand out, that you are proud to hang on your walls, and that makes you swoon and remember that wonderful day every time you look at it, then I AM the photographer for you! Why don’t you call me (253.655.7848) or email me today. Don’t wait until tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. Let’s chat today. I’ll buy you a coffee or some ice cream and we’ll get to know each other and plan a wonderful few hours of fun for your family that will result in some seriously stunning art when it is all said and done.