One of my favorite sorts of photography is conceptual photography. As opposed to pictures with a pretty body and a pretty face and lovely composition and soft light, I love photographs that tell a story. As much as I love writing poetry and short stories, I also love portraying something without words. When not a single word needs be spoken, and everything in the story is displayed and explained and revealed right there within a small frame, I’ve created a masterpiece. And sometimes, I don’t even know what concept I am illustrating. Sometimes I do. I hope to photograph many more concepts. I have ideas for emotionally dark conditions such as anorexia, depression, and anger. As well as a music-themed shoot, very Ansel-Elgort-ish. And a shoot filled with rainbows. And a shoot with paint running down the face. I have so much yet to do.
1. Levitation Self Portraits
I think self portraits are too much work because of all the running back and forth and trying to get into position within ten seconds, but I see so many Instagram accounts of people who have made masterpieces out of their self portraits. And it’s convenient! When I don’t have a model available, or the model isn’t willing to try my quirky ideas, I need to be my own model. My brother helped me out with these pictures. He held the roses in place or held my chair as I tipped it back. And I think the final results are adorable!
Again, my brother helped me out with these. He held the items in place while I positioned my hands.
3. Lego Lifestyle Scenes
This was the challenge in a Facebook group that I was in. The group was created to give weekly challenges to the members, so that we could grow in photography and try new things. We were assigned lifestyle scenes with Legos, and these are the fun things I came up with. Really, they make no sense at all, but they’re cute, right? My favorite is the one of the two Legos harvesting cinnamon rolls from a cinnamon roll mine. As for the picture of the Legos in a tree, you have no idea how many times I set them up so they wouldn’t fall over!
4. Emotionally Dark Photography with Johny
I think this was the most successful shoot out of all my shoots ever. Johny has been my model for quite a few shoots, and he knows what he’s doing on that side of the camera. Without trying, really. He played the right songs from his phone, that he knew would allow him to feel emotional, and therefore look emotional. Plus, the locations were a little eerie, as if they had stories of their own to tell.
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5. Eva and Christmas lights
Oh man, don’t ask Eva for the story of how hard I tried to find her house. It’s terrible. I couldn’t get there until she came to meet me halfway, and I could hardly find my way home either. But once we arrived there, we plugged in the pretty Christmas lights into the car I drove and stretched it out and took pictures on her wide, green lawn. The lights are so pretty.
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6. Eva in the water
I thought my pool was clean, but it turned out it was green and slimy all throughout. A day before the photo shoot, I texted my friend who was out of town to ask her if I could use her pool. She said I could, and Eva and I took turns slowly edging our way into the cold water and modeling bravely.
7. Jessica and Alfredo
The location they chose was so lovely, with all the textures and leading lines, and the sky was a perfect overcast grey, and they were dressed so nicely, and they were so cute and candid… this photo session was a perfect success in the end. We used a lot less time than we thought we would, because so many shots came out perfectly.
8. Dollhouse by Melanie Martinez
I got the brilliant idea to turn songs into photographs. I started with the song Dollhouse by Melanie Martinez and used the lyric “Mom, please wake up/Dad’s with a slut.”
I guess that’s one place that I’ve learned to find creativity–music. I like to listen to lyrics and plan how I might change the lyrics of the song into a photograph. I’ve got plans for multiple songs by Melanie Martinez, for Intro by NF, for Honey Magnolia by Brian Fallon, and for songs by Twenty One Pilots. But so far I’ve only taken pictures for Dollhouse.
9. The Spirit of Rock & Roll
We drove out to a secluded hill beside the road that goes around town instead of through it, and there we set up the benches and small tables needed for the ghost photograph. Beside the road and in front of the city lights, we plugged in the Christmas lights and took pictures of those.
I hope you enjoyed these photos! I thoroughly loved taking them and editing them, and I believe I have the best job ever. If, within these photos where I couldn’t find a concept, you find a concept that’s been illustrated without my realizing it, comment and tell me what it is! I’d love to see something that you find. Also… do you want a tutorial on how I created these photographs?