“A picture is worth a thousand words”, right? This is especially true in Conceptual Photography, where the photographer attempts to write an entire story in your mind using one single image.
So, what exactly is Conceptual Photography?
This type of fine-art photography is an abstract way of staging and capturing a photo to convey a preconceived message. The result is a symbolic image that is not a direct example of the concept, but a general expression of it.
The idea behind the image might be emotional, societal, or comical. It doesn’t necessarily matter what the concept itself is; what matters is that the full story is told using creative imagery.
This isn’t just one “click” of the shutter.
Conceptual photography involves mental preparation. To be done correctly, you must fully understand your message. Who is your audience? What are you trying to convey to them? How do you want them to react?
Once you’ve honed-in on the message, decisions need to be made about aesthetics. What kind of lighting should be used? Do you need any props or models? What angle should you work from?
Okay. So how about an example…
The Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce contracted us to produce the cover for their Spring 2018 issue of Business magazine. Art Director, Joe Weidert, worked with the magazine to develop a concept that would symbolize their cover story, Tax Reform.
They envisioned the primary focus of the cover to be the word “TAX” made out of stone. As a way of saying “out with the old, in with the new”, a sculptor’s hands would chisel away at the rock letters, revealing a shiny surface beneath.
Using CGI technology, we modeled the word “TAX” in big bold letters. A rock texture and shiny chrome surface were selected, and the two were rendered onto the frame of the letters.
With a mallet and chisel in hand, we photographed a model (aka Photo Assistant & Grip, Kyle Dietzen) dressed as a sculptor. His hands and body were positioned to align with the angle of the letters.
Next stop: our in-house post-production team. Their retouching techniques combined the photo of the model with the CGI rendered word. A blue-sky background was dropped in and reflected in the shiny chrome of the letters.
And voila, we have ourselves a magazine cover!
Throughout the process, many tweaks and revisions were made as the original concept transformed into the final product. See the evolution for yourself: