The big screen! With so many people watching your images, make sure you get all the lasting attention!
As photographers and basically any creative mind out there, we all need a little inspiration and a pool of ideas to extract from when we're in need of creating something new and fresh. Personally I love to get my ideas from everything and anywhere but when I'm looking for a particular style or mood, I always turn to the motion picture. I remember when writing up lyrics for music I would research IMBD and find movies that would fit the idea and mood I was looking to express in my song just to create depth in my writing. Films have all the elements of visual and audio put together and the amount of work it takes to pull it off is quite extraordinary once you look into the production of a movie. They way I see it, it's millions of images being shown in the span of an hour and a half. Believe me your brain will have enough information to get the gist of the vision your aiming to create!
Your Film In A Photograph
As movies have the luxury of creating a story in a much longer period of time, the challenge of the photographer is to condense that story into a split second. So hooking your viewer and intriguing them at first glance is very important. Basically all the elements of a great story telling have to be present. I've never been the type to use just one single photo but having your main one as the image that ties it all together can be the icing on the cake. Multiple images for a photo shoot create the foundation for the main image you want to show. Even if photography uses static images "technically", creating the illusion of movement changes the perception of the one looking at your album. Create the essential building blocks and let your audience fill in the blanks. In that way, they become part of your art. Making it a unique experience for each person.
So many films, so many stories each in their unique way. Stories are often repeated but the way they are told is what makes it original.
When watching films, look at the elements that give off the mood that is being attained. Study the light and the tone of color. From shot to shot scene to scene, things can change dramatically. Creating a feeling for the viewer that fits the story makes the audience curious to know more.
All Films Have A Theme - What's Yours?
This should be the first thing you figure out as you brainstorm your vision. There are so many themes in film you can't ever run out of one to use. Be it something as general as love, hate, man vs nature, the individual vs society or man vs himself. Create an overall theme that will wrap around your photograph. It that way, it creates dimension and context for you to fine tune as the work progresses. Film genres are an easy way to find a theme that your looking for. Generally they make it easier to put themes into context. Like romance flicks or crime movies. Each category of film has a general look and feel that can be easy to gravitate to when in the brainstorming process.
Here's a link to a post on literature themes, yes going even deeper than films! Going straight to the source of where films derived from in the first place.
Color and light give depth to your main subject. A little fix here or there can go a long way
As you've probably seen in wedding photography, the general theme is based on the union of man and woman coming together in love. But you always have your have your main characters the bride and groom and then all the other supporting characters like the maid of honor and best man. Then all the other characters like the family, mother and father to tie it all up together. Films have a constant formula of setting the pace of all the main roles that will be in the picture.
Your job as the photographer is to create focus on whoever are the main characters in your image. Everything else should support them and create clarity for your vision. Be it the ring, the bouquet of flowers or the family in the background. Whatever can describe your main subject better, use it! You've only got images to work with so every little bit helps.
When coming up with creative shoots I love to use this site for finding ideas of characters to create for solidifying an idea.
Alright, I know this might seems like a lot to take into consideration when creating a unique shoot but it makes all the difference when coming up with images that will stand out from the rest. As they say, the more you put in the more you get out so taking the time to get all the ideas in order will greatly show in your work.
So many elements are present in making a great film. From the characters to the setting, the theme to the color and lighting. All of it comes together to create a complete story.
Of course you can't be to rigid and zero in only on your conceived plan but having a road map to your ideas will help organize the constant bubbling of ideas we have as artists. Understanding the fundamental building blocks to story telling from other mediums will give you a better scope and ability to create and realize the visions in your mind. So take the time to watch a film and analyze what you see. Be it lighting, color or the story and characters. Write down some notes and get creative!