Taking photos of the same subject over and over again sounds tiring. It seems hardly doable to make the shots interesting every time. But it’s not impossible.
In this video, Peter McKinnon shares some awesome advice how to take new, fresh and interesting photos without losing inspiration. It will certainly inspire you to take a new look on photographing the repetitive subjects. Even if the subject is always the same – your photos don’t have to be.
Can you imagine photographing decks of cards over and over again and making the photos interesting every time? Peter did this for full seven years (which is a really fun fact). Still, he managed to create good photos that have the theme and the story. He used all kinds of props and even photographed cards in water – depending on the deck model.
If you do photography for a living, it’s certainly in your interest to stand out and be recognizable. Even if you are only a hobbyist, if you make the efforts to create brilliant shots and make them unique, it’s a great satisfaction. Either way, you can benefit from the tips in Peter’s video. When you take photos and want to push your creativity to the limit, keep in mind the following:
1. Include context
When taking the shots, you need good light and right angles. But those are not the only thing to think about. Before you take the shots, think about the context. If it’s product photography, think about your subject: who will use it, what it does, what it evokes. Think about the target group, the price and maybe its alternative uses as well. Of course, this way of thinking applies to all other kinds of photography. Think of the story behind your subject, and even if there is none you know – you can invent it yourself.
2. Think about the process and different elements
The example is the most obvious in food photography, but again, you can apply it to any genre. If you have a bowl of salad, it doesn’t only need to be a well-lit bowl of salad from different angles. You should think of the process of making and include different elements into the photo series. Take photos of the preparation process and the ingredients used to make the salad. When it’s finished, place it in an interesting bowl, plate or even glass. Take close-up photos, or arrange the food that goes with the salad and capture the whole meal. Use interesting props and backdrops. Ultimately, you can even take photos of the dish where the salad used to be. The kitchen is the playground for those who love to cook, and it can also be your playground with the camera and lots of imagination.
Also, you can use different lenses and switch between digital and film cameras. Depending on the subject of your shots, you can use a drone. This way, you can take a bunch of different photos of the same subject or the same location and make them everything but dull.
3. Go beyond the usual
There are clichés for every type of photography. Here, Peter gives an example of wedding photography. I bet you’ve seen tons of similar photos in this genre, right? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid clichés and make wedding photos unique.
Peter gives a great suggestion for taking wedding photography to a new level. If the couple is having their wedding bands custom made, you can ask who makes them and photograph the process of making. It takes some extra effort, but this kind of effort is what makes you stand out and what makes people want to hire you. Here too, you should use your imagination, but also: be daring and don’t be lazy.
Photographing the same subject can be tiring and make you feel stuck, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be like this. So, if you feel stuck, think of that as a challenge, not a limitation. Think differently, be brave and hard working – and you’ll make tons of stunning photos even with the same subject every time.
[Stop taking the same boring photos! Shooting & thinking differently. | Peter McKinnon]