Conceptual Photography: Illustrate an idea

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Conceptual photography is a type of photography that does not have a process easy for its development, since for its realization you have to be very clear about the message you want to communicate, as well as all the elements to be used,

Conceptual photos are not instantaneous because they are captured after having the idea and having the essential elements. since photography revolves around a message. In this article you will learn what it is, how to develop a concept, theoretical as well as practical elements to make conceptual photographs.

What is Conceptual Photography?

Conceptual photography is one that seeks to convey an idea, in order to communicate a message to the viewer, unlike street photography which are spontaneous photographs, conceptual photography is the opposite, you have to think about the message, plan the shot and know what feeling you want to generate on the viewers.

A conceptual photograph can be full of signs, meanings and small elements or details that have an important meaning within the image , that is why we have to be very observant of every detail, likewise when making conceptual photography we have to be very precise in the elements that we occupy.

Conceptual photography brings out the most creative in each photographer, since he has to know how to conceptualize and use levels of abstraction to be able to express your message.

Conceptual photography by Rebeca Saray

Start in Conceptual Photography

To start a conceptual project you must be anchored in a previously defined concept, which serves as a guide to develop the photographic creative process. This photographic style focuses on the photographer himself, since it is a work seen from the perspective of each one, it is very personal.

The great thing about photographers is that they manage to capture beauty that is not in plain sight. In the same way, conceptual photography is related to «Fine Art» , due to the similarities of its principles and criteria, since both categories seek to tell a story that allows it to be more than a photograph .

How to develop a concept


Inspiration can come from everywhere, audibly or visually, while listening to music a single phrase of the song triggers a great idea, or by watching a movie an interesting idea may come up. There are those who use poetry because in it I usually use a lot of rhetoric, metaphors and elements that can help put creativity to work.


The more information you have, the better you can develop your idea, for this you will have to carry out an investigation about the subject, objects or elements that you want to convey in your photograph.


They are what represents and identifies a concept or idea , they will allow you to better complement the message you want to communicate.

Make a moodboard

It will allow you to have visual references on the subject you are interested in portraying, they can serve many purposes but the main one is to organize inspiration around a project.

Make a sketch

A sketch of how you want to make your photograph will be very helpful, to have the first approach to the image, it will help you take into account everything you need, costumes, scenery, light and in this way you will be prepared and you will not be able to miss anything in your photography.

At production time

At the time of production, try to have all the elements of your sketch ready, such as technical aspects, types of objectives, framing, lighting, location, composition and models. To facilitate the editing stage and be more efficient.

Photo retouch

Photo retouching is a technique that allows you to obtain another modified image, either to achieve better quality or more realism, or to obtain a totally different composition that distorts reality. you can edit your photos easily with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.

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Equipment for Photography Conceptual

It will depend on which location you take your photographic sessions, whether in a studio or outdoors, to use the most optimal photographic tools and equipment.

Reflex or semi-automatic camera.


Laptop or laptop.

Having basic knowledge of photoshop or some editing program, you can watch the video if you want to learn about photo editing in photoshop.

Flash (ideally portable and wireless type).


Remote trigger.

Continuous light lights or soft light modifiers (Octobox, Deep octa)

However, remember that you should use equipment that you feel comfortable working with.

Conceptual photographers you should know

Krishna VR is a Mexican photographer and audiovisual artist, recognized worldwide for her self-portrait technique built with fine art style in which he creates characters and atmospheres expressing a personal situation and the world that he describes as metaphors in his work .

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Cristina Otero Pacual is a Spanish photographer, known for her conceptual self-portraits .

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Lídia Vives Rodrigo, is an award-winning artist Spanish audiovisual, specialized in fine art photography .

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Danny Bittencourt is a photographer and writer, who create series of records with powerful imaginative and suggestive loading.

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Erick Vicino is a dedicated conceptual photographer and visual artist to make professional photography through the eyes of the imagination for diverse clients of international stature.

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Rebeca Saray conceptual photographer, director and digital artist made in Spain, lover of art, science fiction, terror and fantasy,

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Examples of Photography Conceptual

The best conceptual photos are those that usually present a simple result for complex ideas. reflection on photography can lead us to understand that it goes far beyond the visual field.

Imagination is the key, here are some examples of conceptual photography to inspire you.

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Photo: Krishna VR

Perseverance, dedication and creativity will allow you to be successful, to take a quality photograph remember that it takes your time. Conceptual photography is a world entirely of concepts and symbols, which will allow you to create images that tell stories, as well as capture your own personal vision.

If you liked this article or are interested in this photographic approach, check out the courses at

Conceptual Photography: Illustrate an idea

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