Article - Como Desarrollar Conceptos
This article has been translated into Indonesian by ~shukugumo Article - Bagaimana Mengembangan Konsep-Konsep-FaMz
Conceptualising - First Article
Before I begin I would like to say that this is my thought process and ways of conceptualising images and ideas. You do not have to follow everything I say as these are guidelines to help you along the way and many other artists will have different ways and ideologies. With more experience concepts are easier to execute.
WHAT DOES CONCEPTUAL MEAN?
Well basically it's about an idea(s), thought(s) or feeling(s). Resolving or portraying them from your creative mind as best as you can make it your concept. An idea is only powerful unless it is expressed well and unless you wish to express a message. Without meaning or feeling it is not a concept. So just taking a snapshot photograph does not make it a conceptual piece. It's when you put the concept to it that it becomes something more. The photo alone should speak for itself, even though it can sometimes be ambiguous. That's where you take that challenge to direct the message in the path that you would like it to go.
I will try my best to help you in ways to develop concepts and get rid of those artist blocks that we all encounter.
If you still don't understand what conceptual means fully, take a look at this ARTICLE for a clearer understanding. They are the definitions by some deviants.
BRAINSTORM AND DOCUMENT YOUR IDEAS
When coming up with concepts or if an idea just sparked, write it down! And even sketch it if you can. Think and brainstorm till no more ideas come, and note all your ideas down. It may be useful for another idea or even if a client asks you to create something that's nearly along the same thought process as yours. Before you jump into research, approach your idea from every angle possible, from a perspective you wouldn't ever consider trying. Then do some background research into what you plan to do. The reason I said research after is, so that your first ideas are not influenced by things that you will discover, this could limit your thought process. Your creative juices will become boosted; it'll help you develop your concept(s) even more. Maybe even give you another idea for creating a different piece. So do not discard it.
WHAT'S YOUR TIME OF DAY?
You must wonder what kind of question is this? Well it's not so freaky when you think about it. I am certain you get your ideas at one or maybe more times during the day. When you're waking up, going to sleep, doing the laundry, cooking, or even taking a shower, some ideas pop into your mind. Well if you know when those times are that you are most creative, take advantage of it. Keep a notebook with you and write those ideas down. Most likely if you don't, you may never get the same idea again or it might never come back the same.
ONE IDEA MAY NOT BE ENOUGH
Do not just rush into creating something because it's an idea it may not be your best...not just yet, take your time to develop it, look for alternatives. Sometimes better ideas come when you develop them, it helps you better understand it yourself.
WEIGH THE PROS AND CONS
Ask yourself these questions or rather, run the idea by someone who shares the same view point as you do if you are comfortable sharing it.
Will people get your message or will they interpret it as something else? Is there enough clarity?
What is it that you want to get out of it?
For people to stop and think?
For people to be disgusted but drop their jaw at the reality of your idea?
To influence someone positively? Or to just express a feeling or thought inside your mind?
Are you targeting the right audience?
KEEP AND OPEN MIND
There isn't only one way of creating something and all styles and mediums may not well execute the idea you have in your mind. If you are trying to portray anger you aren't going to use white or use a lady bug in your photograph. You would most likely use red or orange, you would use texture, and you would photograph clenched teeth or destruction. So think about how best you can use elements to create that umph to making your concept strong.
If an idea is about you, you don't necessarily have to make a self portrait but rather something that expresses you. If it is driving, take some element from driving. If it is about a passion you have for something then use colours, use bold shapes, take what you feel and throw it out, the exact words that come to your mind or the images you see, note that down, it could be the 'silliest' things that might just be enough to get your message across. It does not always have to be literal. What if you put a twist on it and look at it from a whole new perspective? Don't think too complex either. Remember Simplicity is more.
GO PHOTOGRAPH IT
Go over what you conceptualised, choose the best solution, even if it is a combination of more than one idea, if it'll get your concept across then work with it. Included in this would be your subject/object, how you choose to photograph it, colours you would use, would it be portraiture, landscape? A collage of elements in a location? Will it be bright, high key, low key? Will it be saturated, de-saturated? You plan all that out and then you go take the photograph. You should feel confident and learn how to plan, ideas flow better, they come better and time isn't wasted.
THE TITLE SAYS IT ALL
When you've finally got your concept out and think to yourself, this is it, this is what I want to say. Then post it, upload it and share it! But your title is as important as the photograph if it is going to accompany it. How you title it could change the whole impact and change the concept entirely. So also be selective of how you title your conceptual photographs. Choose the correct words; even if it takes you an hour...your title highlights the entire work process and message.
TALK ABOUT IT
Lastly say something about your piece, by now you must have tons of things you went through to get what you created. How was the discovery and conceptual development for you? You'll also want to give the viewers a little idea about what it means to you and why you chose to do it. I am confident your explanation would draw viewers in even more, but do not over write or over explain. Keep it brief, 100 or even 50 words minimum. If you think the image is enough to get your message across then don't say anything at all.
SOMETIMES IDEAS AREN'T ALWAYS SO PLANNED OUT
Yes I talked about planning but not all concepts are executed with so much thought like above as one might be on a spot where an idea just sparked and you jumped to go photograph it because many people do come up with ideas on the spot, I have. Coming up with ideas on the spot isn't always successful, meaning it might not get your message across clearly, or it might lack something. If you have been developing concepts for quite some time this would be for you, because you will know what works and what wouldn't work. If you are new to conceptual photography, take some time to develop your ideas. If you are out taking nature shots and you see something that would be great for a feeling or thought that you have, then by all means photograph it. Just make sure it's saying what you want it to say. Do not just look through old photos, title it and call it conceptual, conceptual photography is much more than that. The MESSAGE is the key.
So start thinking and conceptualising! I wanna see some Conceptual Photographs
- An article I wrote on improving critiques and tips to apply and consider when producing your work -- Spicy tips for critiques and your own works!
Conceptual Photography Journals by ~ahmedwkhan
Concepts + Execution = Conceptual stuff
How I did this? [Secrets revealed]
Conceptual Photography Articles by `Pete-B
What is Conceptual Photography?
More About Conceptual Photography
The Objects and Desires of Conceptual Photography
The Conceptual Body
If you wrote any journals relating to conceptual photography I would love to see them so I can add it to list