Some genres like landscape photography are easy to identify. However, more abstract genres like conceptual photography can seem vague and even confusing, especially for beginners. What does a conceptual photo look like, exactly? And how can you know whether your photo fits that label?
Basically, you can call your photo “conceptual” if you’re using it to illustrate a specific idea. You’re not just capturing a beautiful or interesting scene. You’re trying to help people visualize a concept.
Although it’s possible to “discover” an idea after the shoot, conceptual photographers usually have ideas in mind before shooting. The challenge is to communicate those ideas successfully in practice. For example, the photographer might choose to use symbolism. Will viewers understand those symbols, though? If not, does that matter?
Below are some great examples of conceptual photography taken from our Flickr group. Their awesome work might inspire you to go out and shoot your own conceptual photos. If you do, be sure to submit your images to the group!