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!
julian oh — The Hunt For Blue September #1
Ronen Goldman — identity crisis
Ronen Goldman — MASTER MAGICIAN
Ronen Goldman — We are meant for each other
Ronen Goldman — “The Voyagers”
Ronen Goldman — The Day She Tried to live
Sarah Ann Loreth — sleepwalking
Rakib Hasan Sumon — Love Journey <3
Ade Santora — Butterfly Effect
Ade Santora — Blind with Anger
Heather Graves — Self Portrait- Pulled into faerieland.
Yane Naumoski — Day 302: Sinister days (#2) – Possessed
Yane Naumoski — Day 315: Sweet November
Yane Naumoski — Day 316: Cookie Thief
Yane Naumoski — Day 330: The Ultimate Selfie
Berit Alits — Dancer in the dark
Anh Tu Nguyen — The Lifeless Silhouette
Anh Tu Nguyen — Leaden Winged Burden
Arianna Ceccarelli — Buried by spider webs
Arianna Ceccarelli — Bipolarismo
Arianna Ceccarelli — Devil’s Night
AustinGartman — Marking the Days till Freedom
Alexandro Valcarcel — No Disguise
Alexandro Valcarcel — Invitation to Light
Silvia Ana Cabieses — is this art?