Turning Ideas into Art: Beautiful Portraits by Isabella Mariana

If you’ve seen our list of 40 awesome conceptual photos, you might already be inspired to create your own conceptual photography. However, if you missed that post, here’s a single photographer whose work alone can inspire you.

Isabella Mariana is a Brazilian photographer who specializes in conceptual portraits. Her work is both beautiful and thought-provoking. Browsing through her portraits is like reimagining the world, person by person.

Cycles
Cycles

fly me anywhere
fly me anywhere

Typically, portrait photographers begin their creative process with a person’s identity, face or body. As a conceptual photographer, though, Isabella begins with an idea. She finds inspiration for ideas everywhere: movies, nature, books, feelings, illustrations, life stories… “Basically anything,” she says.

Once she has a clear concept in mind, she takes out a piece of paper and draws different ways she could represent that idea in a picture. She can’t always shoot the photo right away. As a result, she now has several notebooks full of tiny drawings to shoot one day.

If she can shoot the photo, she starts by choosing a model, exploring locations and making props. Only then does she finally go out for the shoot. Each photo shoot is like this–very planned. It’s rare for her to get ideas in the moment.

Photographers who like spontaneous shoots might not enjoy filling so many notebooks with plans, but for Isabella, idea notebooks are a great way to avoid creative blocks. Such a wealth of ideas is also what she likes most about photography. She loves the infinite number of possibilities, just waiting to be created. No matter who the model is, she can always imagine a story to tell.

Storm Collector
Storm Collector

Make Your Pain Something Beautiful
Make Your Pain Something Beautiful

Some of her images or “stories” are more special for her than others, but in the end, she doesn’t have a favorite. Her preferences change all the time. Still, at the moment, her “favorite” is “Make Your Pain Something Beautiful” because of the concept behind it.

“The harp represents the good and beautiful things we share with the world. (In my case, it’s my photography.) And that’s the only thing people are able to see. But nobody sees the arrow that is hurting us to do this ‘music’. The arrow can be our failures, pain, obstacles, things we gave up, etc.”

Sharing these “good and beautiful things” takes fearlessness, she believes. If she could go back in time, she would tell herself to have less fear as a photographer. “There will ALWAYS be people who will identify with your art, strange as it may seem.”

To see more of Isabella’s photography, visit her Flickr photostream, Facebook page, or Instagram account.

You are creating wings to fly away from your mind
You are creating wings to fly away from your mind

Finally Free
Finally Free

Weightless
Weightless

Reborn
Reborn

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Isabella Mariana ***

Secrets Revealed
Secrets Revealed

The Present of Statues
The Present of Statues

Losing Touch
Losing Touch

Searching Ideas
Searching Ideas

Hard to be Free
Hard to be Free

Bring your Imagination
Bring your Imagination

Lack of Inspiration
Lack of Inspiration

The Sea Storyteller
The Sea Storyteller

Magritting
Magritting

I’m not here
I'm not here

Swan Lake
Swan Lake

aurora

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