Being creative with photos or video can be a challenge. Many of us have the technical skill we need, or a least understand how to use photo and video equipment, but we stumble when it comes time to create unique compositions. Although there is no single answer as to what inspires us to be inventive, the following steps may help you in your quest.
- You are the only one who sees things the way you do – your own viewpoint is what will make your photos and video interesting. You don't have to look for the most interesting scene on the planet. You just need to find a different way of seeing the world around you.
- Travel. Or just walk through your own neighborhood. Pick up ideas. Keep a log of your travels and photos. If you think something is interesting, someone else is likely to think so as well.
- Learn to brainstorm. Write all of your ideas down as they come to you. Most importantly, do NOT try to edit these ideas or toss any away as “no good” - yet. Later on you will choose your best few ideas out of the “library” you are producing from your thoughts.
- The only thing that either a photo camera or video camera “sees” is light. If you are recording or snapping shots outside, then observe how the light plays on a scene or subject. If you are shooting inside or in a studio, you have more control. Imagine “painting” your subject matter with light.
- Look at other photographer's works. You are not trying to copy a style. You are trying to understand how the photographer/videographer sees his or her world.
- You are introducing your viewer to your world and the way you see it, all through the lens of your camera. Pick a different angle, stand in an unusual place, zoom in or out, find an unexpected view, pan across a scene. One direction that people often forget to look is “up.” Look in places you have not looked before. If you are outside, wait for the light to change, and take photos at a different times of the day.
- Especially if you are shooting video, think of everything that you are shooting as raw material. Don't try to edit with the camera. Spend as much time as you can, with what time you have. Gather as much material as you can, with the most variety possible.
- So, finally, you now have a large amount of material that your creative mind has produced. It's time to put it together. Use the same creative process that you started above when editing your work. If you have photos, try cropping, color correcting, darkening, lightening, changing the tone or adjusting color in whatever editing program you have. If you have video footage, run through what you have and create a log of what you think is usable. Spend some time brainstorming ways to edit the footage together.
- Time to finish! Pick out the best of the work you have done, mount or otherwise share your photos. Finalize your video. Add intros and outros to the video if you like.
Good luck with your resulting photo and video adventures. If you are looking for more advanced, professional talent, BIC Media Labs would be happy to assist you.