Art Photography for Beginners | Riley Joseph

Engage Art | Artist to Artist | March 28, 2022

There are so many different photography styles, but none focus on the emotions, the content, and the story of the image like art photography. Therefore, it takes more planning than just pointing and clicking the shutter.

The best images in art photography are thought-provoking and show off the photographer's creative side, offering them a chance to put a little of themselves in the picture. But no one is born with the innate skill and abilities needed to take the best shots; as with anything, you need to grasp the skills and have the right tools for the task at hand. Therefore, we've compiled a list to help you start and make your first steps into becoming an art photographer.

Finding inspiration

Photo by Ronald Cuyan on Unsplash

If you're struggling to come up with inspiration for your image, then it's very useful to look at other photographers. Naturally, we're not talking about replicating their creations, but there may be something in their style that piques your interest. How do you find them? Many of the best photographers have released books or will feature their images in exhibitions you can visit. Take notes on how they composed their shots, or consider if they've used blurred focus to good effect. Once you've found something you like, think about how you can change it to suit what you want to achieve in your image. It's a great starting point for any art photographer.


Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Of course, having good equipment is critical, but that doesn't just mean focusing on the camera itself; however, that's where we'll start. We would recommend a DLSR camera, like the Canon EOS 250D (Rebel SL3), Pentax K-70, and Nikon D7500, for their range of interchangeable lenses. Most importantly, their advanced sensors that can capture high-quality photos with exceptional color accuracy, making either camera a good fit for art photography. We would recommend one other piece of equipment, a tripod; they're important for any photographer. Having a good tripod like the FotoPro X-Go Max will help you take better images to allow you to use a remote shutter; you'll soon see they're so much more than just a piece of metal to put your camera on.


Photo by Djan MacAlister on Unsplash

If the focal point of your shot isn't clear to the viewer, they'll lose interest in your image within seconds. Having the main subject obvious is crucial, so it could be helpful to shoot using a plain color or neutral background to accentuate the foreground. If your subject is light in color, use a dark backdrop or vice versa. Using a slow shutter is a good way of creating movement in an image; it instantly stirs thought of speed, direction, and energy. Consider slowing down your shutter speed to 1/15th, ask your subject to move, then watch the image come alive.

Post Processing

Photo by Mylene Tremoyet on Unsplash

Remember, art photography is all about your vision, so you can use post-image processing to your advantage. You can add effects to make your image different from the composition by utilizing editing software. Using Photoshop, for example, and editing the levels and curves, you can tweak the tonal balance of your image or even change the overall hue of your shot to add dramatic effect. There are no conventions here; it's your image, in your style.

While these tips won't make you an expert, they will help you on your journey to becoming an art photographer. You need to do only one thing now: get out there and start taking pictures!

Written by Riley Joseph for Engage Art

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