In one of my workshops for Canon, one attendee asked a question on how to keep on coming up with new ideas for fashion editorial shoot. It was a difficult question to answer but somebody asked me the same question last year and after that I really tried to put my head on it and try to map my sources of inspiration and how my thought process works. I came up with not only one but many sources.
My wife would sometimes complain that when I’m watching a movie, I’m always more interested on how the scene was lighted more than understanding the story of the movie. In my case, I take inspiration from anything that interest me. This can be a scene from a movie, a shot by another photographer, a page from a magazine or any prints, personal experiences and just about anything that I experience day in and out.
What I normally retain when I find something interesting is how the light was created and what made the scene interesting. In every second that you’re awake, you witness how the light is wrapping your environment, at some point it becomes interesting may it be a landscape, street, a beautiful woman, structure or just about anything.
The moment I see something interesting, I try to understand where the light is coming from and how did it end up there. How many light sources is lighting the scene? What makes it beautiful and how the light was modified by the natural elements found in the scene. I find it very fulfilling and interesting when analyzing the characteristics of light.
All of those experiences, I try to recreate it as near as possible to the actual experience. Recreating the light closer to reality allows the viewer to relate to the scene. The more detailed you observe your personal experiences, the more you can recreate it looking more natural.
In cases when you’re creatively dry, and no matter how you squeeze your imagination to create visions, there’s just nothing, I recycle. When you’ve made countless of concepts already, dig deep into your past concepts and recycle the idea. Add a bit of twist to the original idea and you’re out from the pit.
More importantly, you’re creative team is also a source of concepts. Allowing your makeup artist, stylist or any of your creative team member to contribute adds more head to the creative process. Encourage your team member to suggest or ask them what they think. Putting value on their opinion creates encouragement.
However you plan to find your sources of inspiration, one thing you should do when trying to expanding your creative mind, one must put their imaginations to test and practice as much as you can.
Keep on shooting everyone! www.albertpedrosa.com
Text and photos by Albert Pedrosa