How to Develop a Portrait Concept

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A portrait concept is the start of your entire portrait process. If you want to develop a portrait that tells a story, it’s a good idea to think through your ideas before you show up to shoot.

Many of us start portraits by finding a person and a place, and then we get started by clicking the shutter. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, and I don’t mean to criticize anyone if this is what they enjoy.

Instead, I want to share some ideas for developing a portrait concept that tells a story and goes just a bit beyond a quick snap.

Your Imagination Fuels Your Portrait Concept

If we break down a portrait into the major elements, here’s how I see the workflow:

  • Concept
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Post Processing
  • Delivery

In the concept stage, let your imagination go. This isn’t the time to tell yourself what you can or can’t do. We’ll figure that out in the planning stage. For now, you’re creating ideas.

This is the time to pre-visualize the result you want to achieve. Don’t get too caught up in excessive details, though. This isn’t a final architectural blueprint for your photo. A portrait concept is just that – a concept. The details will flesh out later as you determine what you can achieve.

In this episode, we’ll discuss elements you want to consider in your portrait concept, how you can use inspiration and still have an original concept, and what your audience wants to see from your final photo.


Related Links

Why Photography is not Reality
How to Develop a Portrait Concept
How to Plan a Portrait Session
How to Execute a Portrait Session
How to Post Process Your Portrait

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