Developing a Concept for a Shoot

Posted by on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 in Fun Stuff

Developing a concept for a shoot is a multi level activity. First, you have to come up with the basic idea, the raw concept. This is usually the bare bones of an idea and not at all fully developed. For me, I frequently carry these raw beginnings of an idea around with me for years before they finally come to maturity. What I mean by that is, I draw my inspiration from life as it happens. We as human beings are blessed with the wonderful gift of ‘intuitive leap” in so much as we can put two and two together and easily comprehend the concept of four. That is precisely how my raw ideas get shaped and molded into fully mature concepts, but that takes time. The phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know until you know it” is profound in many ways but it just so happens to sum up my creative process.


The raw idea is the result of a spark of inspiration, usually just based on something ordinary that I have seen which my mind twist into some different shape (ideas can have shape can’t they,…. well with me they can). In fact, sometimes it happens to be something I have seen that triggers a thought about something else that is not even there. This is the first part of the creative process for me, and it comes pretty naturally to me. I have found, in talking with others, that it is not so easy for them. Please do not despair because I firmly believe this is a talent that you can develop over time. More about that in another post.


After the initial idea comes to me, like I said before, it usually just hangs out in the back of my mind. It is an interesting concept, most of the time, but sometimes it is just nonsense and ridiculous. I end up having to throw those ideas away (shoot, I hate wasting brain energy), but even the good ideas are not pretty, they are not polished like I said, they are raw. But the interesting and fun part of the process comes next and over time. In my day to day life, I see things that modify the raw concept a little or a lot sometimes. It may be something I see, it could be part of a conversation I have with someone, or it may well be just a stray thought that come to my mind in the quiet hours of the night. Wherever it comes from, it enriches the raw concept and allows me to get that much closer to a “good idea for a concept shoot”


What I have just described is, in fact, the “First” fun part of the process….. Well to me, it is all fun but some parts of the process are more work than others. The next phase is to scout the location for the shoot. I will get into that in my next post.

or are just so photogenic it is unreal. Please understand that photogenic, to me, doesn’t mean super model, it only means someone that is just naturally comfortable with themselves. That comfort, that is photogenic. I have had several who have been receptive to posing for a photo shoot. They are not like the professional model, they need lots of direction and coaching, only because they are not professional and haven’t done much of this kind of thing before. It is that challenge, the fact that I am getting someone out of their comfort zone but making the be relaxed enough to seem like they are comfortable. That is fun, a lot of work that is piled on top of all of them labor it takes to actually do a photo shoot.


I find joy in the smallest things, the smallest events and the smallest objects.

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