Tips for Composing and Taking Artistic Photos

Have you ever thought about taking photos as a form of art?

Artistic Photography a.k.a. Fine-Art Photography or Art Photography is a type of photography that presents photos as creative expressions of subjective ideas. Artistic photographers search for capturing the perfect image in terms of colors, contrast and brightness, framed in a perfect composition.

The main purpose of Artistic Photography is to awaken emotions in the viewer, feelings take shape in the framed images in the camera through the abstract look of the photographer. In this type of work, the photographer will go beyond the limits of the basic techniques, in a mix of knowledge, boldness and intuition.

How to Compose Artistic Photos

For the beginning of development in this area of photography, persistence is essential to arrive at an artistic essence of the captured image. In this post you will learn more about Artistic Photography see how to create your own style of artistic photos!

Let’s discover great tips for composing and taking artistic photos.

What is Artistic Photography

Artistic Photography has the aim of transforming an image. The scenes captured by the photographer are considered artistic when they communicate a message that reveals a way of life through objects and places, or an emotion that is portrayed by a thought that causes a change in the image.

Artistic photographers don’t create a representation of a scene, they seek for what’s different to create something beautiful, but not necessarily realistic or precise. Artistic photography comes down to this concept of transformation.

A professional of artistic photography makes use of standard techniques to achieve different results that are not standard, capturing fantastic images never seen in other types of photography.

Great Tips to Take Artistic Photos

Artistic photos are also created by capturing the photographer’s perspective. An artistic photo catches the eyes and reveals emotions, memories and aspirations by portraying intelligent abstraction.

Styles of Artistic Photography

There are many photo styles that are a subdivision of Artistic Photography. Chances are you’ve already seen one or more of them and didn’t know it was part of the artistic photos world. Let’s see which are the names and definition of those styles:

Photogram

A Photogram is a photo created without a camera by putting objects directly onto the surface of a light-sensitive material (like photographic paper) and then exposing it to light. Different formats of Photograms are obtained by different arrangement of objects on the photographic paper and from the way they’re exposed to light. Changing the position of any object can result in a Photogram that is completely different from the other. This technique was very common when films from analog cameras were popular. With the development of digital cameras, Photograms became rare.

Photo Montage

Photo Montage a.k.a. Photomontage is the union of two or more photos to represent an idea. This form of photography work aims to put contrasting elements together, building a scenario that is first imagined in the photographer’s imagination. This technique has become easier to create through photo editing software programs.

Stop Motion

This style of Artistic Photography is made through the manipulation of images to simulate movement. Maybe you’ve already watched an animation film that was completely created with Stop Motion. This technique uses a sequence of photos of an object in different positions to build the illusion of movement, just like the first movies were made. It’s a work that takes time, each change in the positioning of an object must be as subtle as possible to create a more fluid and natural movement in final Stop Motion.

Tips to Shoot Artistic Photos
Stop Motion Composition with Photos in Sequence to Simulate Movement

How to Take Artistic Photos

Now you will discover how to shoot artistic photos. You will notice that it’s not about the Camera you use, it’s about how you compose your photo. In case you don’t know, composing a photo is organizing the elements in the photo scene (or photo frame) in a way that communicates whichever feeling or perspective you want to communicate to the viewers through the photo.

Any idea can become an artistic photo as long as you compose the image the right way. Let’s see how:

Compose Photos with the Basic Artistic Features

To shoot your own artistic photos, you need to know the fundamental features of this photography style that distinguish it from other styles:

  • An artistic photo has to be visualized in your mind before you shoot it.

  • Artistic photos focus on details.

  • The main subject of an artistic photo is either or one single object or one single person.

  • Artistic photos take time to be captured because you need to try as many different angles as you can in the same photo scene.

  • If you change your camera lenses, that can influence the final photo.

  • Artistic photos portray a message, they don’t portray facts.

  • With the right technique, you can create an artistic photo out of a photo from another style by using an editing software that allows you to work with image layers.
Tips to Compose Artistic Photography
Artistic Photo Montage Created with an Editing Software

Choose a Focus Subject and Isolate It in the Photo

Anything can become the subject of your artistic photo, it can be a person or an object. But you can’t put the focus subject of your photo next to multiple objects because if you do that you will take the focus off your photo subject, destroying the message that was idealized for your photo.

So, only one area of the photo scene should focus on artistic photography. If you’re composing artistic photos of a place and not a person, remember to patiently observe the entire place where your artistic photos will be shot to find the best focus subject possible. The elements in the final photo will portray the feeling that you idealize before shooting.

Anything that doesn’t fit the artistic pattern or that which takes the focus off the main subject of your artistic photo shouldn’t be included in the final shot. When you already have an idea of what your artistic photo will look like, it’s easier to define how to position your Camera and how to set up depth of field and other settings.

Learn to Visualize Emotions

To start in Artistic Photography, you have to think about the emotions that you want to awake in whoever sees your photos. To do that, you need follow some steps:

  • Don’t simply take many pictures of any object or scene, visualize it first. Artistic Photography takes a little patience, planning and observation to find the best angle and perspective.

  • Don’t worry about reproducing common angles from other photo styles. Look for different angles that are innovative and capable of portraying everything you want. When it comes to artistic photos, you have to be original.

How to Take Artistic Photos


  • Take time with your camera, observe the subject of the photo becoming aware of its colors and shapes.

  • Direct the focus of the photo to specific spots that can give a new perspective to your artistic photo. Capture as many details of your photo subject as possible.

  • Create a harmony with the image that you visualized in your mind and the person/object that is being photographed.

Get Inspiration, Be Creative and Practice

To create your own artistic photos, you need to teach your mind to think of different approaches to a scene. Free your mind from the standard form of photography, study the photo subject, visit artistic exhibitions in your town or city and search for artistic photo images in online galleries to get inspiration for your own artistic photo compositions.

To have a good portfolio of artistic photos, start by developing your observation on topics that are of your interest. Let your imagination create.

Artistic Photography Techniques

Shoot what you like, search inside if what attracts you the most and find your own style of artistic photography. For example, if you like to take photos of buildings from an artistic angle, make that your style without worrying about the style of other photographers.

Practice a lot. Practice is the most efficient way to improve even more, both as a photographer and as an artist.

Use what seems to be wrong in the photo scene as a creative element to let your mind expand in creativity.

Experience all the features of your camera, such as depth of field (DOF), focus, Color Balance, shutter speed and other technical features that can help you to capture more emotion in your photos.

If you want to get more serious about Artistic Photography, get a Professional Camera and some Camera Accessories to expand your possibilities.

Conclusion

Awesome! Now you know what is Artistic Photography, which are the styles of Artistic Photography and how to take artistic photos. So don’t hesitate to put what you’ve learned into practice!

You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!

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