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Your best art is right in front of you. You needn't travel thousands of miles or have studied formally to find it. It's in the simple movements and tiny details — all it asks is that you accept the invitation to create.
With phone or camera in hand, join us as we follow along with four photographers known for finding creative photography ideas in the most ordinary of places. Their photographs, fueled by imagination, call us to see the things we encounter everyday just a little differently.
From tones and textures to playful lines and interesting subjects, we hope you'll find inspiration in their advice… just as they find magic in the mundane.
Seek playfulness (and patterns!) in the most unexpected of places. The architecture you encounter every day in your own city can be a catalyst for some of the most creative photo ideas you may have never thought of — ideas that only appear when you slow down and start looking a little closer.
So give yourself a moment to pick your head up and take it all in. There's plenty we look at on a daily basis, but only so much that we truly see. And whether it's creating a depth of field effect with repeating columns, or flipping the world upside down to create a whole new perspective, there's a wealth of opportunities around every corner.
"Just keep your eyes open – for me that is the hardest part of the job. As an architect, I'm always following paths and patterns on the streets of my city – you never know when that geometric facade you found on your way home will come in handy."
"Most of these photos were taken with my camera phone. I use a combination of VSCO & Snapseed for level adjustments, and sometimes I use Instagram for the latest minor tweaks right before sharing it."
Just keep your eyes open – for me, that is the hardest part of the job.
Color is the language of photo: So why limit your vocabulary? Speak boldly and freely by seeking out little pops and bursts of color in ways that switch things up and invite engagement. Let the monochrome have its moment, embrace the soothing nature of gradients, and make a splash with that unexpected streak of neon.
Be it bright or muted, the tones of a photograph create mood, giving photos a deep and rich layer of story. Look around you and ask yourself what story it is that you wish to tell. (Oh, and don't forget to #tellon.)
"Life is color. It's everywhere you look. I say this often, but the beauty of photography is that we all see the world differently. I may be attracted to certain colors and see them in a certain way, but you may see those same colors in a completely different way. And that's a beautiful thing."
"My mobile toolkit is basic. It includes my iPhone and a couple of apps: VSCO and TouchRetouch."
I say this often, but the beauty of photography is that we all see the world differently.
Look for patterns and keep an eye for detail. Use the seasons, spaces, and places you love to inspire collections you can photograph. In bringing similar things together, you invite their small differences to pop, creating new worlds where subtleties speak volumes.
Oftentimes, forming collections and enjoying the creative photoshoot ideas that come with them doesn't require straying far from home. It could be as simple as grouping together small plants from your windowsills, taking a simple shot of the fruit stand at your local farmers market, or bringing odds and ends around the house together to create a narrative of gradient tones.
"I have been collecting things forever. I go where I have always gone, hikes into the woods, up the mountains, to the beaches, and into the ocean as a snorkeler. I am a curator and an archivist by nature. It probably helps that I was graphic designer for a long time. Most of the things you see are just ordinary, ephemeral things."
"I use my iPhone, plus black or white board from an art supply store for background or other surfaces including my cement floor. For editing, I start with Snapseed for basics and then VSCO for presets. I may tweak a bit when I post with Instagram editing tools. The whole process is very simple."
Most of the things you see are just ordinary, ephemeral things.
Stray from front and center and take your photography to the edge… well, in a manner of speaking. Try placing key elements of your photographs on the edges and in the corners of the frame to create new perspectives and visual interest. (And don't be afraid to break rules like the rule of thirds!)
Give the illusion of subjects walking out of the frame, draw attention to unexpected places, and let your creative photo ideas become a celebration of the simple fact that there is ample beauty in life's imperfections.
"I respect philosophers and scientists, for they embrace the question mark. When we question old conventions and encourage new perspectives, we evolve as thinkers, viewers, doers, and changemakers. For me living an artful life means embracing the question mark of it all and using curiosity to unlock the beauty in the people and spaces around me."
"My iPhone and an unlimited supply of self-taught scrappiness."
Living an artful life means embracing the question mark of it all and using curiosity to unlock the beauty.
Imagination in Your Hands
Around every corner is an unexpected chance to look at something in a whole new light. Find those opportunities, channel your imagination, and share your vision (@artifactuprising). Then make it all tangible by putting it in print.