Creating a Series of Photographs

I have begun working on a concept for a new series of images to explore cinematic photography’s narrative abilities across a series of images. This week’s image is a first step in that direction. For this series of images I want to create a consistent set of characters and settings across the series that invokes a cinematic narrative. My goal is to explore the middle ground between photography and cinema and leverage the inherent nature of photography to invoke a more cinematic experience. More to come …

Creating a Series of Photographs

It is oftentimes beneficial in our development as photographers to create a series of images rather than limiting our photography to a string of unrelated single images. A series of related images requires us to develop a concept that links the images within the series together in a way that makes visual and intellectual sense. It also requires us to develop images that fit within that series and that support (both visually and intellectually) what we are trying to convey to the viewer. For most photographers developing a series of images results in an ongoing sense of magnificent awe-inspiring creative frustration as we struggle between the joy and despair of creating photographs that support our series and that are consistent while not being visually or conceptually repetitive.

Creating a series of images helps us find our artistic “voice” as photographers. Exploring the photographic euphoria of finding an image that captured our hearts and replicating that in a series asks something different of us and challenges us to find answers.

A single image can take advantage of the moment, the light, the setting, the subject, etc., that came together either just as we intended or perhaps even better than we intended. A series of images then asks us to repeat that experience across the series and while not every image needs to rise to the level of our favorite photographs, the series does need to contain some of those images if it’s going to work.

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Creating a series of related photographs requires us to think through what we want to say with our photography and how we want to say it. To some extent it asks us to consider who we are as photographers and what is important to us. Since we typically work on a series for an extended period of time (doesn’t mean we can’t also work on other photographs) our intent oftentimes morphs as we “discover” what is important to us. This is a common part of developing a series because what initially drew us to a topic or a visual presentation shifts as we explore the series and develop new images to support it.

If you haven’t created a series of photographs or it’s been a while since you last created one, I highly encourage you to start. Revisit some of your favorite photographs and think about how you might create other photographs with similar visual or conceptual undertones.  Consider what those photographs say to you and what they might say to others. While beautiful photographs are a wonder, beautiful photographs that convey an intellectual concept are much more powerful.

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I am not sure where my next series of images will take me but I am excited about the opportunity to explore and create photographs that support it. As it develops I will continue to share some of the images through future posts and highlight what I am trying to do and say through the work.

Only My Two Cents,

Gregory Beams

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