What I’ve learned from photography and how it has helped me as a creative director

Photography can be a valuable tool for the creative director seeking inspiration in many ways. Here are some ways photography can help:

  1. Image sourcing: Photography can be a useful source of visual content for graphic designers. Photographs can be used as reference material, or as the basis for design elements such as backgrounds or textures.
  2. Compositional inspiration: Photographs can provide inspiration for composition and layout. By studying the composition of a photograph, a graphic designer can learn how to create visual balance, depth, and interest in their designs.
  3. Color inspiration: Photographs can also be a source of color inspiration. A graphic designer can use the colors present in a photograph to create a color scheme for their design.
  4. Customized visual content: By taking their own photographs, a creative director can create custom visual content that perfectly fits the needs of their design. This can include product photos, portraits, or other images specific to the project.
  5. Manipulation and editing: Photographs can also be manipulated and edited to create unique visual effects or to fit the needs of the design. A graphic designer with skills in photo editing can use photographs to create custom illustrations or to add visual interest to their designs.

Finding inspiration through media restriction

Photographers and creative directors both have their own sets of restrictions and limitations in their respective fields. Here are some of the restrictions that photographers may face compared to graphic designers.

Photographers are often expected to capture real-life moments and subjects accurately. While there is some room for creative interpretation, the final image must still be recognizable and faithful to the original scene. Graphic designers, on the other hand, can use any number of tools and techniques to create fantastical or unrealistic images.

Additionally, photographers are often limited by the environment in which they are shooting. They must work with the available circumstances and make adjustments as necessary to get the desired shot. In contrast, graphic designers can manipulate lighting and environment in their designs to create any desired effect. A good photographer will thrive with these limitations and embrace improvising when needed.

Timing is everything!

Photographers may have limited time to capture a specific moment or event. They must work quickly to capture the shot before the opportunity is lost. A creative director, on the other hand, have more control over their time and can take as much time as they need to create their designs. But if one applies that ‘in-the-moment’ approach for design, the results are often very successful. Let the gut drive! 

Make the best of the situation. As I mentioned before, creative director and photographer both need to learn how to improvise. Models might not be on their best day or clouds can turn into storms. For that reason one must think on their feet, and be ready, always. 

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