As of late, I’ve been observing a lot of work from various photographers around the country. I have seen, over and over, the following concepts:
Someone’s head or legs disappearing/covered in flowers/growth.
Naked people curled up in the woods.
Red riding hood.
…..horns of any kind.
Girls with teddy bears.
People falling face first into the ground.
People levitating near a window with bright light coming through.
Someone surrounded by little clouds, or sitting on clouds….
….clouds around the subject’s head.
Girls wearing crowns of leaves, berries, and various products of shrubbery.
Levitation (guilty of taking one a year ago).
Birds photoshopped into the sky/background.
Sheets flying everywhere.
Girls up against blank white walls with a straight flash on them (everyone decided to copy American Apparel’s catalog).
Engagement photos where the couples are holding mini blackboards.
Etc, etc, etc, etc.
When it comes to editing, I’m also seeing a lot of the same old same old. The new thing is to now blur the top third and bottom third of the photo, even if it ends up blurring parts of your subject. It is an attempt to mimic a tilt-shift lens. Then there is the Brenzier Method which everyone is doing these days. I’ve come to see that 90 percent of the photographers out there are continually mimicking, copying, and imitating one another. This is the incest of concept photography.
All I’ve mentioned in the above is why I’ve decided to steer away from deep concept photography for the most part, to focus on what I do best: moody portraiture.
As photographers, we are influenced by what we see. It is absolutely inevitable that we will, at times, take influence from the work of others, incorporating it into our own images. That’s the nature of the beast. That’s humanity. However, this incestuous passing around of ideas and concepts about the photo-sphere is dreadful.
I have a few concepts in my head that I would like to one day bring to life. I’ll need assistants for that, and I never shoot with assistants. Thankfully, I haven’t seen anyone else duplicate it on a photo sharing site. Hopefully I won’t see it anywhere else between now and then.