With all of the visual overload these days, it can be hard to find inspiration.
One idea is to look outside of your medium. There’s no better place for a photographer to start looking than art history. After all, painters were the photographers of their time. The masters used light and realism to produce revealing portraits and story-telling images.
Plus they were a tormented lot. Just like us right?
Here are a few examples:
Vermeer is an artist every photographer can emulate. His use of light and color is second to none. My discovery of Vermeer’s work changed my photography.
Everyone has heard of Rembrandt. But a thorough study of his work is a must for every photographer. It wasn’t just his use of light. Rembrandt was able to capture the essence of his subjects.
Pictures of groups can be tricky. Hals is a good study for this. His attention to detail and variety of poses in a group are worth imitating. Hals portraits are expressive and full of life. Check them out as well.
4- Gerard van Honthorst
Known for his use of chiaroscuro and night scenes. Every photographer needs to add these techniques to their arsenal.
5- Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck produced amazing portraits. Realistic yet surreal. Not to mention downright creepy. Examples of things that can only make our pictures more interesting.
Study the great artists, and you’ll see their influence start to appear in your photography.