What I learned from graphic designers
It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here to share. This week I write from Austin, Texas, and with the Photography Gear Conference coming up, I want to first take your mind elsewhere and talk about how we can broaden our photographic minds by taking influence from other creatives.
We’ve all heard countless times about how graphic designers and photographers should work with similar things in mind. Copy space is the go-to example that I always use to highlight the importance of keeping graphic design in mind when we take photos. In that example, I point out that we should be thinking about copy (words) and leave room for titles, graphics, and everything else we see in magazines and on posters. These photos tend to perform the best on photo stock libraries like Adobe Stock and Getty Images because of their versatility when it comes to their final use. I learned a lot more than that recently at an Adobe event – Russell Brown’s Rock & Roll Reunion.
The two most important take-away points I feel were offered at the conference are the two I want to focus on today:
1 – Work happy, not harder
Mark Heaps created this tagline to best explain that we use far more time than we should in parts of the process that could be automated or simplified, leaving us with a lot of wasted time that could better be spent on something creative and therefore make us happier. Mark speaks about this concept regularly and has absolutely nailed the process. We should be looking for ways to work smarter, automating elements of our workflow and giving ourselves the time to focus on our photography and retouching. The application of this concept translates from graphic design into photography and it’s a great point that we should focus some energy on if it allows us to be more creative in the future.
2 – Create a story, and an ecosystem
When graphic design projects are undertaken they tell the story of the brand or the campaign. We should always be looking to do this in our photography. Telling the story of the scene in a single image, or across the series for multiple images, is a way to connect with our viewer that is often overlooked. We can focus on the subject, the composition, the light, or any other factors of our image, and use them to try to tell the story of what is happening in our shot to draw our viewer that little bit closer. This can help us to keep someone’s attention for longer on social media and drive our engagement, or it can be the difference we need to convert that engagement into a revenue stream. Telling stories through photography is something that Ansel Adams himself did, and something that seems to be lost here and there. The importance cannot be stressed enough and just as designers are trying to tell stories with typefaces and shapes, we should be doing just that with our photos.