Basics of fine-art photography/Creating works in staged photography

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From my own garde! (Self-portrait, 2010)

Staged photography is a genre of photographic art where the creator of a work, acting as a director, designs and creates a conceived scene, while paying attention to motive and design.

General information

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The concept of "staging" came from the theater. Arranged photography, as it is sometimes called, having some resemblance to a theatrical performance, is designed to present the main idea of ​​the work in a certain context and, as a result, evoke an emotional reaction in the viewer. Unlike scientific, documentary and reportage photography, realism is secondary here, the meaning of the depicted is important, where the author appears not as an objective observer, but as a creator trying to display the reality he conceived and created.

Ways of implementation

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When planning to practice in this genre, it is useful, as an optional material, to get acquainted with the concept of Performance art, which, although not directly related to photography, will help you to feel the idea of ​​creation.

Initially, you should think about the plot of the future photo work, decide what thoughts (feelings, memories) it will evoke in people. The audience's perception may vary: if there are several opinions about what you have displayed, it's a plus for the author: consequently the plot is not simple. Routine is the enemy of a creative personality.

The second part of the preparatory process will be the technical implementation of the plan. It is important to understand how complex the upcoming stage preparation that will be required to implement the idea. If it becomes technically impossible, you will have to change the subject, choosing (to begin with) something less complicated, not requiring hard labor, material costs and complex scenery. Taking the first steps to create trial works, you can choos the available emprovised means and the existing background, while using yourself or someone you know. Don't try to create a masterpiece with the first press of a camera button.

Experience comes with practice. For clarity, the text is complemented by a gallery of photographic works by the author of this textbook, the creation of most of which did not require special and lengthy training.

Should know

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It is sometimes difficult (or even impossible) for the viewer to distinguish a staged photo from a real one: whether the situation is simulated, or whether the photographer caught an interesting moment by being in the “right” place in time.

Here is an example: this photo is not staged, the shoes that had served their due date, probably thrown away by one of the tourists because they were completely unusable, were lying on the grass and were photographed by the author.
But, theoretically, the owner of the camera could bring props with him, laying them out on the grass in accordance with the plan. Many such examples could be cited.

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