A while ago I watched ‘Master of Photography’ on Sky Arts, and there was so much inspiration to be had from the whole series, but recently Season 1 Episode 2 has been playing in my mind. In that episode the photographers were set the challenge to go out in Berlin at night and take 3 photographs that would be displayed together to tell a story, and it got me thinking, how could I adopt that premise in my own work? Then my attention turned to Instagram; we all upload our pictures one by one and yet so much care can be put into which picture it sits beside on our grid. We’re already grouping pictures together based on whether they are aesthetically pleasing to the eye when lined up. There must be something were looking for? What should I be looking for when I display my photographs together? So, for you today, I’ve put together some ideas of the different themes you could choose to display your work together in collage form, working from 2 photographs up to 4. You may find that some of your collections fit more than one theme, that’s okay, it’s all about experimenting with different compositions.
Colour: This could be one solid block colour or a few different colours that are present in each photograph that ties them together. You want them to run smoothly from one to another, preferably with the same tonal range, for example if two have a very light contrast, putting one with dark shadows in will throw off the balance.
Subject: This will be a common focus that appears in each picture, for example they may all be flowers, or all a picture of your cat. They may not be necessary taken at the same time or place, but it will be obvious to the viewer what each photo has in common.
These two pictures are literally the same subject, the left is the tree featured in the right picture but up close.
Genre: You might decide to have a genre running through your collection of photos, perhaps a focus on street life or aspects of the countryside. This option makes the selection a little more free as your constrained by a colour scheme or a particular subject, you still want your photos to flow though, so ensure their is a hint in each photo to demonstrate their connection, for example, below, the genre of travel is made clear through the Eiffel tower, a key tourist attraction, a globe and a sentence about adventure as focus in the middle.
Story: Alternatively, you can pick photographs to tell a story. This is always going to be open to interpretation and that means this isn’t an easy task, but as a photographer you will always be trying to a tell a story, so try not to worry too much and just trust your instincts. For example, you might go on a family day out and there a 3 pictures that truly represent that day to you, that’s telling a story!
Presentation: You may have noticed that in my collages I have been trying to point the direction of the photographs to the centre, drawing them in to help the pictures connect and flow. It might be the direction the subject is facing or balancing the focal points evenly on each side. This helps the viewers eye to see the overall picture and not be distracted by messy composition.
Hope these ideas help you create beautiful collages to feature your own work 🙂
Amy Williams-Weeks (AWW)
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