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Idea to Image

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It has been said that coming up with the idea is the easy part, and we photographers are certainly full of them. We all dream of shoots with a million-dollar budget, elephants and trapeze artists, and maybe the occasional Playboy model. But it takes a whole lot of work to get there. This series of posts, “Idea to Image”, will document just that: the things I’d like to shoot, and the steps I’m taking to get from the first idea to the final image.

I certainly have big dreams. In five years I’d like to be shooting for all manner of editorials, online and otherwise. I want to be like Joe McNally, and tell stories with my images. And even though my client list doesn’t include National Geographic and Sports Illustrated, I can certainly still tell powerful stories given my opportunities. And if I can make beautiful photos given the resources of a sixteen-year-old suburbanite of Chicago, maybe I’ll get the chance to shoot with greater resources.

If you can show the world that you can shoot a certain kind of photography for yourself, maybe the world will pay you to shoot that certain kind of photography that you already enjoy shooting. It’s a win-win. Professional photographers often end up shooting for clients because it pays the bills. But if you can spend more time shooting the things you enjoy while getting paid for it, why wouldn’t you? That is the importance of ideating your own photographs, and more importantly, executing them.

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