Thursday’s Special: Conceptual Photography

What is conceptual photography? It is photography of a concept i.e. idea, idea  that is illustrated and conveyed through a photograph.

It is more about the message of a photo than about what is in the photo. Some artists intend to be clear in their messages, in illustration of their ideas, and some do not care if they will be understood or misinterpreted. 

You have seen conceptual photography in advertising, in social critique, in political messages, but it is also used in contemporary conceptual art. 

You may take different approaches to this challenge: 

You may first come up with an idea that you want to illustrate, create a scene using some universally known objects that may act as symbols such as eggs, ping pong balls, chess figures, matchsticks and such. It does not have to be a complicated image composed of several shots to create a  surreal setting, and you don’t need to manipulate reality using Photoshop like some famous conceptual photographers. You can keep things fairly simple to achieve an effective result – transmitting a message.  

Alternatively, you may offer a photograph of a scene that you stumbled upon outside the house that you feel conveys a strong message.  And the third approach would be to simply photograph a piece of conceptual art  that you captured with your lens in which case you would act as an intermediary in the transmission of a concept. 

(My idea for this challenge was to give you a theme that you might do at home, and maybe for some of you the first push to venture into the field of photography that you haven’t done before).  


What inspired me to buy a bag of gummy bears and to arrange them by colour were  parliamentarian elections in the country – the tight race between two main parties – the left wing and the right wing, each of them pulling in opposite direction and watching only their own interests.



Here are some links where you can read more about conceptual photography.

This time you have two whole weeks to respond to this challenge. The last date on which you may post for this theme is 21 December. 

I will take 4 days off Internet between 14th and 18th December. You can read my updates on the Scheduled challenges page. 


68 Comments on “Thursday’s Special: Conceptual Photography

  1. Thanks for the intellectual challenge. I’ll be rereading your outline and visiting the links. I love your conceptual photo. Jelly babies are a great image of politicians to start with – featureless and blobby and cloned and mindless (mostly) and your arrangement says so much about politics. I long for bi-partisan action on things that matter.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey, Paula. I am reading your post on my Kindle but the main text is such a light grey font, I can barely read it. I don’t know if this is common or just me. ☺


  3. Genius! Such a good idea, Paula 🙂 I can just gaze and gaze at them, shuffling along as the light catches them. Shame it’s inspired by such a dismal thing. I see a parallel with Tobias’ models too. Wonderful work. You’ve earned a few days off! Sending hugs 🙂 Who’s singing?


  4. I’d eat both the left- and the right wing (I guess that would make me a dictator on a sugar rush).
    I love this challenge. Actually I started on a conceptual photo 2 days ago. I haven’t finished it yet, but I will now. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Conceptual Photography – Cardinal Guzman

  6. As Meg pointed out, you have given us an intellectual challenge here. As you know, I don’t like to be defeated, and it might be just as well you’ve given us a couple of weeks!! Great image by the way, and as Jo said, shame it was inspired by such gloomy events

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Is it Thursday already?
    Your photo is great – I say that spontaneusly, without having read a word. Yet.
    And now I’ll read.
    And then I’ll see what I can come up with.
    Happy Thursday


  8. Pingback: Finger touch, get the feeling | Le Drake Noir

  9. Gosh this IS a new concept. It may take me a while to get my head around, if indeed I do. Love your Gummy politicians!



  11. Pingback: Sweep it Under the Carpet | Empire of Lights

  12. Pingback: Conceptual Photography – Lucid Gypsy

  13. Pingback: Now and Then | Beyond the Brush Photography

  14. Pingback: Concept Art: Coffee cup sizes get larger every year – priorhouse blog

  15. Pingback: Sometimes In Life It’s Hard To Know Which Way Is Up – Tish Farrell

    • 🙂 Thank you, Tish. I hope you’ll be here around Christmas too. I was working, but managed to squeeze a very nice weekend by the sea 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Thursday Special – TRAVEL WORDS

  17. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Minimalism | Lost in Translation

This box is reserved for sharing positive vibes.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: