Photographers exist in a state of constant professional reevaluation and self-improvement. It’s necessary to learn new things, come up with new ideas, and find compelling ways to implement them. And the most obvious way to do it is by looking at other photographers. But the experience of artists and architects could also be valuable and helpful. Read on to find out the details, and bring your career in visual content creation to the next level.
Let’s explore several artistic and architectural marvels using the ten principles of good design by Dieter Rams, and adjust seven of them to photo creation. Not only do they serve as an inspiration source, but they can also provide additional meaning to creativity.
So, what is good visual content like?
Innovation does not exist for people to see it and exclaim, “Wow!” It often solves rather mundane problems like allowing creative people to make money.
Take Frank Gehry, an American architect and designer. His chairs made from corrugated cardboard cost hundreds of dollars, with the prime cost of about $7. You could also see Frank in The Simpsons, where he built a concert hall after getting inspired with a sheet of crumpled paper.
It’s hard for the human brain to accept change, and that’s why some innovative solutions look odd and even cringe-worthy at first. A striking example is Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Locals were initially against such an atypical building in their city, but they changed their minds later on.
A fun fact: The Guggenheim Museum appeared in the James Bond series (The World Is Not Enough) and Dan Brown’s book Origin.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to spend years to be capable of innovating. Let’s take Gustave Eiffel, for example. As a student, he already used an innovative approach to building steel structures and crafted his first significant work, the Bordeaux bridge, applying the force of compressed air to it.
There are two lessons that photographers, in particular, can learn here:
1. Don’t be afraid to try different approaches to photo creation and come up with your visual identity.
2. Don’t ignore teamwork and networking.
Great architects know how to work as a team, collaborating with colleagues in bureaus (Snøhetta), creative studios, or groups (Asymptote) to give birth to unexpected yet innovative solutions like building a hotel over Formula 1 race track.