How to Make Your Photography an Art Form

Commercial advertising photographer Joel Grimes is an artist. Viewing himself as an artist rather than a photographer has given him the freedom to experiment, push boundaries, and lead. He is determined to make a statement with each photograph to provoke some kind of emotion, and to do so he pushes the limits of reality and fantasy:

“Photography is not reality, it is a representation of reality.”

As an artist, Grimes has the ability to choose what he wants to render. For each concept, he reaches deep down into his imagination to blend the every day life with illusion in order to make his subjects appear larger than life. His goal is to make them look like superheroes.

photography as art

Grimes believes it’s the creative process that really makes a photograph pop. To him, lighting is paramount. Lighting is all about trial and error. With more practice and experience, you can learn to follow your intuition and start building a look that fits your vision as an artist.

While people have differing opinions on the subject, Grimes believes that photo manipulation is part of the process of producing a great final image. In an article by SmugMug, Grimes says:

“Every photograph is a manipulation because you choose the lens, you choose when to take the picture—when to create that moment. Everything’s a representation of reality. It’s my job as an artist to take that representation and make it even more fantastic. That’s fun. To me, that’s part of being an artist.”

photo manipulation

Grimes says the hardest thing is that people don’t know how to stand out. We tend to follow rather than lead. If you follow, you blend in with the masses, but if you lead, create something that nobody else has done, and aren’t afraid to experiment or be criticized, you will stand out.

His best advice:

“Be yourself. You’re unique. One of a kind. There’s no one on the planet just like you. And when you work from your uniqueness, you’ll rock the world.”

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