The Power of Photography to Relate

What if you shot all of your subjects at the same angle and with the same light? Would your photos be boring? What could they offer to the world?

Portrait photographer Martin Schoeller uses a similar lighting pattern and camera angle for much of his work. His seemingly monotonous style proves to be engaging. Take a look at how he uses uniformity to relate with his audience:

Schoeller’s portraits simultaneously highlight each person’s individuality and sameness. His style is sought after–he shoots for publications like National Geographic. He’s photographed celebrities, people from different cultures around the world, identical twins and quadruplets, and people who identify as multi-racial. There is a humanness to his art that lets us see our differences and similarities without distraction.

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Next time you read photography advice that tells you to avoid photographing all of your subjects identically, think instead about how you can use homogeneity to communicate with your viewers. Creativity doesn’t have to mean that every shot is composed uniquely.

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2 responses to “The Power of Photography to Relate”

  1. fred says:

    I like these shots. I tried a similar DIY setup, coupling this with emotions. Check the results http://fredericlavigne.com/ledmotions/

  2. mike p says:

    I do not like this stuff. Poor lighting and nothing for context… What are these photos telling us other than the technology of a scanner can get lots of shadowless detail?

    I have never had nor would I ever expect to have a client that would accept this kind of work for any purpose.

    Yeah, I know it’s art… well I guess art can be poop as well.

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