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Using a Theme in Photography

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  1. Using a Theme in Photography

  2. What is a theme?

  3. In photography, a theme is an idea that you can see represented visually across a series or collection of photographs.

  4. Examples of themes: • Illusion • Family • Stripes • Childhood • Memory • Rainbow • Precious treasure • Love • Mother nature • Happiness • Sorrow • Dreams • No way out • Hero • Broken pieces • Drink

  5. First, you want to start by selecting a theme from the list of themes that you can download from our website (see the Assignments page under February 3 & 4).

  6. Once you select your theme, write a paragraph in your journal answering these questions: • What is your theme? • Why did you select that theme? • What significance does it have to you? • What else do you want to say about your theme?

  7. Next you want to brainstorm ideas relating to your theme.I’ll use the theme of “love” as an example.

  8. Step 1: When you think of “love,” what do you think of? In your journal, list everything that comes to mind (about YOUR theme). • Hearts • Romance • Valentine’s Day • Couples • Marriage • Wedding rings • Roses/flowers • Chocolates • Love letter • Love song • Cupid/cupid’s arrows • My girlfriend/boyfriend • My dog/cat/pets • My family • My hobbies/talents/interests • Heartbreak/broken heart • Dear John letter (breakup letter) • Romeo & Juliet • Having a crush • Puppy love • Young love

  9. Step 2: How can I represent “love” visually in a photograph? In your journal, answer this about YOUR theme. • Photos of hearts (Sweetheart candies, make heart with hands, drawings of hearts) • Photo of couple looking at each other lovingly, could add someone posing like they’re shooting arrow at one of them, in Photoshop, turn that person into Cupid by adding wings and bow and arrow and hearts flying between them • Flowers (close-up of red roses, a single red rose, someone pulling petals out of flower “she loves me/she loves me not” • Photos of Valentine’s stuff (chocolates, flowers, stuffed animals) • Photos from the Valentine’s dance this Friday • Recreate balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet using the staircase at school (the one with the low balcony by the commons) • Person crying with Dear John letter and photo of someone

  10. Step 3: In your journal, create at least 10 drawings of your best ideas for photographs. Guidelines for drawings • Include as much detail as possible. • No stick figures. • Include the background. • Add color. • Think about lighting and add light and shadow to you drawings. • Remember to use what you’ve learned about composition.

  11. Step 4: In your journal, list everything you’ll need to bring on Monday/Tuesday for YOUR photo shoot. Make a note in your planner so you remember to bring these things. • Valentine’s candy, flowers, toys • Costumes (shirt that my model can wear over his/her uniform, scarves, hats, jewelry, other props for people) • Love letter • Photo of someone • Stuffed teddy bear • Fake ring

  12. Here are some examples of photos on the theme of love.

  13. Remember to bring what you need for your shoot on Monday. Everyone will be expected to take photos about their theme whether or not you remember your props.Have a plan for indoor photos in case the weather prevents us from going outside. You will be submitting 10 photos for a grade but you should take MANY more than just 10.