Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from F-J

Illustration Photography

art director photographer photographers

According to dictionary definitions of illustration, the term can be applied to all pictures, including drawings, paintings, and photographs. The terms illustration photography and photographic illustration, however, suggest a more limited meaning—namely, that photographs in this category are more than faithful images of objects. In addition to representing objects, such photographs are expected to communicate something less tangible to the viewer, such as a concept or a mood.

The field of photographic illustration can be subdivided based on the objective of the photographer in making a photograph or on how the photograph is to be used. A photograph made for the purpose of selling a product—by means of a magazine ad, for example—is identified as an advertising illustration. A photograph used to attract the reader’s attention and provide a clue concerning the contents or to establish a mood for a magazine article or other publication is identified as an editorial illustration. A photograph made for the purpose of communicating the photographer’s opinions or emotions concerning a subject can be identified as an expressive illustration.

With respect to advertising illustrations, the photographer typically works closely with an advertising agency art director. The art director commonly provides the photographer with a layout, which may range from a rough sketch to a detailed drawing that the photographer is expected to place on the camera ground glass and conform to exactly. Some art directors like to be in the studio when the photograph is being made or to be provided with a proof print or a finished transparency or print before the set is dismantled. High-resolution electronic cameras and backs are now available that allow the image to be displayed on a computer monitor, which permits an art director to inspect the image and suggest changes when the image is captured. It is also possible to transmit images by email to another location such as an art director’s office, where the image can be electronically retouched or modified and stored before being reproduced.

Photographers commonly become more involved in the planning and modification of layouts as they gain experience and the trust of the art director. Some photographers like to photograph a variation that incorporates their own ideas, after making a photograph that conforms to a specified layout, to be offered to the art director for consideration. Photographers who have gained a reputation of generating creative ideas may be given complete freedom to execute an assignment as they see fit.

Most advertising illustrations involve the efforts of other people in addition to an art director and photographer, possibly including the photographer’s representative, a producer, prop manager, carpenter, set designer, location scout, hair and makeup stylist, studio manager, wardrobe supervisor, camera or digital assistant, and one or more models. Creating photographs on location and in the studio is necessary with all aspects of illustration photography. Most often photographers will use many lights to create and control the desired look for their locations or sets, although beautiful natural light is always a possible approach.

While advertising illustration may be the most lucrative type of illustration photography, there are many styles and forms of illustration to explore. Architecture, editorial, corporate/industrial, fashion, people/celebrity, travel, and lifestyle are areas of illustration in which photographers can build a career.

Ilves, Toomas Hendrik - President of Estonia, Career, Sidelights [next] [back] Illness and Disability

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or