Every great creative work begins with a concept. The ‘why’ of the work is the first step and the most important idea that needs to be communicated. Conceptual work, after all, is about the concept itself.
How to communicate that concept can be deceivingly complex. You have control of a multitude of factors with an endless palette of options as to how you can manipulate them. The most important starting point is to always ask yourself ‘what is the why’ of each decision. Why are you choosing this piece of fabric for a subject’s wardrobe? Why are you primarily using natural light? What does your style, your palette, your composition communicate to the viewer? Everything in the frame is significant. Every. Little. Thing.
Start with a core concept
For me, it boils down to a two part question. What do I want to make work about, and what is that going to look like? Seems so simple, right? Not so much. That’s the toughest, most significant, most special part of the whole process. Figuring out what you want to make work about is a complex question, and requires a lot of self-awareness, dedication, and energetic searching. In the end, what is it you need to express that is authentically yours, and what do you want your viewer to walk with?