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Keeping an inspiration wall

From: The Creative Spark: Nick Onken, Travel and Lifestyle Photographer

Video: Keeping an inspiration wall

So this is my inspiration wall that we put together, well, a couple of years now. You know, I like to look at the different shots and think about different elements that I like out of the shot, and then I apply those different elements for the--that's the lighting and the styling or the energy or the moment or just kind of the position of the talent, maybe the concept or the natural feeling. And I love this one. I love the location. I like how she's casually dressed.

Keeping an inspiration wall

So this is my inspiration wall that we put together, well, a couple of years now. You know, I like to look at the different shots and think about different elements that I like out of the shot, and then I apply those different elements for the--that's the lighting and the styling or the energy or the moment or just kind of the position of the talent, maybe the concept or the natural feeling. And I love this one. I love the location. I like how she's casually dressed.

It's like a very staged, but natural-looking portrait. This shot here, it's very outdoor rugged. It's focused on him, but it's also focused on the fashion as well. But it's very lifestyle. He's like sitting there, but those elements and having him and the fashion and just kind of the way it's shot is--it becomes a fashion story. This one's got a lot of kind of editorial moment to it without--it doesn't feel cheesy; it feels real.

And I don't really want to copy any other photograph that's been done, but, you know, there's always some way to pull ideas and things that you like and spill them over into like the photos that you're creating. But I always pull images to show the rest of the team, just to help communicate the vibe of the ideas that we're going for. And I usually say this to people that are starting out: it's a good exercise to go through and find images in magazines that you're attracted to and then you pull those out and then you kind of break those down and and figure out why you like them.

Is it the lighting? Is it the styling? Is it the location? Is it the talent? You know, deconstructing the photo helps you figure out what you like, and you can incorporate that into own work.

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