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The Connection Between Photography and Design

Whenever people are talking about a subject related to design, the art of photography often gets ignored. The thing is that graphic design and photography have been inextricably linked throughout history. There is a wonderful saying that explains the connection between the two — “Great photographs are well-designed”. Color, composition, layout, and tone are all working together in order to create and tell a unique story. Looking from a design perspective and taking pictures that way is almost guaranteed to boost the quality of your photos.

Do Art and Design Principles Apply to Photography?

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There are 7 fundamental principles of art and design:

  • Balance
  • Rhythm
  • Pattern
  • Emphasis
  • Contrast
  • Unity
  • Movement

By combining these with the basic elements of art and design — shape, form, line, value, space, texture, and colour, you can create all kinds of compositions. Elements are simple tools used by artists to create pure visual art in a unique way. Taking a picture is not a hard task — all we need to do nowadays is pull out our smartphones, open the camera software app and click once.

This is very convenient for recording moments you don’t want to forget or simply documenting anything you like. However, the transition to photography as a form of art is a completely different story. Finding a perfect balance of symmetry, asymmetry and radial symmetry requires a lot of knowledge and practice. It’s natural for people to look for patterns in everything, especially photos, so you need to know when to go full OCD mode and blend everything together perfectly.

So, the direct answer to the question from the subtitle is “Yes, all the principles of art and design can be applied to photography”. Moreover, you are almost guaranteed to take a better photo if you take an artistic approach to photography itself.

Can I Make a Living as a Photographer?

Decades ago, the answer to this question wouldn’t be a firm Yes. There were a few ways to make money taking photos, but the equipment was too expensive, and you needed to be in the right place at the right time to even get the opportunity to sell your art. Luckily, the times have changed, especially because of the Internet phenomenon.

There are numerous ways to make money as a photographer, but educating yourself about the modern design is crucial. Although beautiful raw photos have value, everyone is using various software to edit them, add special effects and make them more appealing to the public. If you are knowledgeable enough, you can even teach photography, either in person or over the Internet, as there are millions of people all over the world trying to get better at it.

One of the most popular things photographers do these days is selling photos on stock websites. Although it is very hard to make it to the top and earn enough cash to make a living out of it, if you are good enough, people are going to notice you. Once your images gain popularity and people start purchasing them, there’s nothing that will stop you from going forward and becoming the best photographer in the world.