There are many ways to express creativity within photography. Taking a photo is just the first step. Why stop there when you can go over and beyond? There are many editing tools out there, and I’ve seen so many beautifully composed and edited images that take your breath away. Complex Photoshop composites that tell a story. Black & white images that focus on the soul. These are pure art that goes beyond photography.
I found another way of telling a story using a simple image and a digital pen. It’s just like drawing into a sketchbook, only you do it on a screen. For this, you will need a drawing tablet with an electronic pen (but it doesn’t have to be an expensive one), and a pinch of creative imagination!
I first started doing this 7 years ago when my youngest daughter was just a baby. I didn’t even have a DSLR camera, I only used my phone and a small automatic digital camera to snap photos of her day by day. As you can imagine, the quality of these photos was far from great, but I didn’t care one bit at the time. When my daughter was only 3-4 months old, she couldn’t even sit up yet so I placed her on the floor on a white sheet and took some photos of her. Then I chose 12 pictures and I imported them onto my laptop. I had no Photoshop back then, so I used the Paint program in Windows, and used the mouse to doodle and draw on her pictures. I made a calendar that I printed and gifted to her grandparents. They were so delighted.
Years later, when I got more involved in photography, I took my pictures with a DSLR camera with much better quality and resolution. I bought a cheap drawing tablet from Amazon (really no need for an expensive one for this use) and I sat down to draw when I had more free time on my hands. It is really therapeutic.
How do I chose which photos are suitable for these drawing projects? There are two ways to do this. You can plan a quick photo session for the sole purpose of using the photos for drawings later. In this case, put your subject in front of a plain background, like white or black. If you know what are you going to draw, pose your subject accordingly.
The other way you don’t actually have to plan anything ahead of time. You can go through a set of photos from any session (preferably a studio session that was done in front of a plain background). If you are an experienced Photoshop user, you can also chose a photo and extract your subject from the background. From there, just let your imagination take over and draw whatever inspiration you get from those photos.
After I choose my image, I do a quick edit in Lightroom or Photoshop, and I start with expanding my background to the desired size if I need more drawing space around my subject. Then I start drawing. It can be as simple or complex as your drawing skills permit, but more often than not “less is more”.