≡ Menu

Quick Photo Tip: Implied Photographs

A family of four

I was relating a story to a fellow photographer that was taking my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop (who had also taken my two online classes with the BPSOP) that I conduct around our planet. I was telling him how I could imply a family of four by only showing one person. It was for a Texas Tourism campaign I worked on about a million years ago.

Every year they sent a photographer down to South Padre Island, a resort area way down on the Texas gulf coast and close to Mexico; and had been doing this for quite some time.

As always, they wanted the photographer to show a family of four on the beach. I asked the art director if we had to do that once again since to me it was a boring predictable photograph that had been done just about every way there was; needless to say his answer was , “Yes absolutely, and if we don’t come back with that shot it’s going to be a problem”.

Well I can tell you that there was no way I was going to take a photo that had been done so many times before me…even though mine would be the best they ever had!!!!!!


In the above photo, an idea came screaming into my head so I told the art director that if I could imply a family of four could he sell it? He was as tired as I was of shooting the same photo year after year, so he said, “Maybe”?

I went to a general store for tourist on the boardwalk and found what I was looking for…four colorful beach chairs that would glow when backlit. We put just one kid in the chair and left the other ones empty. The art director loved it and would up selling it to the client.

A couple on the seawall

In the photo of the two bicycles almost the identical story happened. This photo was taken for Alabama Tourism, and as always they wanted a couple riding on the seawall. Once again I asked the art director about an idea I had that would imply a couple without showing them; and once again it worked.

So my fellow photographers, you don’t have to be literal when you’re shooting. Think about implied photos so you can give yourself a much better chance in “coloring outside the lines”.


Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me some time. This coming January Along with William Yu, I’ll be taking a group to China to photograph the flooded rice terraces and also the tribal villages. Next February in conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be returning to Cuba for the fourth time. My next springtime workshop will Berlin next May; an incredibly beautiful city.

Send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.


Let people know you saw it here!
    { 0 comments… add one }

    Leave a Comment