Author's photo

Creative photography is the same as original photography, and what do these definitions even mean?

David LaChapelle: The Holy Family with Saint Francis, 2019


Both genres are related terms that have a lot of overlap, but also have some differences. Author photography is usually emphasized as an expression of the photographer's personal vision, style and emotions. The photographer focuses on expressing his unique point of view through photographs, using his creativity to create images that reflect his inner experience of the world. Author photography can cover a variety of genres and themes, but the key is its personal and authentic nature. In this method of photographic expression, there is a greater emphasis on personal style and interpretation of the photograph through a personal prism.

Creative photography is a broader concept that includes both original photography and other forms of creative expression through photography. Creative photography focuses on innovative approaches, unusual ideas and experimental techniques that go beyond the traditional boundaries of photography. This can include the manipulation of light, colors, textures, composition and other elements to create extraordinary and unique visual effects. While auteur photography is more focused on expressing the photographer's personal point of view and emotions, creative photography is more focused on research and innovation in the medium of photography, which can also include collective creation and collaboration between artists.

Thus, we can say that creative photography is a subset of creative photography, where the emphasis is on the personal expression of the photographer, while creative photography covers a wider spectrum of innovative approaches to creating visual images.

As a practical example of an author's photo, e.g. a project in which the photographer chooses a subject that he would like to visualize and therefore uses his own style in the composition itself, the choice of lighting and the final processing. This approach can be found in practically all photographers who, based on this approach, built a recognizable and subjective connotation of their works, even though the subject matter could be purely natural (portrait, landscape...). These photographers include creators such as:

  1. Ansel Adams - A famous American photographer who became famous mainly for his beautiful black and white shots of nature, especially Yosemite National Park.
    Diane Arbus - American photographer known for her portraits of people on the fringes of society, which gave her work a unique and often controversial character.
    Dorothea Lange – American photographer who, among other things, documented the Great Depression in the United States and became known for her powerful and moving portraits and documentary photographs.
    Cindy Sherman - American photographer known for her experimental self-portraits where she disguises herself and uses various costumes and masks to explore issues of identity, gender and social roles.
    Sebastião Salgado – Brazilian photographer known for his powerful documentary photographs, mainly from the project “Migrations” and “Genesis”, which capture life and culture around the world.
    Sally Mann – American photographer known for her emotional and intimate portraits, especially of her children, and her mastery of alternative photography techniques.
    Steve McCurry - American photojournalist known for his powerful portraits and reportage photographs from around the world, especially the iconic photograph of the Afghan girl Sharbat Gula.

These are just some of the many original photographers who have left a big mark on the world of photography. Each of them contributed to the development of the art of photography with their unique style, vision and contributions.


Creative photography is a broader term and usually, in addition to the techniques mentioned above, which are related to author's photographs, it also includes manipulations with the medium, a different, even abstract approach, which often goes beyond photography alone, and the works can be considered artistic expressions with the help of photography. Some of the most famous authors in this field:

  1. David LaChapelle – American photographer known for his extravagant and colorful fashion photography and artwork that often combines elements of pop culture, satire and surrealism.
    Jerry Uelsmann – American photographer who pioneered photo manipulation before the digital age. His photomontages and combinations of several shots created surreal and dreamlike images.
    Brooke Shaden – American photographer known for her fantasy and magical photography, where she creates fairytale worlds and tells stories through her artistic images.
    Erik Johansson – Swedish photographer known for his extraordinary digital photo manipulations that create illusion and surreal scenes that transcend the boundaries of reality.
    Kirsty Mitchell – British photographer known for her “Wonderland” project, where she created magical and poetic images inspired by mythology, fairy tales and nature.
    Joel Robison – Canadian photographer known for his creative and playful photography, often incorporating self-portraits into fantasy and wonder worlds, expressing his imagination and creativity.
    Maggie Taylor – American photographer known for her digital collages and photomontages that combine vintage photographs, illustrations and digital elements into mysterious and dreamlike images.

These photographers are just a few examples of creative artists who push beyond the traditional boundaries of photography to create unique and innovative images that appeal to viewers in different ways. Each of them became famous for their unique style and vision in the world of photography.


Tomaž Berčič