We sent funny, little retro cameras to three designers. Their mission was simple: Shoot what inspires them. They threw caution to the wind and let unbridled creativity flourish. They played, and photography was their toy. Let their results prompt your own creative adventure.
It all started when HOW was approached by a representative for Lomography, a community and shop dedicated to analog photography. His intent was to get their cameras into the hands of creatives and to show their retro shots in HOW magazine (see the May 2011 issue). After reviewing The 10 Golden Rules of Lomography on the company’s website (which include No. 1 Take your camera everywhere you go; No. 7 Be fast; and No. 10 Don’t worry about any rules), the editorial team at HOW decided that this was a pretty good idea.
Not only would it serve as a reminder to creatives to step away from their desks and explore new forms of art for inspiration, but it also could open their eyes to incorporating personal photography into their own design work. Choosing the three designers was the only remaining piece to the puzzle — and perhaps the most important.
Two HOW editors uttered Jim Krause’s name simultaneously. He’s earned a reputation as the rockstar of combining personal photography with his design work. He’s written four books on the topic, and led numerous creative workshops at the HOW Design Conference, which always draw large crowds. The best part: He’d really never touched this type of camera.
Illustrative designer Von Glitschka also seemed like a no-brainer. During last year’s HOW Conference in Denver, one editor suddenly noticed Glitschka missing from the pack of HOW Books authors being escorted to dinner. Minutes later, he emerged from an alley, smiling down at a shot he’d taken of a textured wall. Sure enough, he’s got a golden eye for seeing the hidden beauty around him — things most people miss — and incorporating these textures and patterns into his own design work.
The third designer, Marcie Carson, met HOW’s art director when the two served as judges for the Creativity International Awards. HOW’s Bridgid McCarren casually asked to see a photo of Carson’s sons. She glanced over at her iPhone, expecting the normal smiling kid shot, but noticed that Carson, co-founder and creative director at IE Design + Communications, had fully embraced the Hipstamatic filter for her iPhone pictures, giving each shot a funky, fresh edge. “You want to see a picture of a Cheerio?” Carson asked. McCarren vouched that Carson’s eye would work well for this photo adventure.
The nice folks at Lomography packed up cameras and a slew of film and sent them to our designers. HOW had few — if any — restrictions. To our surprise, what started out as an assignment for each designer transformed into creative playdates. One took the camera on vacation, while the others arranged photography outings with friends and family. They each saw the world in a new way, reminding us that photography is an often overlooked way to find inspiration. See the images the lomographers captured, and then take each of their photography challenges and look at the world through your own lens. Who knows? It may just inspire your next design project.
View their impressions of the experience and their photography results In the May 2011 issue of HOW.
Below you will find bonus downloads each designer provided to show how your own photography — even if it is experimental— can find a home in design work.
1. Jim Krause says that, although he’ll never give up his digital camera, he plans to continue dabbling in analog. “When it comes to any kind of art, I’m a huge fan of including accidents, chance and randomness in the creative process,” he says.
2. Marcie Carson’s photos channel a beachy essence that leaves us wanting to put our toes in the sand.
3. Von Glitschka often incorporates textures from photos he takes into his design work. “Digital design can be too clean, too perfect at times, so giving it an authentic, crappy look with real-world surface textures is a nice way to impart a realistic aesthetic to your project,” he says.
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