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Feature Image by: Tung Bien | @rarepenguin

Tips and Tricks for creating fantasy photography

Photography can be a lot of fun, but breaking out of the box with a conceptual idea opens up endless possibilities when creating fantasy theme photos.

Fantasy photography is all about letting your imagination soar and bringing creative ideas to life. It's a fun and relatively unique photography niche that I enjoy with a passion where there’s always something new I'm able to learn from the process of creating these magical images. I'm excited to be able to share some tips which I hope will help you create some magic of your own.

Story in a frame

Creating great fantasy photography photos doesn't have to be a huge effort. It's as simple as envisioning the final idea and finding a location that could represent a fictional world. I get some of my inspiration ideas from pinterest, inspiring Instagram photos, hearing music lyrics, anything that just comes to mind and jot the ideas down on a notepad. These ideas help me visualize a base process on what I'd like to shoot, location choices, and how I plan to execute shooting the photos.

Our first destination was at a mesmerising waterfall. The choice of this location gave off a magical and mysterious feeling as it offered low lighting that fit perfectly for the mood. Being able to light my model was a key factor when planning this choice of location, not everyone has lighting equipment available so the location solved that element by providing soft stunning natural light.

The view from the waterfall was spectacular, shooting with the RF 70-200mm f2.8 IS USM enabled a fantastic reach when we were capturing our shots. It allowed an opportunity in getting creative in new ways, being able to focus on my model from further lengths, cropping out distracting elements, and focusing on details within the composition helped portray the story in the shots.

Fantasy photo under waterfall

Framing and composition

Viewing from different creative perspective is a key for telling a better story whether its a low, high or wide-angle shot.

As I was mainly focusing on portraits I wanted to show stronger composition in these images, zooming closer at my model putting her in the center of the frame gave a more powerful and intimate feeling within the image. This filled up the background space making it less distracting and pulling the focus on her dress. The RF 70-200mm f2.8 IS USM was perfect for creating the fantasy shots at the waterfall. The focal length gave my model space to move, while still offering the reach for wide and zoomed shots making it possible to capture the whole scenic view.

Wider view Fantasy photo under waterfall

Wardrobe / Props

Coordinating a great choice of clothing and props is important when shooting fantasy photography. It helps to emphasize and transform a simple location into something amazing. Props for photos can be anything that adds to the portrait you’re creating. It's up to your imagination as to what you use and how you choose to use them.

As the forest location had warmer tones, I wanted the main focus of attraction to be on my model so the choice of the red dress made a great selection overall as red evokes stronger emotions allowing the focus to be on her. Adding the butterfly headband and some additional butterfly clips gave the images a more magic emphasized fantasy look.\

Fantasy photo in autumn leaves

Post production / Editing

Colour is one of the most important elements in creating fantasy photography. When editing colours and hues I always decide what's best in each image by referring to a colour theory palette chart, helping me determine which primary and secondary work well in an image together. I decided to go with an analogous colour choice for this edit as it's a blend of greens, orange, yellows & red tones which gave my subject a good pop in focus in the shot.

Editing Fantasy shots

There isn't a right or wrong choice when it comes to editing, it’s all about experimenting and seeing what works best for your photos. I like to capture most of my images during sunset, as the glow naturally reflects reds, oranges and yellow hues in my edits. The warm tones are extremely eye-catching when blended well together.

Fastasy photo in the sunset
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