When it comes to collecting books, I have a problem. I can’t stop. Despite the number of photo books stacked on three bookshelves in the house (bedside, kitchen, and office), I couldn’t wait to get a copy of A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. From the sisters and creators of the popular DIY style blog, A Beautiful Mess, Larson and Chapman share 95 ideas for photographing your life and then turning the photos into beautiful objects.
Unlike most of the historical or technical photo books in my collection, this idea book is packed with inspiring and nontechnical ways to take better photos everyday no matter what camera you have lying around. The sisters offer practical tips on how to find great light, add backdrops and props, capture emotion, take artistically blurry photos, use creative points of view, re-imagine old photos, create a photo journal, and so much more.
If you’re new to photography, the book’s passionate tone and colorful photographs will spark new ideas for shoots and projects. For more experienced shooters, many of the tips will be routine practice, however there are enough new ones to inspire you, such as, make a chalkboard or paper backdrop, photograph your current obsession, or take storytelling portraits.
After you’ve jotted down notes or alternatively picked up your camera while reading this easily digestible book, you just might fall in love with photography all over again.
Top 5 projects from the book to try:
1. Make a Fabric Backdrop
2. Incorporate 10 Ideas for Creative Lifestyle Props
3. Achieve a goal through photos
4. Make Canvas Photo Transfers
5. Create a Photo Journal
A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book: 95 Inspiring Ideas For Photographing Your Friends, Your World, and Yourself by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman
Plus more photo tips from Larson and Chapman on their blog, A Beautiful Mess