Religious and biblical photography is a very interesting mini genre in photography. You are focusing on capturing the spiritual and using unique compositions and ideas to make interesting photos of religious objects come to life. When focusing on the bible, there are some other things that you will need to keep in mind to make your shots really stand above the rest.
Some others have used the bible as inspiration for their photography. For example, in this blog post, artist Kelly Jobe speaks to how the bible allowed her to reinvent herself as a photographer. Thinking of biblical interpretation has allowed numerous artists, authors, photographers, and creators to create pieces of work that have truly stood the test of time. If you are either photographing the bible in a literal sense, or leaning on it for inspiration, it can be a fantastic tool to reshape your photography.
Featured Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/3apYxXtVO4I
1. Be creative and refreshing
There have been hundreds of thousands of photos taken of the bible. These can range from stock images to detailed photo illustrations that tell a story. If you are trying to enter a new space, I’d actually advise you not to look up too many images others have taken. Going into bible photography with a fresh mind and perspective, without the looming shadow of other images you have seen, may allow you to take some images from new perspectives because of how differently every individual will target every image.
2. Think of more than the book
While the bible may be the central part of the image, there needs to be a lot more happening than just the book. How can you make the book reciprocate the emotion you are trying to achieve? Think of colors, direct light, diffused light, and what you can apply to the bible for maximum visual impact.
The other part of this is to think about how the book will be interacting with the scene at hand. You might want to incorporate some form of subject in the photography. What would that look like? How can you best mix portraiture with holy scripture?
You might want to create a very minimalist exposure. If that is the case what are you going to be doing to best explain the use of minimalism visually? With more simple imagery, everything you place in the scene needs to be there for a reason. Think of your reasons, and if everything in your exposure contributes to it in a positive light.
3. What page, what passage?
Each image you take might be focusing on a subtle theme. What page you elect to use, what version of the bible, what color the bible is, and what the cover reads are all important facts to pay attention to when photographing it. Each of these subtleties will have an impact on the final image, and as I have repeated several times, this is an area of photography where all these are heavily important. Being a perfectionist here can make your images really stand out.
4. Play with multiple subjects
An easy way to add to a composition is playing with multiple subjects, and aligning them in a way that makes them compose well together. While this can take some time to get right, it can be a lot of fun to align different objects together and see what they come together to create. Take your time and be patient with item selections, and then spend a lot time in your workspace environment to really get it right.
5. Post processing is really important
In most genres today, post processing is, at least to some degree, rather important. In bible photography, however, it is really really important that you take your time and work on it. The reason for this is that, with often simple shots, every single extra step you take can make images stand out. If you are shooting something minimal, take your time to make sure that color balance is perfect for the mood you wish to set, that there are no tarnishing factors in the image, and that everything else in the photos is as high quality as possible.