Turning Ideas into Art: Beautiful Portraits by Isabella Mariana

If you’ve seen our list of 40 awesome conceptual photos, you might already be inspired to create your own conceptual photography. However, if you missed that post, here’s a single photographer whose work alone can inspire you.

Isabella Mariana is a Brazilian photographer who specializes in conceptual portraits. Her work is both beautiful and thought-provoking. Browsing through her portraits is like reimagining the world, person by person.

Cycles

Cycles

fly me anywhere

fly me anywhere

Typically, portrait photographers begin their creative process with a person’s identity, face or body. As a conceptual photographer, though, Isabella begins with an idea. She finds inspiration for ideas everywhere: movies, nature, books, feelings, illustrations, life stories… “Basically anything,” she says.

Once she has a clear concept in mind, she takes out a piece of paper and draws different ways she could represent that idea in a picture. She can’t always shoot the photo right away. As a result, she now has several notebooks full of tiny drawings to shoot one day.

If she can shoot the photo, she starts by choosing a model, exploring locations and making props. Only then does she finally go out for the shoot. Each photo shoot is like this–very planned. It’s rare for her to get ideas in the moment.

Photographers who like spontaneous shoots might not enjoy filling so many notebooks with plans, but for Isabella, idea notebooks are a great way to avoid creative blocks. Such a wealth of ideas is also what she likes most about photography. She loves the infinite number of possibilities, just waiting to be created. No matter who the model is, she can always imagine a story to tell.

Storm Collector

Storm Collector

Make Your Pain Something Beautiful

Make Your Pain Something Beautiful

Some of her images or “stories” are more special for her than others, but in the end, she doesn’t have a favorite. Her preferences change all the time. Still, at the moment, her “favorite” is “Make Your Pain Something Beautiful” because of the concept behind it.

“The harp represents the good and beautiful things we share with the world. (In my case, it’s my photography.) And that’s the only thing people are able to see. But nobody sees the arrow that is hurting us to do this ‘music’. The arrow can be our failures, pain, obstacles, things we gave up, etc.”

Sharing these “good and beautiful things” takes fearlessness, she believes. If she could go back in time, she would tell herself to have less fear as a photographer. “There will ALWAYS be people who will identify with your art, strange as it may seem.”

To see more of Isabella’s photography, visit her Flickr photostream, Facebook page, or Instagram account.

You are creating wings to fly away from your mind

You are creating wings to fly away from your mind

Finally Free

Finally Free

Weightless

Weightless

Reborn

Reborn

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Isabella Mariana ***

Secrets Revealed

Secrets Revealed

The Present of Statues

The Present of Statues

Losing Touch

Losing Touch

Searching Ideas

Searching Ideas

Hard to be Free

Hard to be Free

Bring your Imagination

Bring your Imagination

Lack of Inspiration

Lack of Inspiration

The Sea Storyteller

The Sea Storyteller

Magritting

Magritting

I’m not here

I'm not here

Swan Lake

Swan Lake