3 conceptual relationships in photography

Relationships can be found everywhere. By and large the first thing that comes to mind is the relationship two or more live subjects may have with one another. Mother and child, two lovers, friends or an animal and its owner.

common relationships

Common relationships can be found between friends, partners, people and their pets in everyday life. There are more to look at which aren't so obvious, however. When common relationships are shown in photographs, it's a good idea to include emotion to appeal to your viewers. Laughing, bad attitudes, sadness and so forth are all excellent ways to add some excitement to your otherwise dull images. Have the people you talk to tell you about a fun experience they had, or have mom tickle their kid to get their child laughing. Ask the kid questions about his favorite movie or game.. in doing this you can also demonstrate a relationship between you, the photographer, and your subject.

conceptual relationships:
frames within frames, juxtaposition and repetition

There are less typical relationships which are merely conceptual that can be found in the world. Hopefully when you hear “conceptual relationships” your imagination isn’t running away with your current crush. Rather, these are abstract ideas that represent relationships. These relationships can be found when looking at colors, shapes, genders, subjects, backgrounds, foregrounds and much more.


Frames within frames are exactly what the name implies. The frame, or composition, again is simply the outer edges of the image which determines what exactly is included in the image.


Juxtaposition puts two subjects into a photograph and demonstrates a relationship between them. This particular type of relationship can be compared and contrasted by similarities and differences. It is often found in opposites: big and small, rich and poor, tall and short, dark and light, old and new, etc.


Repetition shows relationships between objects or beings and may be seen in repeating colors, shapes, objects or people; e.g. a marching band in uniform or bunch of clocks on a wall or a herd of elephants.

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