Content Tips by: Charli Savage - Strange World Photography

Content Tips by: Charli Savage - Strange World Photography

Team Streams

December 6th, 2020

Content Tips by: Charli Savage - Strange World Photography

Who are you? 


Charli Savage - Strange World Photography


What do you do: 

Content creator, creating art through my camera



I’m a self-taught photographer and I started my creative photography journey in September 2018. I use a mixture of myself and models as my subjects. 

Growing up as an avid reader I have always been drawn to the magic of storytelling. Getting lost in a different reality is a grand adventure and every person and place has a story to tell. Because of this, my imagination runs wild, giving me the freedom to create photographic art that transports the viewer from this reality into a surreal and strange world. It brings me so much joy, to shift someone’s perception and evoke emotion through timeless imagery.





When Streams approached me asking if I’d like to create a new image inspired by something I am passionate about, using their content marketing tool, I was excited for the challenge. Until now, I hadn’t created an image based on an article, but after an extensive search I came across some articles that resonated with me, allowing a concept to enter my imagination.



When I came across these trending articles it got me thinking about the negative impacts on student’s education this year, and what it means for them and their parents. When Covid-19 broke out, schools all around the world closed, forcing children to continue their education in isolation, from home, with their parents taking on a new role: teacher. 

School is not just a place of education, but a place to interact with friends, encouraging social etiquette. So, with schools closing and students being asked to “self-educate” online, from the comfort of their own home, what effect does this have on the students? How are they to stay motivated to learn while in an environment that means something totally different to them (play, rest, family time, etc)? Does their education just go up in flames?

With these questions in mind, I set out to create a piece that represented learning in isolation and the distractions surrounding that. Some would say I am crazy to wake up before dawn, pack my car with props and a camera and drive to an isolated location, just to take a photo, but, on the contrary, doing this is a normal day in my life. 

I chose to create a feeling of isolation by shooting in a wide-open, semi overgrown field in a farming region near my home. I set up a scene to replicate the concept I was going for and took a heap of photos until I felt I had enough to play around within Photoshop.

Quick Tip #1: It’s better to take more photos than less. Give yourself options, play around with different poses and angles so when you go to edit, you haven’t missed anything, saving yourself the hassle of a reshoot.

I only had one desk, but had the intent to add more, so I took my base shot first. A base shot is the main image, the image I use to kick off an edit. I set up a scene around this desk, choosing to scatter crumpled paper, add a pile of old books on the desk, and an old musical sheet that I had in my stockpile of props, which is exceptionally long so it added visual interest to the scene. I then added the lantern to finish it off. 


Charli Savage

© Charli Savage - Strange World Photography


I prefer to create my images as squares so whenever I do a shoot, I also need to expand my frame. To do this, I photograph the surrounding area of the base shot. I set my point of focus on what would be the subject, and then shoot the surrounding area, slightly out of focus. 


Charli Savage

© Charli Savage - Strange World Photography


Quick Tip #2: When shooting your subject in a scene, shoot up close, and then expand the frame around them. Shooting further away and then making them larger in the editing process will stretch pixels, which can be detrimental if you wish to create larger images for print. Shooting up close also means a higher chance of your subject being in focus.

With my frame expanded to a square, I then added 2 empty desks either side of the subject, to create a deeper feeling of isolation & loneliness. To do this I removed all the props away from the scene and photographed the empty desk at several angles, settling on the two below:


Charli Savage

© Charli Savage - Strange World Photography


I added in a stock photo of the fire that I had taken a few months ago, as a representation of education going up in flames. To remove the black background, I change the blending mode in Photoshop to “Screen”.


Charli Savage

© Charli Savage - Strange World Photography


Once I have all the pieces of the puzzle in place, I then move onto colour-grading my image. To do this, I use a mixture of adjustment layers (selective colour, curves) and going into Adobe Camera Raw via Photoshop. To finish it off, I layer textures over the top of the image to give it a more weathered and painterly feel.

Quick Tip #3: If you wish to use textures in your images, you can photograph anything with a textured surface (walls, tiles, wood, etc). When in Photoshop and layering them over the top, try different blending modes to see what works best with the image you’ve created. I usually use “Soft Light”.

Adding textures really finishes an image off for me. It’s how I know I’m happy with it and ready to let it go, by sharing it with the world.


The final piece: 

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, find a connection with the finished image, and learned some photography tips from me.


Charli Savage

© Charli Savage - Strange World Photography


As a Creator, what Streams searches would you recommend?


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