Steampunk is a subculture and aesthetic that involves 19th-century aesthetics like steam-powered machinery, Victorian dress, science fiction, and goth. It involves a love of the past and old things that have been modernized and given a fresh new look. Themes usually involve some form of alternative history where inventors like Thomas Edison or even Queen Victoria contribute to the development of mechanical devices in the future.
As with most subcultures, steampunk has its own visual language to help define it. These visual cues can be found in art, fashion, architecture, music videos, movies — anything. Steampunk conventions are pretty common throughout North America and Europe and often feature live performances from bands or artists who specialize in this kind of music.
What You’ll Need for a Steampunk Photo Shoot
If you want to do a steampunk photo shoot, you’ll need all of the elements that make this subculture so interesting. Here are some things that you’ll need to have on hand if you want to create your own steampunk photo shoot:
-A Victorian outfit or dress
-An antique-looking hat, scarf, or gloves
-Renaissance- or Victorian-styled jewelry like a necklace and earrings
-A small piece of old film or something similar
-An old looking camera
Borrow or Buy Equipment
When people think of steampunk, they often imagine some sort of contraption that is powered by steam. You can either build your own steam-powered device or borrow one from an old steampunk friend. If you decide to buy a used one, you’ll probably have to do some repairs and maintenance before it’s ready for use.
There are also various designs of steampunk outfits that you can buy online or in stores. Sometimes these outfits are made from scratch, but many times they’re already designed. That being said, if you’re looking for something more custom, you could always make your own outfit and sew it together yourself!
Work with What You Already Have
One easy way to start working with steampunk is to think about your existing wardrobe and incorporate more Victorian-era pieces into it. If you’re not into wearing the full Victorian look, you can always play with other styles that are similar. This can really help to establish your own style within the subculture.
Find Out More About the Culture Before Going Out Shooting
There’s a lot to take in when trying to understand the steampunk culture. You might want to watch some movies or research the topic before shooting your next project.
Make It Look Good – Part 1: Lighting and Composition
When it comes to photography, there are a lot of different variables you can control. One of those variables is lighting and composition. The way your subject is lit and composed will give you an idea of how people might perceive your image. If they’re in front of a bright light, then they might appear bleached out or washed out. Whereas if they’re standing under a dark sky, or even in a dark room with some low-lit candles, it’ll make them stand out more (looking like they’re glowing).
Lighting and composition shouldn’t be this difficult to figure out though! You don’t have to go through all the options yourself and experiment with each one; chances are that someone else has done extensive testing on these topics already. You can find tutorials online or purchase guides for the specific type of photography you want to do (like wedding photography), which will teach you about the best lighting conditions for certain types of shots and offer formulas for taking proper exposures as well as some guidelines for composing your shot to get the most flattering result possible.
Make It Look Good – Part 2: Colour and Texture
In steampunk, we see a lot of colour and texture. Steampunk is often red, brown, and gold because these are the colours that are traditionally found in old Victorian architecture. Other common shades include green and black. It’s important to use rich, bold colours in your design for steampunk. The same goes for textures — we’ve seen everything from metal gears to wood shingles on buildings made with this aesthetic.
If you’re trying to create an authentic look for your project, you’ll want to make sure you use these elements of steampunk. If you’re looking to create something different and unique, the use of textures can help achieve this goal — the right textures can make even a simple rectangle feel like it belongs in a period piece.
Steampunk has taken the world by storm, but what does it actually look like?
To make steampunk photography easier, you’ll need a few essential pieces of equipment. This includes a camera, a tripod and an assistant to help set up and take down the equipment. To make portraits look more authentic, a photographer should borrow or buy a gas mask, goggles, and a Victorian-style cape.