Get inspired to shoot like filmmaker Wes Anderson

Accidentally Wes Anderson
(Image credit: Valentina Jacks / IG @valentina_jacks)

If you love pastel colors, stylized symmetry and have an obsessive eye for simplicity, chances are that you're already following the hit Instagram account that is Accidentally Wes Anderson, which has spawned a new book of the same name. 

Wes Anderson quietly debuted on movie screens back in 1996 with his small movie, Bottle Rocket, which followed a group of young small-time Texans (played by his friends Owen and Luke Wilson) aspiring to achieve major heists. Since then Anderson has developed a cult following for his auteur style, and you can spot his distinctive aesthetic a mile off. 

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(Image credit: IG @paulfuentes_photo)

If you're not yet familiar with @accidentallywesanderson on Instagram, it's a curated, collaborative feed of submitted photographs that anyone can contribute to. In 2017, Brooklyn-based Wally Koval and his wife Amanda started the account, sharing a picture of the abandoned Belvédère Hotel on Switzerland's Furka Pass. Three years later, and over 1.2 million people follow the growing community. 

"If you see a structure, a storefront, a symmetrical scene that moves the imagination, take a photo," says Koval, and you can then submit your shot via the official website

The account was such a huge success that it led to the new book of the same name, published by Trapeze, with 368 pages of stunning photography showing off over 200 locations around the world. 

(Image credit: Accidentally Wes Anderson/Wally Koval)

While the director is best known for stylized classics like The Grand Budapest Hotel, his filmography and aesthetic is far more diverse. In 2009, for instance, he stepped away from live action to shoot an animated feature film, Fantastic Mr Fox – and he did so not using the best cinema cameras, but one of the best DSLRs of the time. 

While the Nikon D3 wouldn't be your first choice to film a motion picture, the film is built around stop-motion animation – a frame-by-frame process where still images are photographed, at the same 24 frames per second rate as standard film cameras.

The D3's full-frame 4,256 × 2,832 resolution was more than enough for cinema-friendly 1080p output, particularly when shot with Anderson's choice of beautiful Cooke Varotal lenses. 

(Image credit: Mills Studio)

Still, it's the director's signature, symmetrical, pastel-seeped style that he's best known for – and this new book serves as great inspiration to follow his remarkable visual flair.

Accidentally Wes Anderson is available now in hardback for $35 / £25 / AU£39.99, and on Kindle for $18.79 / £16.99 / AU$24.99. 

Read more: 

Best movies about real photographers
Best movies about fictional photographers
Best photography books
Best TV shows about photography on Netflix, Amazon Prime and online

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Alistair Campbell

Alistair is the Features Editor of Digital Camera magazine, and has worked as a professional photographer and video producer.