I recently had a request from a Nova Scotia photography student to answer a few questions as a part of a school assignment. Here’s one.
How do you prepare your subjects before shooting? How do you indicate there’s something wrong with the pose or expression?
Shooting? I’ve struggled with this overused term for a long time. Years ago, I saw an American photographer from Maine who did beautiful portraits including people from the US Navy. During his presentation he talked about what we do as photographers. “We shoot them, process them and then hang them.” From that point on I have tried to avoid using the word shoot when talking about photography.
Why care? We work in a field of communication. A hugely powerful form of communication we sometimes take for granted. How we speak about photography is as important as how we compose an image.
How do I prepare for a photo session? I always start with a conversation asking my subjects desired outcome and...
Todays post was inspired by a presentation Seth Godin did on LinkedIn to "Do Bad Writing".
Just get out and photograph consistently. Learn by making mistakes, trying new things, finding solutions and developing your expertise as a photographer.
All I can say is it's loads of fun.
It's always a great learning experience to enter competitions. It feels great when you're images are accepted and win awards while empowering to listen to judges' feedback on those images that didn't win and how they can be improved.
There are always opportunities to learn more. How sweet is that!!!
Sometimes we simply want to say "I was here". This is what it looked like.
Other times we attempt to say what it felt like here, in this place, or with this person.
We might say how this place, person, thing has affected us, influenced us, maybe surprised us…
There's always choice each time we press the shutter.
The Photography Whisperer helps photographers say what they want to say.
I love images placed beside each other creating tension between them; an extension from one to the other expanding each others message or feeling. Creating new ones.
The images may not immediately be seen as related. When a creator does this it forces me to uncover the relationship. The relationship can be obvious extending each others meaning.
Words too, alongside a photograph(s) can also create powerful relationship.
This one has both, inspired upon hearing an old Big Bang Theory TV show. The line, "The ice caps are melting Leonard. In the future swimming isn’t going to be optional." The line tossed in among several humorous lines jumped out.
At first I had an abstract image of sun on water from 2 summers ago in mind. While looking it up I happened upon this sequence taken along a back road between Stratford and London. The relationship to oil and an ongoing concern regarding global warming felt more relevant than the playful abstraction.
Listen to how Yousef Karsh created the quintessential portrait of Winston Churchill in 1941.
Some may have heard of Ansel Adams and Pre-visualization? The idea is to have a clear idea of what your image will look like before you release the shutter. It's an extremely powerful way to create photographs.
My personal professional experience is when I have a vision of what I want to create before a session starts I not only create that vision but often build on it during the session to make even stronger photographs.
Karsh had a vision in advance of the portrait he wanted to create. The location and lighting were setup the night before. As Churchill approached Karsh new one thing for certain, he did not want a cigar in the photograph...
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Lovely hot Wednesday in August. Neither my wife nor I had clients to see. No projects due. Beach day! One of the joys of working for yourself is taking advantage of those moments cuz you’re likely going to be working all day Saturday or Sunday or… but that’s not why I’m here today.
On the drive home from the beach I was enjoying the view as the sunlight started to warm while starting to cast some longer shadows. The light was starting to evolve into that sweet light.
Suddenly, I realized I wasn’t really seeing it! Why not? I had my sunglasses on. Not only do they darken the scene, they typically alter the colour somewhat. My latest hold a slight blue cast. My last pair had a warm tone added to them. Romantic but not so good for photography.
I find it imperative to take the sunglasses off to really see the light no matter the time of day. They don’t have to stay off. They are good protection from harmful uv rays. If I’m considering a photo,...
What is creativity indeed. I started reading "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear" by Elizabeth Gilbert this morning. Never read her work before. I did enjoy the film "Eat, Pray, Love". I heard an interview with her a few weeks ago. It inspired me to pick Big Magic up at the library yesterday.
I turned the opening pages while light spilled through the window. I had to pause and create something within this sweet little moment. (image above)
Ultimately, creativity is relationship. Ongoing.
Some days are better than others.
It's work. Good work.
An exploration of our world.
Learning about our world and ourselves. Ultimately, our relationship to it.
Sometimes the eyes remain wide. Often the mouth drops open in awe.
I'm launching The Photography Whisperer Method in August where I won't presume what your relationship to creativity is or should be. I will act as a guide encouraging your exploration offering tools that will help along the way.