“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” – Henri Matisse
At opening receptions, the conversation often turns to: “How do I take better pictures?” “How can I get my work into galleries?”
Always wear your camera.
Always wearing my camera allowed me to make the photos that launched my photography career.
Always having a camera with me enabled me to capture cousin Kim talking to Lucky.
Put your phone in airplane mode and leave it in your pocket.
If I’d been looking down at a phone, I would have missed this gentleman’s gift of humor to us at the 1987 World Series.
What’s his sign about? Click here.
We make pictures. Describing what we do as “making” pictures recognizes that we are creating something, and is more peaceful than saying “shoot” pictures, or that we go out “shooting.”
Keep making pictures when it’s raining or snowing.
Going up the stairs despite the rain allowed me to preserve and share a place we won’t be able to visit for many years.
Snow is especially conducive to making black and white images.
What’s the best camera?
The one you have with you. How you see - and how you use whatever you already have - are more important than what camera you use, or whether you use film or digital.
One camera, one lens.
For candid photography, working with one camera and one lens simplifies your life because you won’t miss pictures while deciding which lens to use.
Books, not gear.
The Eye of Eisenstaedt: How a Great Photographer Sees. A must for every photographer.
The Photographic Essay: William Albert Allard - and any other book by Bill.
Jon Lewis: Photographs of the California Grape Strike, by Richard Steven Street.
Ground Time by Kent Reno.
Jan Phillips and Ruth Westreich’s Creativity Unzipped.
David Kennerly’s Photo Op.
Print your work.
Because looking at physical prints is essential to growing as a photographer, print your pictures on paper, even if you use a digital camera.
When you’re finished, set your prints aside. Come back to them after a couple of days, and think about your work again.
Share your prints.
Share your prints with the people you photograph, and with family and friends. In addition to sharing the joy, it gives others something tangible to associate with what you do, especially in this time when sharing is too limited to screens.
Carry a notebook.
Record names, dates, places, exposure times for your prints, and how you made your prints.
Want to sell your pictures?
Show your work at a portfolio review.
Make time to prepare before you go.
Just when my friend who drove me to Northern Wisconsin was ready to give up, several Great Gray Owls came into view on both sides of the road.
Bonne chance, et bonne lumière!
“I think photographers should be more like him. He was free and carried little equipment.” – Marc Riboud, on the Eiffel Tower Painter