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Monday, August 25, 2014

Does your photo tell a story? || monday musings

Have you ever thought why am I taking this photo? or even why am I taking any photos at all?

Is your photo telling a story?

Whether using your smartphone or point and shoot or dSLR (or film!), I think it's important to consider...why am I taking this photo?

Is it to capture a memory?

Is this someone important in my life (or those I'm taking photos of)?

Am I awed by beautiful scenary?

Will my grainy night photo remind me of a sweet time with friends?

Did I capture the emotion of a moment?

Before you snap away...do you consider why?

In an age when digital is pervasive and cameras are accessible to the multitudes (don't get me wrong, this is a GOOD thing!), do you take the time to think of the "why" behind your photo?

Let's put this at a macro and a micro level.

At a high level, I think it's important for photographers to think why they are doing photography. What is the why behind what you do? From the composition of a photo to what you take to how you edit, I think it should reflect your why.

Authentic

Memorable

Timeless

Those three words describe my why.

It's why I do minimal edits to achieve natural looking photos. Why I use black and white a lot. Why I include a sample of prints when I do a photo shoot. Why I like taking photos of people. Why I lug my camera around on trips. Why I take photos for fun at get togethers with family and friends.

But...to all you smartphone or point and shoot or casual dSLR folks out there - don't think you can get away from this either! Why do you take your photos? And what do you do with them? Is it to document the moment? Is it to show your kids growing up? Then print them and hang them on the wall! Or put them in a photobook! Is it to share with family on another continent? Then find the best medium and share them!

Ok let's move on to the micro level.

Want to know a little secret to better photos? Before you take a photo, take a quick second and mentally ask yourself what story am I trying to tell with this photo?

It will help you focus on getting the best shot to capture what you are trying to take a photo of.

Do you need to move in closer to your subject or back up a bit? Do you need to get down low on the ground or angle your lens?

Before you start snapping photos everywhere, think of the story you are telling through your photo.

I was shooting a wedding this weekend with another photographer  and someone asked us how our photography styles were different. I thought - hmm, editing, artistic differences, composition. Our styles are different, yet fairly similar. Then I thought back to visiting museums in Europe and the paintings I like the most. I realized that throughout my photos...

I chase light




*photo from my recent trip in Oregon. We caught the sunset on the beach! Hopefully that "story" shows :)

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