The second part of the PTOD archives. Again, this is not meant to be a cohesive essay. They’re simply random thoughts that have occurred to me over coffee, in the course of conversations, etc. A few of my favorites are in bold.
Incidentally, I’m planning to write a few entries in the future elaborating on some of the points from PTOD and Advice for Aspiring Photographers. If there’s a particular point or two you’d like to see explained in more depth, please let me know.
The surest way to become a photographic trend setter is to completely disregard all photographic trends.
Do ONLY what you want to do. People who don’t understand are not your target clientele / audience. So what?
In your quest to create the best images you can, don’t forget that sometimes it’s the snapshots that mean the most.
The only photos we can ever really regret are the ones we never make. Stop thinking about shooting, and shoot!
Your photographic style should not be determined by fear of trying new things. “Scared” is not a style.
Never apologize or make excuses for your work. We are rarely as good or bad as we think we are.
Work with your personality, not against it. It’s OK to be shy in your sessions. Learn to make it work for you.
Shoot what intimidates you. Seek out the subjects/sessions that are hardest for you. That’s how we grow.
When in doubt, simplify.
There is only photographic rule that should never be broken: respect your subjects.
You can either build your business by having a unique style – or by being the cheapest. Which sounds more fun?
Don’t worry that you aren’t creative enough. Express yourself deeply and allow your work to be what it is.
Perfectionism and high standards are not the same thing. Perfectionism is ego with a dash of self-doubt.
Nobody but you can make your photographs. If you don’t do it, no one will, and those moments will be lost.
A portrait session is a beautiful dance between photographer and subject; if either doesn’t participate, it’s just a recital.
Photograph according to your own artistic compass, and gain the clients who value it. Never apologize for your style.
If at first you don’t succeed, you probably need a light meter.
You do not need the latest and greatest gear. It’s an expensive distraction. Learn to effectively use what you have.
Know your technique so you can forget about it. Luck is nice, but a terrifying thing to rely on.
A successful portrait is a side effect of a strong human connection. What are you giving for your subjects to respond to?
Sharpness is overrated. There’s a place for a gentle, subtle print. Eyelashes do not have to look like weapons.
Every time you photograph someone, you tell them, “You’re important enough to remember.” Make the most of it.
There is perfection in imperfection. Don’t be afraid to show character and experience in your subject’s faces.
Your technique should never upstage your subject. It should enhance the image, not take over.
Photographers need to be photographed. It teaches us empathy for our subjects. It isn’t easy to be in front of the lens.
There is no such thing as bad light. There is only light that is used badly.
It matters little how great your portraits are if your clients don’t have fun. The session should be its own reward.
A great portrait is a side effect of a strong human connection. Be a person first, a photographer second.
It does not matter how good your post processing is if you start with a badly lit image! Good lighting is KEY.
Everything you need to know about lighting can be learned from your catchlights and shadows. You must know how to read them!
Soph and Grandma B