13 Thoughts for 2013


Making resolutions and the start of a new year go hand in hand so I thought I would put my fingers to keyboard tell you all what I will be keeping at the forefront of my mind for the next 12 months.

1) Why do you take photographs?  I do a lot of street photography and one day just happened to ask me why I was taking photographs. I gave my standard answer that I was a photographer and I am interested in documenting the local area and trying to capture moments of unscripted art. This answer felt hollow when I thought about it afterwards, why did I really want to take these photographs. A photograph is nothing more than an impression of a moment frozen in time why do I find them so interesting?

2) Figure out who you are as a photographer. This is the other side of the first question and in a lot of ways they will be connected. What is really comes down to here is what genre do you excel in. Do you have a way of making people comfortable that allows you to take great portraits, or are you able to anticipate well and find your self in the right place at the right time? Asking questions like this can help you figure out what genre of photography you should spend more of your time working on, it is only though practice that you improve. 

3) Create a Public Portfolio.  Having a portfolio is a great impetus to keep on reviewing your work every now and again so that you know where you are on your photographic journey. You will be surprised how many doors can be opened if you can immediately direct someone do you best work. Some people even go further and alway have a copy with them at all times either as a blurb book or on an ipad.

4) Stop taking the same photograph. We all have visual crutches which hamper our creativity. One big example of this is photographs with moving water the first thought is to have a long exposure to smooth the water out, while this often looks good have you ever stopped and thought about why you do it? What could you do differently. This is just one example what else do you do in auto pilot?

5) Learn Something.  Take a class or attend a workshop from someone you admire. It can either be an online or physical class but find someone that you can learn from, not just a big name. It helps if you admire their work too.

6) Help some one just starting out. While being a student is a good way to learn, sometimes you will end up learning more by teaching others. I noticed this when I teach maths as sometimes you only really understand something the second, or third time you come back to it.

7) Connect with Photographers who you admire. It is always exciting to be surrounded by people who are interested in the same things as you are. Your share stories, experiences, tips, and techniques and they also can act as sounded boards to help you develop you next project. Of course now this can be done in person or online you would be surprised how many there are around once you start to look, but like everything some will be better than others.

8) Work Photography into your passion. Being a photographer means that photography is one of your passions but suppose just for a moment it was your only one. What would you take photographs of? Would you even take photographs or just collect camera gear? The best photographs come from something that you are passionate about, most of the best photographers in every field were passionated about that even before they found photography and it shows in their work.

9) Tell a story a photographically. From the age of 5 or 6 we start being taught the art of communicating with the written word. Starting from the basics of the alphabet to sentence structure then finally how too write a novel with a twisting and turning plots. But how do you communicate a story with just photographs, where do you start? Do photographs have a nouns, verbs, grammar. How do you connect different photographs to gather to get something similar to sentence structure or the equivalent  of a plot in a novel?

10) Collaborate. There are many different means of communication and art other than photography find other creative to help push you. Work with make-up artist or a poet. As photographers we often forget that there are many different creative people out there other than photographers. The most obvious collaborations if with make-up artiest and stylists if you do port rate work but it does not stop there.  it also gets different eyes onto your work

11) View good art work. We all find inspiration in a lot of different places, from modern means such as new television show, movie and the internet. Also there are the good old traditional means such as books and art galleries.

12) Photograph more share less. It is easy to fall into the lure of the quick turn over beast of social media where it is all about publish or perish. It is easy to over share which means showing some of your lesser work, the stuff that is not quite there. 

13) Fail at something. Fear of failing is one of the biggest inhibitors of creativity something every photographer has to keep in check.  Now I am not talking about deliberately failing at something that costs you your business or ruins your reputation but asking you to take a risk. Try something new, challenge your self as even what you see as failure might still be something interesting.