Photography Tips

Long Live Left Knee Patches | #SuperDuperTipTuesday

Long Live Left Knee Patches | Edition 4 

I found myself trying on ten different pairs of pants last week at a Topshop in Ireland before for my flight to Amanda & Marcus’ wedding in London. I go through “shooting clothes” pretty quickly. If you have ever experienced a shoot with me, you will know I get pretty serious about my angles. If a composition doesn’t look right, the first thing I do is move. Up, down, closer, further, side to side. Since that is the case, I’ve had many a pair of pants with a worn out dusty left knee.

You can always find a better angle than where you started. It’s amazing how much the quality of a composition will improve by simply shifting your perspective a few feet. In the case of the photo above, I had the bright idea of kneeling down at the bottom of the stairs to a busy Parisian Metro exit. I am now, however, more acquainted with broad spectrum of french expletives. So move around this week. Get down on the ground. Stand on a bench. Lean off that cliff. I’m just kidding about the cliff. But seriously.

Slow Down and Learn | #SuperDuperTipTuesday

Slow Down and Learn | Edition 3

Tom (pictured) is 90 years old and started one of the first full service photography shops in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. He is my first cousin once removed, I’m pretty sure. Whenever you think you have made it in photography, or life in general, just look around Instagram for a while and you will soon find someone that can show you a thing or two. If you still think you’re ahead of the game, find someone like Tom. No cell phone, no Instagram account, no digital camera, but just a cup of tea and incredible stories. He taught me something very valuable, that is often unlearned in our generation. It’s called slowing down. We tend to sprint from event to project and never sit down and reflect on incredibly valuable experiences. Stop doing, and spend time learning. Spend time thinking. Spend time learning.

Don't Be So Scared | #SuperDuperTipTuesday

Don't Be So Scared | EDITION 2

I’m not going to lie.

When I had the idea of lighting the shot this way, I got a hair nervous.

 

The helicopter was a surprise to everyone except for the father, the mother and me. It was completely dark when it took off, I had three speed lights with me and not much time for anything to go wrong. Oh did I mention I was shooting by myself? I could have gone for easier lighting, but I went for it.

You may not necessarily have a fleeting bridal moment with a helicopter to shoot, but often people get scared to be "a photographer”. Don’t be scared to try things but rather be confident in trying. Stop where you need to, crouch down, set up the lights, stand on that ledge, ask the stranger. Don’t be afraid to get that shot. Do it, even though you may look a little funny and people may think your a little crazy.

The best shots are those that endure the “what are you doing?!” comments.

 

Take More Photos | #SuperDuperTipTuesday

Take More Photos | Edition 1

I've gotten lots of great photo questions from you fellow photographers out there over the last few months. So, I've decided to use my infinite well of knowledge to start #SuperDuperTipTuesday.

Billy Collins — former U.S. poet laureate said on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell me, (my weekly listening ritual) "....we're all born with 200 bad poems in us." If that's true for poems, then it means we're all born with at least 200,000 bad photos.

So, my tip this week is to just keep snapping.

It's okay if some are a bit rough. You're going to take some real bad photos. I'm talking real bad. But use those images as learning experiences instead of moments of defeat. Ask yourself, what could I do to improve this? Experiment, review then repeat.

Some of the best photos I've ever taken are trial number 10.

So take heart, the good ones are coming.