(Habana Vieja, Cuba)

(Guardalavaca, Cuba)

(Aisha in Heatherton, Victoria)

friday, the 14th of march, 2023
Blogs tend to be filled with loads of useful information but I often find myself skimming through to the good stuff. Here’s the good stuff. 

1. Never look down on your subject unless they are stuck in a snow drift. You are fortunate to take their photograph so give them the power they deserve. 

2. Emphasise quirks. Do you remember the 90s when a ‘big bum’ comment was an insult? Before we realised the attraction and strength of a huge hook nose? Thankfully we’ve progressed. Humans are unique (yes, we are all very special). Highlight differences through thoughtful positioning and logical camera angles. Lanky guy? Have him lean on a tree or a fence. When framing said lanky guy, get into a nice squat (your quads should burn). Clubbed fingers? Don’t hide those hands in pant pockets! Put them on display.

3. Compliment your subject. They are exceptional in your eyes so tell them why. This creates an optimistic and comfortable vibe – yes, photography is all about the vibe. You’re taking that energy with you into your camera, onto your negative, dunking it in chemicals, scanning it ever so patiently, editing it to anal-retentive-perfection and finally – sharing it with your circle of internet friends (acquaintances) and hopefully a kind curator, competition judge or NY Times photo editor who will flip your world upside down (let’s aim high).

4. Use the right instrument. They (who?) say a great photographer can utilize any camera to produce smashing photographs. Let’s not tell lies. When it really comes down to it, there will be a very visible distinction between a photograph taken with the Fuji X100V (the perfect pocket digital) vs the same photograph taken with the Leica M6 + Canon 50mm f/0.9 dream lens (yes, a completely unfair comparison). The difference here is that the general public will believe the photograph from the Leica was taken by a much more impressive photographer 99% of the time. (When in fact, she was just richer.) To really push my point, the  Mamiya 7 is an A++ medium format camera with a small army of razer sharp lenses – none of which will allow for a snug head-taking-up-the-whole-frame portrait. Invest well in your tools. 

Do you have any obvious or not-so-obvious tips? Sharing is caring, my friends!


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