How many times has it happened that you travel and manage to photograph only a bunch of other people’s heads, mobile phones and selfie sticks? Thomas Heaton came in a situation like this, and he became every photographer’s hero when he decided to do something about it.
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My name is Matt Palace and I intend to photograph 1,200 pilgrims. “1200 Pilgrims” is a personal project carried out with the intention of photographing 1,200 Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain. Individuals from around the world walked this 800km trail over the course of 30 days, as a spiritual retreat.
The aim of this experiment was to discover if I, as an amateur photographer, could improve my workflow. I was curious to know whether the use of a professional flash head could influence the quality of my pictures compared to my previous work.
1. Photography style
But what exactly is “style”?
For me, “style” in photography is about consistency of subject-matter and consistency of aesthetic (how the photo looks).
For example, if you want to build a definite “style” in your photography — seek to work on a photo project, where you focus on a specific subject-matter. You can focus on a specific person (personal documentary), you can focus on a certain city (your own hometown), or you can focus on a certain social issue.
I feel one of the best ways to stay inspired and motivated with your photography is to focus on a project. To take lots of random photos of anything and everything often leads to a body of work that is cluttered, un-focused, and uninteresting.
In this article I will share some of my personal thoughts on how you can create your own photography project idea.
A walk on the trash mountains
My eyes are filled with tears, because of the smoke. The plastic-particles in the air are itching in my lungs. I am climbing this mountain with my two friends. The ground under my shoes feels funny. It softly cushions my steps, like fresh and loose soil, but I also tangle my feet every now and then. It is an awkward mass, this mountain of pressed trash. It consists of very different material and yet is an entity. A mountain of poison. Not only for the body, but also for the soul. And everywhere pigs! I think I have never seen so many pigs walking freely in the wild. Is that appropriate husbandry? I somehow start to understand, why some religions do resist to eat pork. If, by eating pigs, I eat what pigs ate, then abandoning might be a better choice.
For me, portraiture is one of the most inspiring genres of photography. I also find it pretty difficult to master, there’s so much to learn – but it’s what makes it so fun and appealing. In this video, photographer Jamie Windsor shares nine fantastic tips for giving a new dimension to your portraiture work. He focuses on studio shots, environmental portraits and street photography, and shares some precious advice to help you get the best out of your portraits.
Each of us has different habits and routines in our daily lives. Milwaukee-based photographer Lois Bielefeld captured these routines in a fantastic photo series named Weeknight Dinners. The people in her photos are just like you and me: everyday folks eating their usual dinner on a weeknight. Two years and 78 portraits later, Lois presented us with the project that shows how diverse and interesting people’s habits are.
Lois chose to capture the dinnertime from Monday to Thursday, which is when most people don’t have so much time to prepare a huge meal and gather the family around. As a result, you get to peek into the daily lives of others for a brief moment and see how different we all are. The photos made me feel like I could share the moment with people in them. I spoke with Lois about her project to find out more about it, and I bring you some charming and informative stories of Weeknight Dinners, along with some wonderful photos.
You know what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words. But telling a story with a single image is not an easy task. As you know, there are many essential components of a good photo, both regarding technical quality and the story it tells. Photographers Chase Jarvis and Joe McNally teamed up to discuss storytelling in photography.
In this video, they have focused on telling a story in a single image. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do, but there are three components you should include before and during the shoot to achieve it. It takes a bit of preparation, thinking and practice, but it’s well worth it.
I want to encourage you — use your smartphone more for your photography.
First of all, what is the point of photography? The purpose of photography is to uplift your soul. To make meaning in your life; not photos.
Therefore, I believe that shooting with your smartphone is probably your best tool for photography. Why?
All photos included in this post are photographed on an Android smartphone, processed with VSCO.
For as long as I’ve been photographing, I’ve always had a soft spot for gear and the technical side of photography. In the beginning, I was obsessed with getting the best camera I could afford, which ironically was a refurbished entry-level Nikon DSLR – not exactly the pinnacle of camera technology at the time.
For the years following, I shot with Nikon DSLRs and these cameras are the ones that I first started my photography career with. At the time my needs for a camera were simple – good image quality. Most of my work was still travel photography but mainly posed portraiture, landscape work and the occasional ‘action’ shot. I didn’t care about weight or usability, in my mind DSLRs were the only way to do it.