Your photography can be inspirational, more than picture postcards and much, much more than simply a record of where you have been and what you have seen.
If you want to take great photos for your own pleasure, to share with friends or family or to treasure as keepsakes for a lifetime, change the way you think about what you see and how you use your camera.
"I like narrow passageways, reflections, in-between places and corners of things. I look for people and things that seem to have gone unnoticed or have been forgotten."
My Five Great Tips on Taking Inspirational Photography
1. Rule number one – Keep your camera close; keep it with you as much as possible. The best shots often turn up when you have left your camera at home.
2. Find and focus on what is unique and/or most interesting or on surprising angles, expressions, settings, exchanges, and attitudes. There are extraordinary images all around you. Keep your eyes and heart open to them. It is helpful to change the way you think and be willing to try new things. For instance, instead of shooting straight-on, examine the object of your affection from different visual perspectives and points of view. Look up, look down, examine the side or the back; consider a part of your subject vs. the whole. Try to capture your subject cleanly and clearly with the fewest distractions in the frame. When photographing children or animals, get down to their level when taking the shot. When photographing a landscape, a house or a scene, make sure to step back far enough so you get everything you want into the frame. Being fast also helps. Great shots come and go quickly just as a mood can change in an instant.
3. Learn to be a discriminating editor. Getting a feel for what to leave in and what to take out can make a huge difference in the quality of your shots. Try to experiment in Photoshop to see how much you can pare down one image and still maintain the integrity of the subject or moment. I have become a particularly ruthless editor of my own shots and find I like simple images more and more.
4. As for inspiration, I find much of mine in the natural world….changing light, weather, steely skies, small places, and visual nuance. I like narrow passageways, reflections, in-between places and corners of things. I look for people and things that seem to have gone unnoticed or have been forgotten. It is not just how they look but how they make me feel — I hope and try to convey that mix in my shots. Once I see something I like, I take repeated photos of the same thing. I can edit and select what I like best after the fact, and I like lots of options to choose from. I have an aversion to posed shots though sometimes there is no way around them. I like and look for the unexpected and when I find it, it literally makes my day. When I look back at favorite photos I have taken over the years, I remember everything about the moment that I saw and took them. They themselves become beloved remembrances.
5. The changing seasons brings a host of different tones, hues, and textures to choose from. Even winter’s bare trees can be beautiful, and a single branch can be the subject of an entire photograph.
You don’t have to travel around the world, have a lot of money, or buy fancy photographic equipment to enjoy photography or to find and take great photos. A short walk in your own neighborhood may reveal something fantastic. Extraordinary things turn up in ordinary places.
Everyone’s tastes and eye are different. You want your photos to reflect who you are, how you feel and in some instances, your world view. Practice by taking photos of what and whom you love and remember, sometimes the simplest photos can be the most powerful.
Sandra Goroff is a long time art and literary publicist nationally and internationally. Her passions are photography, art, antiques, watercolor and design (fiance Burt and cat, Benjamin). She has worked with such notable talents such as : Colin Cowie, antiques and collectibles expert, Judith Miller, Garrison Keillor, Maurice Sendak, Chris Van Allsburg, Clive Cussler, Tom Peters, Newbury Street (Boston) art gallery and Walker Cunningham.
You can find Sandra’s work on: