What makes a great photographer

I’ve been tinkering with cameras and doodling in sketch books for as long as I can remember. I taught myself to draw by freezing my favorite Disney movies and sketching the characters on screen in one of my mothers’ old sketch books.

I devoured books on drawing and cartooning. Learning to draw forced me to pay attention to perspective and learn how to force perspective to make the images I was drawing more compelling. I learned to use the entire canvas instead of focusing on just the center of the frame.

I think this is what helped me pick up photography so quickly. I already knew how to look at a scene and imagine it in 2 dimensions. I knew if I changed perspective to one side or the other, then the focal point would change. I already knew how to draw the eye to what I wanted them to see first, second, and third.

When I look at photographs taken by someone just starting in photography I tend to see focal points that stay dead center, a horizon line that’s straight and centered vertically, and they are all taken with the photographer standing looking straight ahead.

Images that grab attention are taken from a new angle or from a unique vantage point. Professional photographers know how to tell a story with each image. Every time you look at it, you will notice something different and all the objects in the photo tell a story.

When taking pictures I am always looking for ways to show people things from a new perspective, to challenge them to look at something familiar in a new light. Here are some examples from my trip to Italy:




The full gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/designsbyrenee/albums/72157659433072728

My favorite photographers excel at this. Currently, I am obsessed with Carli Davidson, an animal trainer turned pet photographer. She loves to push way in for close-ups and the animals in her images seem to peer into the camera lens as if looking back at you.

Carli Davidson

Mike Argo is another photographer that I follow. He takes the most amazing photos of the Kemah boardwalk, which is less than an hour from my house. I’ve never seen it the way he does though. His photos make it look almost dream like. I love that this photo in particular reminds me of an oil painting.

MIke Argo

My next photoshoot (blog post to soon follow) will be with my new puppy and I have been looking for ways to show off his quirky personality. I am planning on a “photo booth” type shoot after seeing this Photobooth Series on Petapixel.com: