I’ve wondered how to start this conversation and, thankfully, the statement of a friend sparked one that helped me figure out how to do it —
I like that about friends.
This post is for those of you who have been snapping pics with your phone and realize you’re enjoying it or perhaps just because of all the advancements with their image taking capabilities you’re now curious and want to do more. Whatever the reason, this conversation might help you. Certainly couldn’t hurt. 😉
Friend: “I can’t get pictures like you do with your phone. I’ve tried.”
Me: What do you think is keeping you from doing that?
Friend: “I’m not an artist, like you. I don’t see the way you see things.”
I’ve heard people say this before — a lot. That “seeing” is their problem with photography. Versions of what I’ve heard over the years are: “I don’t know how to see.”
“I’ll never see like this person (or that person).” “I’m not an artist.” And so on…
Me: I think you’re putting the cart before the horse.
Friend: “How is wanting to see putting the cart before the horse? I hate it when you do this.”
Me: Hahahaha! I’m going to let that last thing go and say, “Stop trying to see and pay attention to how you feel. Pay attention to those moments
that tug at you.”
Friend: “This sounds harder than seeing.”
Me: Hahaha! Let me explain. You have a shot of your son and nephew that is awesome and you’re proud of, right?
Friend: “Yes, I love that photo of them! They were so cute trying to stack the sand fast enough — not realizing it was never going to work.”
Me: Well, when you were watching your son and nephew attempting to build that sand castle was it because of the picture you saw or was it first because of how you felt about what you were seeing?
Friend: “I think I see what you mean.”
Me: It’s like I told my son when he was first learning to drive, “Your hands will follow where your eyes are looking.” Similarly your photos will follow what you’re feeling. Just train yourself to pay attention to that and when you feel it, shoot it!
Friend: “Okay, I get it! But how do I frame it up?”
Me: You’re talking compositionally, right?
Friend: “Yes. Once I know what I want to take a picture of, how do I know how to compose it so that it doesn’t just look like a phone shot?”
Me: Actually, I do have a super easy and fun exercise to help that. 🙂
I’ll write about what I told her in my next post but, for now, pay attention to how you feel and give yourself some time to practice that. I hope it helps.
I wish you all the very best.
P.S. This little cafe in Nice, France (where I had an intimate dinner with my husband) made me feel like I was in the pages of a Hemingway novel.