Welcome to our special guest series, Photo Philosophy! We know how important photos are to scrapbookers, bloggers, and memory keepers of all types—and while technical know-how is important, we believe that good photography begins with what you believe about your camera and its possibilities. We've invited five incredible photographers to share their own personal photography philosophies with you this week, in hopes that you'll consider your own philosophy. More meaningful images begin with knowing what you want from your camera. Today, please welcome Tracey Clark! Enjoy!
I am delighted to be here at Write. Click. Scrapbook. for this very unique series. Usually people ask me to share tips and tricks on how to take better photos so being asked about my photo philosophy was such a surprise, I was thrilled to be able to share my thoughts on a topic near and dear to my heart.
I began my photography career as an artist first. I used photography in my artwork during my last year of college which is where my love affair with photography began. Because I had only taken one photography class, I concentrated more on the art of photography (composing a shot, capturing emotion, etc) rather than the technical part of it. It became a trial and error process for me as I learn more effectively “doing it” rather than learning about it through books or instruction. I’ll admit that it can take longer with that approach but by actually doing it, it seeps into your being. It becomes intuitive. It’s not just numbers on paper or settings on a camera.
Right out of college I got a job working with a well-established, very experienced photographer and I continued my "learn as I go" approach. He offered up little technical tid-bits over the years and I slowly not only improved my work but I learned all the technical info I needed. It was a very organic, natural way of acquiring what I needed to consistently shoot the kinds of images I loved. The rest is history.
All that said, one of my photo philosophies is that you can absolutely learn as you go. Take it slow and steady. Play, have fun and don’t worry if you’re getting awesome shots on “Auto” mode. There’s no shame in auto mode! But, you also don’t have to fear the dials and settings. You can take it one step at a time and slowly learn the ins-and-outs of your camera at your own pace. Don’t be intimidated.
I also believe that if you love the photo you shot, that’s all that matters. Learn how to stand by your own images, be proud of the photos you’re taking and don’t apologize that it’s “not the best photo technically." Who cares? All that matters is that it’s a shot you treasure. It’s your art, your expression, your story. And it is important.
image © Tracey Clark
I know that happy accidents are a gift. I have learned more about photography by experimenting and trying the methods of shooting they say don’t work. Break the rules of photography. Push the boundaries. Think outside the box. Sometimes the results you stumble upon will be better than what you had planned on doing. Feel your way as you shoot. It’s the best way to learn.
And lastly, my most favorite photo philosophy is also my philosophy for life: perspective is everything. I believe from photography to daily life and everything in between, it’s all in the way you look at it. A shift in perspective, a reframing, an angle change can make all the difference from better appreciating your life to taking better pictures. Challenge yourself to see the beauty, the wonder, and the gift that your life really is and use your camera to celebrate it!
Tracey Clark is a photographer, writer, mother and the founder of Shutter Sisters, the online collaborative photo blog for women who love taking pictures. With a photography career spanning nearly 20 years, Tracey brings her experience and enthusiasm to everything she does; from shooting to writing to speaking and teaching. She currently leads the popular Picture Series at Big Picture Classes with her current offering being Picture Inspiration: 52 Weeks of Photocentric Creativity and Community. And her new book, which she co-authored with her fellow Sisters, Expressive Photography: A Shutter Sisters Guide to Shooting From the Heart was recently released by Focal Press and is available now. Discover more at www.traceyclark.com.
Check out the upcoming Camp Shutter Sisters, an incredible retreat and workshop at The Historic Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Beach, California
Get ready for spring by treating yourself to Tracey's self-paced class, Picture Spring at Big Picture Classes.
Be inspired every week with Tracey's year-long class Picture Inspiration: 52 Weeks of Photocentric Creativity and Communty at Big Picture Classes.
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