By Charlotte Lowrie
The longer you are behind the camera, the more you'll learn about photography and making pictures. Here are a few of the things that I've learned in my years of looking through the lens.
- Always, and I mean always, take the scenic route.
- A picture doesn't have to be perfect--it just has to "work." Pictures that work elicit a response from the viewer.
- Pictures are not about me (or you). Pictures are about the subject.
- I'd rather be shooting than cleaning up images in Photoshop.
- Shooting weddings is hard work. Seriously hard work.
- There is beauty in every person I photograph. Usually they don't realize it. It's my job to gently coax the beauty in them out of them.
- There isn't enough time in life to make all the pictures that I want to make.
- I steadfastly refuse, still, to learn about guide numbers.
- Designing a photo may begin with rules, but it ends with intuition and instinct.
- With portraits, listening is as important as seeing.
- Dream in pictures.
- Think in pictures.
- Real people don't smile all the time.
- I'd rather take pictures of real people.
- Make every piece of camera gear pay for itself before the next update is announced.
- Writing photography books is hard work.
- Writing photography books takes a long time.
- The best part of writing photography books is finishing them.
- Light the background separately from the subject.
- Resist the urge to shoot the same subject in the same way that you shot it last week, last month, or last year.
- No risks. No breakthroughs.
- There are times when no one likes the images I'm making.
- There are times when everyone likes the images I'm making.
- I keep shooting even when no one likes the images I'm making.
- If the picture is not good, go back and reshoot.
- Carry model and property releases and a ballpoint pen everywhere.
- With every image, ask, "Is this the best I can do?" If the answer is no, reshoot.
- When faced with an iconic, often-photographed subject, I make the obvious shot(s) to get it (them) out of my system. Then I can think creatively.
- I listen to my inner voices--the ones inside my head, and the ones inside my heart.
- Words are better with pictures.
- Pictures are better with words.
- When it comes to words and pictures--keep both of them clean, simple, and rich in meaning.