I was recently having a conversation with a good friend, who also listens to the podcast. He said that he has heard me say over and over again that printing makes a shift in your work as a photographer. But, he wanted to know what other things might I recommend to someone who is feeling a little stuck in their process. Are there other things that can make dramatic shifts in our photographic practice?
So in honor of the David Letterman Top 10 list, here are my current five habits that I think every photograph could use to take their work up a notch.
- Always carry a pen a paper. It is hard to know when that next great idea will strike. You want to make sure that you can always capture the idea.
- Add one minute. All it takes to make a difference is to take one additional minute on any photographic or creative task to see what happens. Stay one minute longer on a landscape shoot. Spend one more minute working with a model. Take one more minute and clean the studio for the next day’s shoot. You will be surprised what one minute can do.
- Build your visual library. The more photographs you have to look at, the more you will know about how to make great photographs.
- Have heart and integrity in your work. No one ever got to meaningful work by creating work that didn’t matter. You have to find your message and your voice. Then no matter what anyone tells you, you listen. The most important photographs are the ones that come from integrity and heart.
- Eliminate distractions. Take 30 minutes and leave all the distractions behind. Find out what no phone, no book, and no distraction does to open your mind to seeing and hearing the world around you. Then take that principle into your images and photography. Eliminate all those distractions in an image. See what the most basic ideas and concepts look like when you peel back all the layers. Simple Simple Simple.