The hardest thing about being a modern photographer: deciding which photos to keep or ditch.
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1. Does this photograph interest me?
If you don’t like your own picture why keep it?
For me, my own pictures that interest me have to do with my family and loved ones, yet composed in a unique, artistic, or creative way.
For example, avoid just the cliché pictures of your family just smiling and cheesing for the camera. Try to catch “unguarded” moments. Simplify the scene. Try to integrate diagonals into your frame. Tilt the frame. Make the pictures a bit weird or off-kilter.
Look for reflections, or surreal images. I saw Cindy’s reflection in the hot plate induction stove at a Japanese restaurant, and saw the circle (halo). It reminded me something spiritual:
Or try to add depth and layers to your pictures. Put yourself in the image… your face, arm, or limb. Like it was raining in Kyoto, and here is a picture I shot of my sister Annette with a phone:
2. Photographs you haven’t seen, or weird photos.
I tried to photograph a woman in Kyoto, but she “shooed” me away. The resulting photo is a bit weird, and has all these cut off limbs:
Yet I like it. Why? Small detail of band-aid in her elbow, something I didn’t notice until after I shot it. I also like the weirdness of the cut limbs.
To me the picture is interesting to myself. I like looking at it. Others might not like it, but that’s okay. It doesn’t follow any compositional rules, except maybe leading lines.
I know others won’t like the picture. But if I like it, why do I care what others think?
3. I like selfies of myself.
But I like selfies of myself, because they remind me MEMENTO MORI: I will die.
Shoot selfies for yourself, that you would like to see down the line.
4. Emotional Photos
Some of my personal favorite pictures of mine:
Also study CONTACT SHEETS:
Learn the importance of “working the scene”:
Which Photos Should I Keep or Ditch?
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- Book Review: Magnum Contact Sheets