The Spark Of Inspiration

Seeking out and discovering photographic inspiration when you need it most.
Spark by Tracey Clark, Inspiration
Photography, like many other creative media, takes incredible skill. There are tools and techniques of the trade that demand understanding and experience to master. Even still, no matter how much you know about photography in the technical sense, there’s an artistic element that every photographer must bring to each frame. And linked to any artistic... Read more

Making Magic Of The Messes

Re-frame the routine or the remarkable and create legacy-worthy memories.
Making Magic
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.”—Brene Brown Life is messy. Our days have stains, stumbles and ragged edges. But life is worth it; there’s so much beauty and meaning in each moment, even our most difficult ones. There isn’t a day that goes by that doesn’t offer us... Read more

Romancing The Frame

Gaining trust is the key to getting an honest, lasting portrait
Above: The atmosphere that Ashlee Weaver uses to help frame her subjects creates a fairy-tale feel to her couples’ imagery. Romance is elevated through an ethereal look and feel of the outdoor landscape, as if they have escaped to some enchanted place. And through creative composition, it’s as though her subjects are surrounded—nearly enveloped—by... Read more

Weather Permitting

Use both expected and unexpected changes in the weather to create striking, more intimate images of your subjects

Shooting in the great outdoors can be a challenging, yet rewarding creative endeavor. No matter the genre of photography—portraits, lifestyle, landscapes, etc.—working amidst the elements can be as labor-intensive as setting up an entire studio shoot, but in a totally different way. Photographers working outdoors are up against a great many things... Read more

Onward And Upward

Simple strategic moves that can help you get focused, inspired and noticed

The desire and drive to continually improve one’s craft is something that creatives share. It’s as though there’s always the next skill to master, the next step to take or the next level to reach. There are infinite ways to grow and evolve as artists, photographers and businesspeople, but it’s not always easy to know where to start. It may seem... Read more

An Everyday Opportunity

How a photo project with purpose and deadlines can ignite creativity

Creative inspiration can come in a number of ways. Quite often it hits when we least expect it. There’s no denying when it strikes us, when we are reignited with photographic passion to capture the world around us with fresh eyes. But what happens when we don’t want to wait? It can be tricky to crack the code on coaxing the muse of inspiration... Read more

Room For Improvement

Don’t give up on an image when one element or another isn’t cooperating—consider transforming color photos to monochrome

Being intentional with my photography is always in the forefront of my mind. My creative process, like many artists, often includes careful consideration and a lot of forethought. In my professional work, that can translate into plotting, planning and time-consuming setup. I can recall working in the studio, capturing portraits with a medium-format... Read more

The Deliberate Divide

The rules of composition are fundamental to creating great photos—and any great art

When it comes to photography, I’m big on storytelling. I know that part of why I’m drawn to capturing photographs is because of the stories that can be told through the beauty and wonder of the ordinary. Ironically, of all the photography classes and lessons I’ve taught (both online and off), some of the most satisfying were the ones that didn’t... Read more

Look To The Sky

As a backdrop or even your main subject, explore “skyscapes” to add a different perspective to your scenic photography

No matter where I go, no matter what I do, I find myself shooting skyscapes again and again. My location makes no matter. The sky, to me, never looks the same way twice; vast, expansive, clear, cloudy, blue, pink or even ombré (my favorite), the sky can be a source of continual photo inspiration. Although it may not seem like the most obvious or even... Read more

A Creative Push

See what happens when you leave your comfort zone

For me, photography started off as a job, not a hobby. It doesn’t happen like that for everyone. I’ve more often heard stories of how the passion for photography came long before making it a profession. But, landing a photography position right out of college, and quite by accident, I didn’t have much time to dabble in the art of photography... Read more

Shooting Back

In the absence of facial expressions, context and gesture make the portrait

When striving to capture truly expressive portraits, focusing on facial expressions may seem like the most effective approach, and it certainly can be. But there are a number of other ways to shoot evocative, emotional images totally void of any facial expressions. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to reveal the face of your subject at all to... Read more

Beautiful Proof

The fine art of turning an honest lens on oneself

We live in the age of the "selfie," one-armed snapshots of ourselves, alone or with friends, mugging for our own cameras. The Oxford Dictionaries even named "selfie" 2013’s Word of the Year. I think all this duck-lip, doe-eyed snapping is giving the selfie a bad rap. “My typical style of photography is all about the... Read more