Emotion Trumps All Else

The Wreck of the Peter Iredale

When taking pictures, we can talk about composition, the rule of thirds, lighting, and deconstruct literally every element of a photo until the end of time.  At the end of the day though, when we are taking pictures – success comes when you can garner emotion from the viewer. So, the question you should be asking when taking photos is whether or not the scene will have an emotional impact.  It doesn’t matter where that emotional impact comes from…it can be external (other people who see your photo), personal (elicits an emotional impact for yo), or a combination of both.

The point is that pictures should have meaning whether personal or for those whom you share it with.  An event photographer should be able to capture the emotions of the event so that attendees can connect with the images.  A portrait photographer should be able to capture the emotion of their subject.  A landscape photographer needs to induce emotion from the scenery they encounter.  Similar sentiments hold for every genre out there, wildlife photographers, street photographers, architecture, product, pet photography and more.  Some genres can be more challenging than others, but the end goal is to capture the viewers emotion.

With that in mind, here’s just a few photos to give you some creative guidance in a couple genres that I’ve worked in and around over the course of the last decade.  Have a great weekend and keep on shooting!

The Final Product!


It's All In the Eyes - 3

Original Flower

Moments in Time


Just another moment in time, but this serves to illustrate that the art of photography is a combination of a number of things.  While the litany of “things” that encompass what truly makes an image good versus boring is open to conjecture, I would propose a short list of the following: Read more

Be Original


Hello all, I’ve been quiet for a while here, for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, I’ve been busy as life has been pushing me in new directions.  My move to Ohio, the new job, and other factors have led to me using my camera less and less.

I want to remain true to the idea behind the blog, which is that as I learn and create new content, I strive to share that education and content here. The danger is regurgitation of others ideas. You start to lose your identity when you try to use the creative works of others to identify yourself.

You may ask why I am choosing now to write and publish this post. The reason is a new ad from Apple:

This is NOT an Apple piece of copy.  They have shamelessly ripped content from another creative and are (I think) trying to pass the idea off as their own.  This was from a movie in the 80s called The Dead Poet’s Society. It starred Robin Williams as a prep school English lit teacher, John Keating, and his character said these words to his students.  The verbiage is fantastic…in context.  But they’ve not even done that – the timing and delivery has been edited down to fit in the more convenient 90 second segment, which I find abhorrent!  That move was meant to inspire people to be original, and to stay true to who they really are – not to sell technology products being made by children in China.

In my own personal opinion, Apple has completely changed the timbre of the message.  They are trying to say that to be unique and creative, you need to use their products to create your own verse – and this is not true!

I am publishing this today, because I suspect that many creative out there are now in a younger generation, and may not have even heard of Dead Poet’s Society.  If you want to be a creative, you simply must rent this from Netflix, YouTube, or where ever, and watch it.  Amazing movie, and I hate seeing Apple desecrate it like this.  Let’s at least give credit where credit is due!

As a final note – if you really want to be inspired, check out some of the photography and videography that comes from this movie!  There are some scenes that really have planted themselves in my mind since I first saw it, including:

1. The bagpiper on the lake.


2.  The cloaked figures running through the trees in a foggy wood


3.  The birds taking flight

birdsAny memorable scenes others have that they’d like to share?  Thoughts on being original versus borrowing from others?  Would love to hear what others think on this subject too!