Are you lacking in motivation or, perhaps better said: stalling in making the jump into professional photography?
If so, famous photographer phrases could maybe help you get unstuck!
Don't we all know that drive and hard work are the keys to success, especially in artistic disciplines?
Let us say that you are about to engage in a photo shoot. Your clients are already posed against a springtime backdrop.
How you long to photograph in natural light!
On your way to the set, walking down the hall of your studio – a hall that is lined with beautiful phrases of photography, you find inspiration anew and approach this shoot in complete serenity.
Let Superprof help you uncover the most resounding, inspirational phrases uttered about the art of photography to line your studio with.
Ruth Bernhard: "If you content yourself with only what can be seen, then you see nothing."
The strength of the independent photographer or the photojournalist is the unique eye s/he casts on the sights around her.
Most anyone is capable of taking a picture of any moment in time, but few would focus on a single, small detail of the shot, and let the greater picture develop around it.
By using light and shadow to maximum effect, and retouching during post processing, you can make an seemingly banal photo a true work of art.
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The secret of visual storytelling to see the finished image before you snap it, and to stay alert for opportunities to capture your vision.
Anne Geddes: "The hardest thing in photography is to create a simple image."
During your photography for beginners course, your instructor would surely tell you: natural composition remains the best tool for any photographer!
This adage is especially true for studio photography or fashion photography. The goal is not to distort the subject, but rather to preserve and highlight its innate strength.
In portrait photography, the subject expects you to be able to capture its living quality.
You should use studio lighting to best advantage, and avoid elaborate backgrounds or using too many props; they would take away from the principle of a simple but effective shot.
Anne Geddes, a self-taught photographer has uttered many educational and inspirational quotes on the art of photography. You can read the best ones here.
Gisèle Freund: "What is marvellous about photography is that its possibilities are infinite; there aren't any subjects that have been done to death."
In digital photography and film photography, technique is indeed important, but photographic technique alone is not an art onto itself.
During photography classes, in art schools and in workshops, beginners study the history of photography.
Studying the work of a famous landscape photographer gives us a glimpse into his artistic intent and, perhaps unwittingly, into his personal ethos.
The choice is then yours: you can embrace it; make it a part of your artistic statement, or you can strive for a completely different voice.
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Amélie Nothomb: "The purpose of the photograph is to reveal the love that is felt in a single image."
The Golden Rule for every artist: one must love his work so that others love him too!
The photograph must always reveal the hand of s/he who shot it.
With technological innovations made that incorporate – or were specifically meant to advance the eighth art, it is now possible to perfect one's snaps, using photo editing software.
If a shot struck your eye differently than it turned out in print or on screen, no need to scrap it: take the time to improve it with Photoshop or Lightroom, to tease out its beauty for all to see.
Imogen Cunningham: "Which of my photographs is my favourite? The one I am going to take tomorrow."
Want to take your photography skills to the next level? To become more advanced?
Keep in mind that photography, like any art, is a work of the moment.
If your first pictures do not live up to your expectations, no need to fret: that is perfectly normal.
It will take several weekly sessions in photography class, in workshop or in private lessons to develop your talent at visual communication.
No worries! You will soon see progress in your imagery!
Lucy Hilmer: "Armed with my camera and tripod, I found a way to define myself on my own terms."
Rejecting all perceptions of the idealised woman – thin, tall, wispy, not good for anything besides being pretty, Lucy set a standard that will echo through generations of photographers.
Finding your voice as a photographer, making statements – be they political, ecological or gender based, takes time and, above all, courage.
Look through your portfolio: there is a good chance that your art already has a theme to it; a message. If you can see it, so can everyone else who enjoys your work!
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Rebecca Drolen: "I started with a sense of fascination that hair is both beautiful and repulsive."
In photography, context is sometimes the only distinction a theme, such as hair, might have.
Here again, culture plays a large role in photographing subject matter. Some of the world's societies do not permit women to show any hair while others demand that all traces of body hair be removed save for flowing locks from one's scalp.
Learning how to focus on only one of a subject's attributes, while downplaying all the rest is not necessarily a technical challenge – anyone can adjust depth of field, after all.
Here again we see the unique vision of a specific artist's ethos, creatively expressed.
Maya Flore: "It is a moment between reality and imagination."
Is there any greater truth stated about an image captured by a digital camera?
Digital imaging is a constant balancing act between what we see and what we'd like that vision to be.
Using a film SLR camera gives us near instantaneous proof that we've trapped a scene within our black box; a DSLR camera retains it in pixels until it can be transferred onto a tangible medium.
Retouching can only reach so far to arrange the appearance of an image captured on film, but Adobe gives us licence to impose our inner self in full graphic detail upon an ephemeral idea trapped on a memory card.
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Beth Moon: "Hidden amidst the groves of these ancient trees, one finds a perfectly weathered beauty."
Art is well known for its relaxing virtues; it is often said that creation is one of the best ways to free your mind and gain self-confidence.
In manual or automatic mode, the advanced photographer can take pictures of what surrounds him, whether it is to immortalize a particular subject or to put on glossy paper a personal sensation.
In short, taking a picture is ideal for escaping the noise of daily life!
Brooke Saward: "Sometimes I'll go to bed at night with no idea where I will end up the next day."
Every travel photographer should know that feeling!
One of the golden rules of photography: know when to press the shutter!
Whether at a wedding or with street photography, the amateur photographer must learn to capture the instant... the right instant!
It is for this reason that the control of shutter speed is paramount: Take a photo class with a pro to discover the basics of photography!
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Yann Arthus Bertrand: "In photography, it is not the photographer who is important"
Being probably one of the most famous modern photographers in France, the work of Yann Arthus Bertrand is a must-have for all those aspiring to become a professional photographer!
Author of the best-selling book Earth Seen from the Sky, he explains that, to take quality photos, one must first forget about being behind the lens.
Focusing on the subject, be it landscape, portraiture, wildlife or night photography, permits highlighting the work rather than the artist.
Don't we all better remember the photo than who shot it?
Remy Donnadieu: "Photography is the literature of the eye"
By coining this phrase, this photographer and illustrator draws a parallel between literature and photography.
As with literature, the art of photography consists of passing on a certain message, using the artist's and the camera's heightened sensitivity.
Framing and composition, aperture and exposure; focal length and photo editing are all essential considerations to make a photograph a work of art.
That just goes to show that a picture is truly worth a thousand words, as the famous proverb proclaims!
John Stuart Mill: Photography is a brief complicity between foresight and chance
Want to learn professional photography? Prepare for all situations!
Certainly, most of the time, the photographer takes the time to organize a photo session in complete detail and to choose his subject with care.
Nevertheless, it is often when you least expect it that a golden opportunity to photograph a unique scene presents itself: The artist must therefore expect to immortalize a scene at any time.
With good photo technique, you will realize your most beautiful shots of everyday life; photos of family, wedding or other event!
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Robert Capa: "If your photograph is no good, it is because you were not close enough"
As a war photographer and photojournalist, Robert Capa has taken poignant shots that have been seen around the world!
With this phrase, Capa explains that the photographer has to get as close as possible of his subject in order to grasp its essence.
It is not enough to have a long range zoom lens or a quality digital SLR camera to take beautiful pictures.
The artist must go in the field; establish intimacy and observe his environment as closely as possible to become a confirmed photographer.
Feel free to get closer to your target! Doing so will put you in the ranks of the greatest photographers on the planet.
Denis Roche: "We photograph what we look at, so we photograph ourselves"
The explosion of smartphones and digital devices around the planet; technology affordable to nearly all, makes it especially easy to get into photography.
Photography has grown into a popular pastime, especially thanks to its ability to immortalize memorable scenes of our daily lives.
We have to wonder though: with the disposable quality of digital photography – do you delete unflattering selfies?, has that somehow reduced the importance of photography overall?
Most people brandish a camera to compile a beautiful photo album of memories, perhaps accidentally revealing his own vision of the world in the process.
If you are the regular photographer at family events, you may someday transition into professional photography.
It would be something to think about, especially if you are too caught up in the humdrum of ordinary life and looking to change pace.
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Henri Cartier-Bresson: "Photography is an attitude, a way of being, a way of life"
Would you rather photojournalism be done in film or digital images?
In all of the photographic specialties, the artist has to adopt a certain bearing to reveal the beauty of a scene in the most faithful way possible.
Photography requires daily devotion.
Besides learning photography basics and participating in workshops, the aspiring photographer must work out technical aspects such as composition and depth of field – the blur around a crystal-clear subject.
Your inner photographer will soon start framing scenes automatically, so that you always see the world by the rule of thirds!
Damien Berrard: "Photography is the art of painting without brushes"
Photography and painting have long been competing arts.
In the early days of photography, many paintbrush-wielding artists opposed the practice, finding the art of painting much more noble and subtle.
Yet these two forms of art have much in common: if you don't know how to hold a brush correctly, why not expose your vision of the world with a digital camera?
Raymond Depardon: "You must love solitude to be a photographer"
During your first photography course, you might have noticed that the professional photographer was no longer there to impart technical advice; s/he merely accompanied you during your shoot.
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In fact, photography remains an art that is practiced alone, for the simple reason that solitude leads to the development of artistic fibre.
Grab your tripod and your kit: let's go for a solo session of macro photography!
Maybe you'll feel in good company when you discover who invented photography.
Ansel Adams: "You don't take a photograph; you create it"
In photography, the artist must blend in with the environment. Indeed, it will be your fresh eye on a timeless subject that will distinguish you from other artists.
In a traditional photo shoot, composition and framing are two crucial elements that distinguish an ordinary photo from a work of art.
By combining the right elements and mastering tricks of light and white balance, the artist-photographer will be able to retouch images in his photo lab and actually create his own definition of aesthetic.
Robert Doisneau: "To describe is to destroy; to suggest is to create"
The great name of French photography, Robert Doisneau has been a master in the art of inspiring up and coming photographers.
He emphasises that subtlety and photography remain two closely related concepts.
A hand, a garment or a kiss can be a sign of hope in complex times or, on the contrary, reveal the cruelty of a moment.
In short, the work of a photographer is not to take sides, but rather to relay a message through ingeniously composed images.
For further progress in learning how to create such images, we invite you to discover where to take photography courses in Birmingham.
The Most Important Voices
Does it matter that male photographers' quotes tend more toward the technical aspects and women behind the lens seem to expound more on the emotion involved in art creation?
The act of creating art is itself an emotional journey. The words describing the voyage tend to be conditioned by expectation.
Rest assured that Ansel Adam's work is no less impactful for its stark contrasts of black and white photography than is Ruth Bernhard's.
Each had strong motivation to expose their subject matter in every possible light, and that takes us back to our opening salvo.
Are you lacking in motivation?
Perhaps these quotes will help you unleash your ideal photographer: the one you've kept hidden for so long!
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