Quick Tip: All Art Requires Courage

[caption id="attachment_13923" align="aligncenter" width="711" caption="This was shot at F/1.8 @ 1/800 sec. using Canon5D MII."][/caption]

“All Art Requires Courage.”-Anne Tucker

Tip of the Day: I wanted to elaborate on this quote, and explain how it affects me as a photographer. It is easy to gravitate towards poses that we know will produce a good image. However, it is important to push yourself to take risks. For example, with this engagement session shot I asked the bride to lie down on the ground. I figured it would either be amazing or look like sh*t. Taking these chances can be a very rewarding experience and keep you from succumbing to mediocrity.
How do you push yourself to expand your creative boundaries?


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  1. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with repeating what you already know will make a image but creating new, experimenting pushes your boundaries. That comfort zone people talk about is great…it’s repeatable, it’s known and well, comfy. New is challenging, scary and exciting and should be embraced.

    We should never be afraid of failing, it’s one of life’s greatest teaching tools.

    • I completely agree, your statement is right on! There is definitely a balance of the two that must be obtained. I couldn’t imagine going to every shoot and just photographing experimental images-talk about exhausting!

  2. The rectangular cut out on the dress really adds to the design of this lovely image. And the dresses black color lifts the otherwise subtle color of the hair and lips enhancing the 3D nature of the image. The soft, flattering light really makes the skin glow.

    It interesting that by spreading the hair out a new dynamic has been added to the photo. We know that she’s stationary and that you’re photographing from a birds eye viewpoint. But there’s also a feeling of movement, maybe even of falling, that’s be introduced my moving the hair outwards.

    My approach is always driven my light. I’m a generalist having photographed for 30 plus years in a range of disciplines. I look for the light, before anything else. It determines where, how and, often, what I photograph.

    By the way, on a somewhat related note, here’s my definition of beauty. Good light and a positive attitude.

    Thanks for all the great work you do Catherine and all the best for your new podcast series.

    • You have a great definition of beauty, subjects with positive attitudes always photograph well! Thanks for sharing!

    • Elle

      Nice observations on Catherine’s shot!

  3. Elle

    I just watched Roberto Valenzuela on CreativeLIVE last week and he said the first thing he does is make note of the “obvious shot” when he enters a room or place and then tries to find the not-so-obvious shot and take that. Even more interesting was his idea on looking for the gifts in each location. It was a shift in paradigm for me. I look at the environment differently now. Paul is spot on with regards to his comments about failure being one of lifes greatest teaching tools.

    • I appreciate you taking the time to share such a wonderful insight. There really is so much we can learn from failure!

  4. Patti W.p

    Hi Catherine–

    This is my first visit to your website. I can assure you that it will be the first of many visits. I am awestruck by your vision and the beauty of your work. Thank you so much for sharing not only your work, but your inspiration.

    • Hello Patti, I am so glad to have you as a reader and appreciate your positive feedback and support. Thank you!!