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“Shoot it like you’d paint it”

Shoot it like you'd paint it



Shoot it like you’d paint it … Says it all really.  Take control.

Here I am talking about the thought process before making the picture, trying to be involved in the organization of all the elements that come together to make a wonderful image, hence shoot it like you’d paint it. As a Painter gets to start with a clean canvass and put down exactly what he or she likes. Try to approach photography like that, sometimes you will have complete control, other times only partial but always take control.

With every photograph you make, try to make it so everything about it is how you want it to be. Lets start with what we might think of a spurious opportunity, like street or event Photography.  Even in street photography you have some control, in fact a lot more control than you might think.

You may not, in that situation have much control of the light, but you can manipulate your position, your timing and where in fact you are to start with and those will all influence the outcome. Perhaps set up a photo trap, by that I mean framing your shot and allowing people to come into it and then react, as opposed to following people around waiting for a chance of something interesting to happen (the two examples here are photo traps). Take control, express yourself, create your opportunities. Interact with people, be brave, be bold and as Robert Cappa said “if your photographs aren’t good enough, you are not close enough” so get closer.


Remember these are your Photographs, not someone else’s. It is up to you to impose your creativity and design onto that sensor or film. Pose your models, induce a mood, develop your story or message with props and adapt (where possible) your light to embellish feeling onto your work.


‘Don’t snatch, create’   If you’re new to photography, take a peek at this Lightism article on how to Fill the frame shed_street-3

all images copyright martingillman 2014



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