What catches your eye when you’re looking at photographs? Whether you took the photo or someone else took the photo? Making your photos catch someone’s eye is essential if you want your photos to get noticed. I work hard every day to improve my photography. I used to get so frustrated because what I saw in my mind’s eye did not come out in my photos. I have discovered that images just can’t be good; they have to be great to catch someone’s eye.
I’ve seen many boring photographs. It’s always the same thing flower close-ups, sunsets you know what I am talking about. So many photographers take the same image I’m guilty of it myself. I have been working hard to find something unusual to photograph. I look behind things, I look at holes in the ground. I try to change up my perspective when I take pictures. One thing that has worked well is to look at the light source at different angles. It can make a huge difference.
I like to put own my spin on my photos. I love to try to be different from other photographers. Sometimes it works, and sometimes the images look like crap. I had some excellent advice from my aunt Kathey. She said, be yourself, don’t try to copy her photography style or other photographers’ style. I remember many times I would take a photo and my aunt would get jealous. I knew that I might be onto something. I took the photo below of a barn in Arkansas in the fog. We were headed to my cousin Missy’s wedding. When we saw the barn, my aunt screamed to stop the van. I slammed on the brakes. I thought something was wrong; she just thought the barn in the fog was the most beautiful thing she saw.
We started to take pictures, I sat on the ground and focused on the barbed wire and took a shoot. I think it’s one of the best photos I have ever made. There was another time when we were in Sedona, Arizona, and my aunt took our dog Cody for a walk. All of a sudden, she screamed for me to come quickly. She was pointing to something in the ground. There was a hole about three inches wide. I looked inside and could not believe what I saw.
It looked like the universe. The problem was when I tried to photograph it, my shadow was in the way, so I got my cable release and got as far away as I could and lay down and took the photos. You can see how amazing the images came out. I have never seen pictures of a spider web that looks like my photos. I have gotten more responses from those pictures than any other images that I have taken.
Your images need to represent you, whatever you think is unique to your style. Not everyone will take photos that capture someone’s eye. I am working hard every day to improve my style of photography you should too. Don’t listen to the critiques. You can’t please everyone. Do the photography you like to do, whether it’s street photography, nature photography, whatever you enjoy doing. Don’t be ordinary, be different.
When you look at some of the most famous photographers and painters, they are always the ones who people called weirdos, freaks, etc. I have been called a weirdo my whole life. I was bullied all the time in school. As I have gotten older, I really don’t care what people think about me. I am who I am, and I strive every day to be different. I hope that it comes out in my photography. I look at reflections in the water to see if it captures my eye.
There are so many things you can look at differently. Look for shadows that can add to your image. My aunt Kathey would have me take photos without looking through the viewfinder. Take time to plan out what you are going to do before you go out to take pictures. Experiment it is key to creating unique images. Instead of facing a sunset or a sunrise, look behind you. Take props with you and use them. Do whatever you need to be different. Get together with other photographers and exchange ideas.
Never never give up being you. There are so many boring images but there also so many amazing photos. On occasion, someone will take a picture that can change the world. I would love to be that person, maybe it will be you. People love to look at something that makes them feel something inside. It could be any emotion.
In Conclusion, take time to look at all types of art. It doesn’t have to be photos. It could be paintings, pottery, graffiti. Anything that makes you have a sense of awe. There’s nothing better than when someone looks at my photos and says how amazing it is. I hope one day I will be one of those photographers that people know all over the world. Maybe that will be you. Good luck!!
By Michael Vance Pemberton
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