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Practical Exercises [Coming Soon]

As you become more familiar with taking everyday photos, you can start to work on the quality of your photos by learning and applying the following principles.  These are simple tips designed to help you become aware of other principles that apply to photography.  

  • Start Where You Are
  • Observe
  • Shoot What It Feels Like
  • Idea Starters
  • Shooting for Instagram
  • Shoot a Photo Essay
  • 5 Object, 5 Stories
  • Shape
  • Story Structure
  • Stories Within Stories
  • Moments
  • Linger Longer

Photos & The Stories Behind Them [Coming Soon]

  • The Great Fire
  • The Story of Mitch & Photos
  • Coloring
  • Serendipity
  • Little Signatures
  • Mother & Son
  • Playground
  • Stumble
  • Christmas Memories
  • On Life & Dying
  • The Shadow of Death Looming
  • Wishing It Weren't SO

Limiting Interruption


Have you ever had a great conversation with someone, been interrupted, then found yourself trying to pick up where you left off?  You might have said, "Okay, where were we?" then struggled to get back there.  If you were having an intense or emotional conversation, you may have even struggled to recreate the moment, or at a minimum, return to it. 

Once a moment is broken or interrupted it is difficult, and often impossible, to return to it.

As you take everyday photos, remember that if you interrupt a moment, it can can have that very same effect.  

The most common way we interrupt moments is when we ask the people we photograph to stop what they're doing to smile into the camera.  Not only does that interrupt the moment, it creates a manufactured moment that is less authentic and steals the everday aspect from that image.  

There is nothing wrong with taking photos of people smiling into the camera from time-to-time, but take them like you might use salt ... sparingly.

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Take 10 in-the-moment photos where you don't ask your subject to do anything.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Routine: Capture a photo of a daily ritual.  Does your subject read the newspaper or go on morning walks?
  2. Take your photos from a distance and try not to be noticed.  
  3. If you have to, go into another room and shoot through the doorway or down a hall.  
  4. If at first you don't succeed and you interrupt a scene, try again.  :)


If you have conditioned people to stop and smile, they will probably stop what they're doing when they see you with a camera and smile for you.  If this happens, smile and thank the person for being so kind and then tell them to ignore you and carry on.  Tell them you're practicing photojournalism and that you don't want to have any posed photos.

 If they smile, don't take their photo. Both you and your subject will need to get out of that terrible habit of posing.