What Effect are You Hoping to Create with Your Photography?

by on May 17, 2010


One thing I’ve learned over the years is that with photography, you are drawing the person into the world as you perceive it. Think about it. Some people use Photoshop to change the world that was there in to the world that they perceive. Maybe that world is one in which a pretty model has no cellulite or where the sun is two shades brighter.

To me, it’s like an invitation to come on in and enjoy. Truly it’s about creating effects. For me, usually those effects which I hope to create are laughter, or maybe a smile or bringing the viewer a sense of calm.

That is not always what a photographer hopes to achieve with his medium. Some may want to anger, or perhaps, titillate. It all depends of their purpose for taking the picture. Maybe they just want to please the boss at the newspaper or magazine they work for. Even in that situation, though, I think the artist in them wants to create an effect with you, the viewer. I think it is hard to divorce yourself from that desire, no matter what.

So, with all that said. Notice the photo on the left. This is a friends front entry in to their home. I am helping them sell it. With this photo I was hoping to show the viewer how warm and inviting their home was and that if someone comes to this place they will feel ‘at home’ here.


With the photo on the right I was hoping to create a sense of spaciousness. This is a 10,000 square foot lot and I was trying to make it seem large. As I mentioned in my earlier post, the good news is that  I can take the picture immediately, look at it on the viewer and see if it actually ‘communicates’ that message. It makes it so much easier thanks to the digital revolution. I, for one, am very happy that I don’t have to spend somewhere between $5 – $10 to see if one of my photos captured what I was trying to communicate and I don’t have to wait a day or two to find out, either. Phew!

Of course, there are times where you just want to capture the moment so that later on you can look at the image again and remember that specific time with friends or family or save it for your kids or grandkids. Honestly,I don’t know about you but I would like to see pictures of that 5 mile trek my parents made in the snow to that little school house that they had to walk to every day. I want proof!

Anyway, whatever you are trying to do with photography, first and foremost, have fun with it. It is a very forgiving medium for one’s creativity. Thanks to digital technology it does not have to cost an arm and a leg. And, you do not have to keep many picture you do not like. With the touch of a button you can put it in the trash and waste it for good!

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