Thursday, 23 February 2012

Filling The Empty Box

Photography is about filling an empty box. You see that box when you look through the viewfinder of your camera, and it is entirely up to you what you put in it.

That empty box does not just exist in the viewfinder, either. It exists on your client's living room wall. And on their website. And in their magazine. And in their photo album. And a hundred places other than that. Wherever photography is displayed, it was just an empty box before there was a photograph in it.

That box is yours to fill. You can choose to point your camera at a landscape, or a baby, at a supermodel or a car, at a warzone or at a bride. But it's your choice. Hell, you can even choose the shape of your box - rectangular, square, panoramic, whatever. And it is precisely because of these choices that people always say that "the camera points both ways". A photo says as much about the photographer as it does about the subject.

Before every shoot, or even before every shot, imagine that you're starting with an empty box.

Now, make a concious decision on what elements to put into the frame, where to position those elements, and how you want them to interact with one another. Those decisions should help your photograph say what you want it to say.

Now these choices can scare some people, because they may not have the imagination, or indeed the inclination, to craft an image rather than just snapping it. To 'make' a picture rather than just 'take' a picture. That is fair enough, but remember that if you do have the imagination, and you do have the inclination to craft a picture, then your photos will be much richer as a result.

The box is yours to fill, and if you do it right, you'll put a little bit of 'you' in there every time...


Chris at Keep Shooting Photography
0845 5195750