Creativity: Accident Or Skill?

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A Guest Post on Creativity by Kyle Miller from Photography Tips.

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Clients today are in love with creative and candid portraits. The day where you would take the same posed shots with every client is far out the window. To advance in a highly competitive market place you have to have images that pop above the rest. With that said my question to you is creativity an accident or skill? If you are shooting the same portraits with every client are you being creative?

With all of my clients:

  • I first take time to build a relationship with them
  • Feed off them during the portrait session
  • Work off their personality and add my artistic twist
  • Use photography rules and techniques to enhance images

Taking creative portraits is much more challenging. I believe if you follow a few pointers or incorporate a few of my ideas into your shoots, your pictures will improve while you and your clients will have a blast.

Interact with your clients

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I am, like most photographers out there, a wedding and portrait photographer. Being a wedding and portrait photographer I spend most of my time working with subjects that are not models. Since my subjects they will usually feel uncomfortable in front of the camera. They don’t know how to act, where to put their hands, or where to look. Do I look at you? If that is not challenging enough your subject doesn’t really know who you are, because you may have met them only once or twice before the shoot. I don’t know about you but I would find it difficult opening up to a camera when I don’t know the photographer.

You need to spend time building a relationship with your clients. When you meet with your clients don’t only talk business, spend time sharing stories, because the more you share the more they will open up to you. My photography company shot 71 wedding this year, and as you can imagine you can’t always find time to meet with every couple multiple times before the wedding day. That’s OK, before you start your portrait session spend time just talking with you clients even if its for just a little while. It will make you seem more personable. As a side note I should mention that I believe for a client to be photogenic its not based on how somebody looks its based on their emotions and interactions with the camera. Remember it’s hard to open up to a camera and photographer if you don’t know or trust them.

Feed off your client

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The hard part is over, because once you have laid the groundwork and your clients feel comfortable around you they are much more likely to play during their photo session. As a good photographer you will need to take that positive energy and feed off it. I encourage my couples to continue talking with each other and often I have a close friend of theirs poke fun at them to spice things up. By creating this fun positive environment your couples will enjoy the portrait session which is a good thing but they will be more likely to flirt with the camera. If you are constantly just posing people your pictures will become boring, and you will actually start to kill the mood you work so hard to create. I am not saying you can’t pose, just set the pose up loosely so the background and light look nice then build from their.

Work their idea then add your creativity

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When the couple opens up the camera, and the groom give his bride a kiss on the cheek, try to encourage them. Play with the couple and have him dip her back, as it creates shape and is a great way to show off a vial. This is all great as you will get a good picture out of it, but the magical shot is just after that as they will giggle. If my couple is a very shy I could ask the groom to kiss her again, but to close his eyes. Its just a simple change but the message in the picture is so much different and stronger.

I tell photographers to treat your portrait sessions like it was an improv act. If you don’t follow theater let me help you out. Improv is unscripted theater, where actors feed off each other. The actors may or may not know where their skit is going but its the journey or how they get there that is a surprise. With portraits watch how your subjects behave around each other and just add your twist. When you add to the picture your subjects will start to work back and forth with you. Please keep in mind when you are working back and forth with a client you can’t pass on an idea. If your bride floats an idea and you crush it you will destroy everything. You have to take her idea and build on it even if you don’t like the idea at first, as its just a building block. Remember all creative candid pictures have to start somewhere.

Good technical background

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If you handle your portrait sessions in a cookie cutter approach where you use the same wall or background every time, technically speaking, things will become very easy. You know if you use this magical wall, that every time you should put your key light to camera left, and it should be at 1/16th power. When working with your subject(s) you need to have a strong technical background as you will never know what situation you will get your self into. I think a great example of my point is a groom I had earlier in this summer.

After our portrait session with the bride, groom and full bridal party my groom tells me he has a concealed weapon permit which he is proud of and wanted to know if I would be OK taking picture with him and his gun. I personally was against the idea but just like I mentioned earlier, you have to take the idea and build on it. So building on this idea I said we can make the photos have a Godfather feel to them. I knew if I shot with a shallow depth of field I could create a strong image with him looking down gun. I also remembered an amphitheater just down the road that would create a great monochromatic image with amazing lines. You have to take the idea and apply standard photography techniques: exposure, framing, composition etc… I say this because if you are only thinking about the idea your images could look boring. You are a great photographer use your knowledge and make the pictures amazing!

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Canon 5d Mark II ISO:400 Shutter:1/500th Aperture:f2.8

With all of my clients I flow the same system every time:

  • I first take time to build a relationship with them
  • Feed off them during the portrait session
  • Work off their personality and add my artistic twist
  • Use photography rules and techniques to enhance images

It takes a lot of energy becoming emotional involved with all of my clients, but the pictures show the hard work. Your pictures will have so much emotion and life to them, and your clients will enjoy the experience so much more. I hope this helps

Happy Shooting

Kyle Miller has been a professional wedding and portrait photographer for several years. He shares his knowledge on his blog Photography Tips where you can also download his eBook 7 Essential Photography Tips for free.

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  • The gun shot reminded me of a real couple I worked with.
    His brilliant “friends” hired a heavy-handed bartender and a hooker/stripper for the bachelor party – you can imagine the rest of that story!
    The bride spied. She went ballistic on him, threw his ring at him, and called off the wedding. He hung himself later that night. His parents found him.
    The worst thing for me was that his mother was a friend of mine. Because my contract was with the bride/witch, I had to refund the unused balance to her (or get sued), instead of to his mother who actually paid it. It’s been 20 years, and she has never spoken to me again.
    When you think you want to be a wedding photographer, know that you will be working with PEOPLE – good, bad and ugly.
    Some days it’s just ugly.
    And out of that we have find a spark of creativity, and make beautiful photos. There are always accidents that work out well, but if you want to make a living as a wedding photographer, you’d better not be counting on accidents to pull you through.
    jus’ sayin’…

  • Artrina

    OK anti gun people… Reread the part of the article where the gun is written about. It says AFTER the portrait session the groom mentioned he has a concealed weapon permit. It does NOT say that the gun pix will be part of the wedding album. Maybe the groom just wanted a pix of with with the gun for some other reason NOT associated with the wedding. Maybe he took advantage of the fact that he was with a professional photographer to get pix taken. The article is NOT totally about wedding photography. I didn’t think wedding at all when I saw the gun pix; I wondered what it was the groom does for a living.

  • I like the first shot with the gun. Looks like a guy w stuff on the mind.

    One of the comments here is about people getting lost in the equipment. While that can be the case, I think if we know our equipment, that the equipment definitely can add to the creative process.

    We just need to work in our knowleadge zone and at times play in our “what if I do this?” zone.

    In working with models, professional or first time, there is a dance between catching the model posing, and directing the pose, see http://glamourphotography.co/?p=713 .

    It is essential, as you say, to have a relationship and trust with the model/models, know our equipment, and direct the picture using all of our photographic skills, even as we improve our skills over time, by doing things like reading these blogs.

  • Cabe

    Got to say – sooo many people overreacting to guns and weddings on the same memory card! – I agree with Jennifer and Erinn and etc above – who said the groom had a opportunist moment – where he had an already paid-up photographer at his disposal, who was willing to take the gun shot for him..

    You are ALL supposed to be photographers with imaginations so why are you all acting so literal !!!
    – I think they are rather fun! – I liked the Resevoir Dogs type pic at the top of the groom and his mates – he actually does not look like a ‘groom’ in that shot, nor does he look like one in any of the others. The amphitheatre one is very atmospheric and I think he prob had fun and also liked being ‘immortalised’ in a celluloid type of way in that pic.. (and the buttonhole makes him look like he’s at a funeral and not a wedding… ! :D) The 3rd gun ‘shot’ is pretty simple but interesting as well as only the gun is clear which kinda reinforces his pride in his new gun as that is on ‘show’ and is all you really see clearly !! … Come on people, get over it and think outside the box!

  • Cabe

    PS: Creativity? – forgot to say – I think everyone has it but it only really kicks in and the juices start to flow when you are doing something you really, like, love, enjoy and are having total fun with and that is inspireing you enough for you to feed off it.. creativity is like being in love – (even for just a moment!) 🙂

  • Maria

    He may have a thought about this gun shot before and now that he has you a photographer he has a chance to get a shot. I have no problem with it. I like the one sitting in front of the wall.

Some Older Comments

  • Maria September 11, 2011 02:10 pm

    He may have a thought about this gun shot before and now that he has you a photographer he has a chance to get a shot. I have no problem with it. I like the one sitting in front of the wall.

  • Cabe February 25, 2011 10:43 am

    PS: Creativity? - forgot to say - I think everyone has it but it only really kicks in and the juices start to flow when you are doing something you really, like, love, enjoy and are having total fun with and that is inspireing you enough for you to feed off it.. creativity is like being in love - (even for just a moment!) :)

  • Cabe February 25, 2011 10:34 am

    Got to say - sooo many people overreacting to guns and weddings on the same memory card! - I agree with Jennifer and Erinn and etc above - who said the groom had a opportunist moment - where he had an already paid-up photographer at his disposal, who was willing to take the gun shot for him..

    You are ALL supposed to be photographers with imaginations so why are you all acting so literal !!!
    - I think they are rather fun! - I liked the Resevoir Dogs type pic at the top of the groom and his mates - he actually does not look like a 'groom' in that shot, nor does he look like one in any of the others. The amphitheatre one is very atmospheric and I think he prob had fun and also liked being 'immortalised' in a celluloid type of way in that pic.. (and the buttonhole makes him look like he's at a funeral and not a wedding... ! :D) The 3rd gun 'shot' is pretty simple but interesting as well as only the gun is clear which kinda reinforces his pride in his new gun as that is on 'show' and is all you really see clearly !! ... Come on people, get over it and think outside the box!

  • Yucel December 13, 2010 02:43 am

    I like the first shot with the gun. Looks like a guy w stuff on the mind.

    One of the comments here is about people getting lost in the equipment. While that can be the case, I think if we know our equipment, that the equipment definitely can add to the creative process.

    We just need to work in our knowleadge zone and at times play in our "what if I do this?" zone.

    In working with models, professional or first time, there is a dance between catching the model posing, and directing the pose, see http://glamourphotography.co/?p=713 .

    It is essential, as you say, to have a relationship and trust with the model/models, know our equipment, and direct the picture using all of our photographic skills, even as we improve our skills over time, by doing things like reading these blogs.

  • Artrina December 12, 2010 06:57 am

    OK anti gun people... Reread the part of the article where the gun is written about. It says AFTER the portrait session the groom mentioned he has a concealed weapon permit. It does NOT say that the gun pix will be part of the wedding album. Maybe the groom just wanted a pix of with with the gun for some other reason NOT associated with the wedding. Maybe he took advantage of the fact that he was with a professional photographer to get pix taken. The article is NOT totally about wedding photography. I didn't think wedding at all when I saw the gun pix; I wondered what it was the groom does for a living.

  • halmooney December 11, 2010 09:43 am

    The gun shot reminded me of a real couple I worked with.
    His brilliant "friends" hired a heavy-handed bartender and a hooker/stripper for the bachelor party - you can imagine the rest of that story!
    The bride spied. She went ballistic on him, threw his ring at him, and called off the wedding. He hung himself later that night. His parents found him.
    The worst thing for me was that his mother was a friend of mine. Because my contract was with the bride/witch, I had to refund the unused balance to her (or get sued), instead of to his mother who actually paid it. It's been 20 years, and she has never spoken to me again.
    When you think you want to be a wedding photographer, know that you will be working with PEOPLE - good, bad and ugly.
    Some days it's just ugly.
    And out of that we have find a spark of creativity, and make beautiful photos. There are always accidents that work out well, but if you want to make a living as a wedding photographer, you'd better not be counting on accidents to pull you through.
    jus' sayin'...

  • Ben December 11, 2010 04:31 am

    Hey folks. Writer said the groom wanted pics with his gun (scary). He may be a weirdo but he's the client - unless he proposes something illegal or hurtful, shouldn't the photographer shoot what he wants? As for wedding album - again, what client wants client gets (hopefully wife overruled including "Smith & Wesson"). Not saying we shouldn't try to exert our professional influence but ultimately the client rules.

  • lme December 10, 2010 09:27 pm

    As for the gun shots, my thought in the first was the old saying "biting the bullet"..kind of a humor like "ball and chain"..I found in humorous but then again I am born and raised in the South...The second was a tough guy "bring it on!" type attitude that would be very acceptable here in the South. I come from the land where shotguns and brides go together so I think it depends on where you're from and what the pics mean to the bride and groom. I also liked the one where the bride looked over her shoulder. I don't get into wedding photography, but I found that one cute.

  • Anner December 10, 2010 08:29 pm

    If creativity is accident or skill? I Think both, because I always try to improve my photographics skills, but sometimes I Accidentally find a better way to compose a photograph. I remember once I forgot to change the white balance and so I created a good effect.

  • TheresaZ December 10, 2010 03:17 pm

    I agree with some of the posts, I think it's 50, 50

    As far as the images with the gun, perhaps she is marrying a James Bond type and the villain crashed the wedding sending him into action. = )

  • Kim December 10, 2010 01:31 pm

    I really liked the first photo of the groom with the gun because it conveyed a strong emotion in a very simple way. If you hadn't said "groom" then it would have looked like just a guy in a suit to me.

    As for creepy - if he had been standing WITH the bride - then it might have been creepy. I think it has to be taken in context - he was proud of the gun and wanted a picture of it and you found a dramatic way to show that.

    I wasn't as fond of the second photo but only from a composition standpoint.

    However, my opinion could be based on the fact I am married to an officer and there is almost ALWAYS a concealed weapon somewhere on him. I've gotten used to it. ;-)

  • Ed N. December 10, 2010 12:40 pm

    Another thought many people here opine that guns should not be allowed in a wedding shot/memories/album. I would think that a professional photographer, something I am not, would be wise to take the shots that his clients demand. If the client asked for a shot featuring him with his gun thats exactly what the pro should take. I am a contractor by profession and I have done many things that did not agree with my tastes, painted houses and trims with colors that made me cringe and the people loved them. Who am I to say, your tastes are not right, or worse even, that is not allowed, or that it would be inappropriate. It would seem you would lose both jobs and reputation that way.

    ed

  • Ed N. December 10, 2010 12:33 pm

    I liked the shot with the gun and the DOF blur, it looked like a James Bond movie shot. I think the idea was just what he pulled off, focusing on the gun as the image with the guy being mysterious. That is what makes the world go around, we all have a different eye and tastes.

    ed

  • Michael M. December 10, 2010 11:10 am

    Okay, there are some of us how love, like, dislike, or hate the "gun shots" (I don't like them [I established that in my previous comment]).
    As creative professional we will encounter situation when we are hold back from our creative freedom and get stock in the mind of someone how isn't creative at all, that's okay. But its up to us, creative individuals, to execute the task given. even if it is poor in concept/lame/stupid, with excellent and to the best of our abilities.
    I believe that the "gun shots" are poorly executed, the vignette is overdone making it look too digital, think back where vignette weren't intentional. The picture with the shadow DOF is too overwhelming it even hard my eyes. It feels and looks like a photographer who just discover depth of field, its definitive a picture you wouldn't want to stop and look at it twice.

  • glen December 10, 2010 09:58 am

    i would say that creativity is luck developed over time..at first you think you're lucky to have gotten a beautiful shot but as you go along, you develop your skills and creativity is almost natural to you that a bad shot becomes luck since most of your shots are now beautiful...

  • Connie T December 10, 2010 08:50 am

    The two pictures with the gun is just depressing. The guy with his head down, holding the gun, looks like the bride bailed and he is going to shoot himself. The second one looks like he decided to shoot her. Especially in light that a beautiful couple in the news went on a honeymoon and he had her shot and killed. Guns should not be featured in wedding photo memories.

  • Flip December 10, 2010 08:09 am

    What I got from those shots with the gun/wedding, and from Kyle's post is to: a) think outside the box, and b) Work with your client. If the client wants something like that- even something that doesn't seem to fit with the occassion, there are still ways to do it in such a way that stirs emotions. That would be a big challenge to do that well, considering having to shift gears like that. Imagine a vegetarian chef creating a Chateaubriand. As far as the "Resevoir Dogs" photo- again, thinking outside the box for the benefit of the wedding party- Who knows? The bride and groom may be big fans of Mr. Brown. Still a pretty cool photo, and to not shoot it for fear of being compared to a movie would be a shame.

  • Martin December 10, 2010 07:17 am

    Hmmm. A good photo is a photo around which is raised feedback thus it makes it original, unique and it evokes some feelings in you. Look at the discussion here. I thik that the photo itself is successful even though a lot of people commented in a negative way. But controversy is a great way how to shock people around and make them remember your work…

  • BBpics December 10, 2010 06:03 am

    Maybe "accident" is the wrong word - maybe "luck" is a better choice, and you can do some things to improve your luck... that's where the skill comes in.

  • Greg December 10, 2010 05:53 am

    I dislike the gun photo's because I am not into guns, however I think they are great photographs BECAUSE of the controversy they provoke.

  • Texan Mama December 10, 2010 04:06 am

    Personally. the gun shot is not my taste, but I thought this article was about creativity, so why do so many people comment about that specific shot?

    Maybe the bride and groom met each other at the Police Academy. Maybe they enjoy going to a shooting range together in their free time. Maybe THAT is how the photographer is being creative with his photography, capturing what is meaningful to the bride & groom.

    I have no idea. But, neither do any of the other commenters.

  • Andrea December 10, 2010 03:35 am

    Call me crazy, but I love the shots of the groom. I am a fan of NCIS, Law and Order, CSI and James Bond films, these shots reach deep into the soul of the groom. We don't know his history, but I like the fact that the photographer took the risk and made something more meaningful than the usual wedding photos.

    The attached photo is of a friend of mine - he is a Vietnam vet and was attending a 4 day Traveling Wall event I was covering for Bikers for Christ. I used an old Canon Powershot S2 - point and shoot.. He was sitting in a white folding chair in the front of the stage. The background was not very interesting so I photoshopped the flag behind him. Quick Throttle magazine was also at the event with their photographer with a expensive camera. Guess who got the cover shot? Me with my one bad eye -

    [eimg url='http://trailblazer1.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/may-we-never-forget-their-sacrifice/' title='may-we-never-forget-their-sacrifice']

  • ratkellar December 10, 2010 02:48 am

    Good tips for shooting strangers. The client asked for the gun photos; the photographer did a good job providing what was asked for. I don't like Ansel Adams photographs; so what?

  • Ryan December 10, 2010 02:41 am

    I think it's a very good thing all our clients are not pro photographers. How else could any of us take good enough photos to ever satisfy that kind of an audience.

    Personally I love the cinematic feel of the gun shots photos. As a separate piece from the wedding, they look pretty fun/epic. I grew up in redneckville, and know that potential clients there would not see a huge problem with this idea, and would even pay money for it.

    And when it comes down to it, the ability to pay your bills with your photographic talent matters more than the thoughts of other photographers on a bulletin board.

  • Erinn December 10, 2010 02:21 am

    I think you all are being a little harsh. From the sound of the article, the dude just happened to want some photos of him and his gun by a professional, and took the opportunity while he had a professional photographer. They had some time after all shots were done. Had you not been told it was a wedding shoot, you would've never connected the two and it would've had a more Godfather type feel. I highly doubt these were picked for a wedding album or to hang over the fireplace, but I bet they are being kept just because he likes them! Thanks for the article.

  • KireinaAmapola December 10, 2010 02:13 am

    Wow those gun pics have been very controversial. in my case, when i saw the pics of the groom with the gun i thought "hmmm, i guess the groom wanted to take the oportunity to play gangsters since he is wearing a formal suit" :)

  • Alan Vallis December 10, 2010 01:51 am

    Jesus wept!

    Only in America.

    The world would be a better place if the cretin did shoot himself.

    But don't shoot the messenger. Thanks to the photographer for alerting the world to yet another maniac on the loose.

    No wonder we have Iraqs and Afghanistans.

  • Welmerd December 10, 2010 01:03 am

    Guns at weddings? I always thought the guns were brought by the brides father and brothers!

  • Peter December 9, 2010 07:51 pm

    Jim
    I did not say that I did not like the photos. I think that they are hilarious and should be sent to Awkward family photos so that everyone can join in the fun.
    A wedding is a solemn occasion and the photos should be a record of one of the couples happiest days and not a freak show.
    If this is indeed what the couple request then the photographer should steer them in the right direction.

  • alan December 9, 2010 05:09 am

    i hate weddings. i don't even like wedding photography. i like guns. i own one, i shoot big ones. having said that, the gun in a wedding shoot is way off target (get it?). why would you want those images in a wedding album? i like the one of the guy on the steps but i thought it was going to be a non-wedding shoot. wonder what the bride thought?

  • Jennifer smith December 9, 2010 02:00 am

    I enjoyed your post...as far as the negative comments about the gun shots....who said they were going in the album, perhaps he just wanted the portrait and heck he had the photographer there so no better time

  • St Louis Photographer December 9, 2010 12:17 am

    I like the idea of the interaction with your client being like improv. Keep things light and fun when possible, but there are of course times when you have to be serious and address problems too.

  • Shar December 8, 2010 11:52 pm

    True, Chris, the gun does provoke tremendous emotional response, but does one want it to be negative - for wedding shots (no pun intended)?

    Yup I agree the steps shot doesn't look like suicide; it looks like post-homicide-remorse.

  • Jim December 8, 2010 11:52 pm

    Peter, I dont think the negativity is needed or appreciated. You may not like the pictures or the work, but its also about the clients and their "wants".

  • Bill Midgett December 8, 2010 02:47 pm

    I have enjoyed reading all the comments and appreciate the diversity of opinions. My two cents is that defining creativity or serendipity is like defining humor in that such discussions tend to fall short of capturing the most essential content of each quality. Good photography communicates a message or gives espression to a feeling or emotion. Sometimes the message that is intended by the photographer becomes transformed by the viewer who brings a different experience and emotion to the image. Wow, that sounds way too academic -- bottom line---where you sits is where you see it.

  • Chris December 8, 2010 07:45 am

    Fascinating, especially the gun pictures! As far as props go, the gun evokes tremendous emotional response (as seen by all the negative comments about it!); emotional responses part of what we're all about generating.

    The one on the steps doesn't look like suicide; looks more like post mission blues. The second one doesn't at all have to be the bride as a target; imagine him perhaps defending the bride? Anyhow, almost reminds me of James Bond: guy with a suit and gun!

  • Martin December 8, 2010 02:54 am

    Well, the sword could really give it an a look of historic wedding if it was a shot of the happy couple in an acient church and of course the sword would be secured not pointing at bride's throat :D
    I also don't like overvignieting - it adds an "amateur look" to the photos even though, if used properly it can add a dramatic look which is sometimes needed. And I pretty like if photo has a lot of free space in it when I want to portray solitude. But I certainly wouldn't do it the way he did it. It looks like a groom deciding between staying alone and commiting a suicide or getting married. In this photo it looks like he wanted us to think that these two choices mean the same. And eventually you should decide if you agree and want a pesimistic photo like this in your wedding album.

  • Peter December 7, 2010 09:23 pm

    I do hope Kyle does not charge for his work

  • Michael M. December 7, 2010 04:22 pm

    I don't know if I would want a photo where i am holding a gun in my wedding/engagement photo album.

    I agree with most of the previous comments. I personally believe that the photo where the groom is seating on the stair holding the gun is a wrong approach, and the post production is imperfect, the vignetting doesn't help at all. I see you where trying to apply the rule of third but it didn't work in this case all that negative space is a waste of frame, for such a picture you should had added a second element.

    The picture with the young couple is not the best groom and bride portrait in particular because of the over-expose dress you want to show as much detail as possible in the dress because they sure want to keep a good memory of that expensive bride dress. and the overdone vignetting makes the image look dirty.

    Please don't take this the wrong way but is important to mention downfalls in photography.
    The article is a so so 101 in creative wedding photography.

    Cheers

  • TZPhoto December 7, 2010 02:39 pm

    Hey, don't you know Guns are acceptable in wedding photos (If your a red neck). I live in Arizona, where too many people are just as attached to their gun as they are with their new wife. And if it came down to it, between the wife and the gun, they would choose the gun, feeling it would never fail them. Me, I only shoot with a camera.

  • Jacqueline December 7, 2010 01:34 pm

    I love those gun photos. I don't know why people say bad stuff about them if it is just not "their thing". Everyone takes photos of what they like or what they see, not the other way around.

    I am only new, I love taking photos of what captures my interest. I spent 2 hours taking photos of one rock, why, because it struck me as interesting.

    Keep going. I am learning, from people like you.

  • Seth December 7, 2010 11:37 am

    My opinion, 80/20. If it were 50/50, anyone could just pick up a camera and get interesting shots from time to time.

    Anyone else agree with the overuse of vignette on these sample photos? Gun theme doesn't make much sense to me either, is it supposed to be ironic? How about a sword instead or a bazooka?

  • Speedy December 7, 2010 11:33 am

    Maybe the groom is about to shoot the photographer - no finger on the trigger though.

    I find the gun aiming pic quite funny actually - funnier than the heinously over-saturated landscape, over-done vignettes and the extremely crooked and distorted staircase the lone best-gun-man is perched on.

    My apologies for this negative post. I just don't like the pictures much, except the 4th one, that's the young couple with no obvious vignette, no obvious over-saturation, and no obvious firearms. The article was good though.

  • Shar December 7, 2010 09:40 am

    I do agree with Miguel's comment about 50-50. Some of my best shots (as an amateur) have almost been accidents. However, in all cases, it helped to have had practised, practised, practised - in order to be able to grab the moment when it arose.

    As to the shots with the gun, yes, they are downright creepy. Perhaps they work in some parts of the world though...

    My humble tip about wedding shots is to try and photograph the couple when they're being photographed by someone else. Sometimes yields interesting perspectives...

  • B December 7, 2010 07:42 am

    Are we really supposed to be taking advice on creativity from an article with a leading image that's a straight ripoff of the Reservoir Dogs intro?

  • darren_c December 7, 2010 06:59 am

    I think a more fitting question is do you have an innate creativity in which it comes easy to you (i.e., you can see things as they happen and respond quickly). Or, do you need to work hard to be creative? For some, I think it's a natural ability and others, like me, have to work a little harder at it. I don't think this dimishes the overall final output in any sense. It's just the process wil be different for every individual.

    I think you need to know what camp you fall into, the first one, the second one, or perhaps somewhere in between, depending on the day ;). I think that there are many factors that can inspire creativity, and as long as you are open to what's going on around you during any shoot you can capture what you're looking for, (and sometimes what you never expected - a happy accident??), regardless of which camp you fall into.

    Cheers!

    DC

  • DanFig December 7, 2010 06:15 am

    To me, creativity is the skill of being prepared for the opportunity that an accident can create. Creativity is the cause & effect of a process set into motion both consciously and unconsciously. My first step is being conscious. I do this by remembering a simple 1-2-3 approach to my assignments:

    Preproduction
    Production
    Post-production

    PRE-pare for the unexpected, plan for the expected, hope for the best and embrace the worst.
    PRO-fessional approach. Treating every assignment like it is the big job.
    POST-it. publish it. share it. Create it for others to see. If a tree falls in the woods, and you dont show anyone the photograph you took of it, did it really happen?

    Having all these things rolling around in my mind helps me skillfully capitalize on opportunities (accidents) in a creative and professional manner…

  • Karol Lee December 7, 2010 05:53 am

    I truly feel the 'wedding' pictures in which the groom is depicted as suicidal, and the second which implies he is about to shoot someone, the bride perhaps were totally inappropriate. I have a hard time believing anyone would want those as wedding memories.

  • fortunato_uno December 7, 2010 04:32 am

    How could creativity be an accident?
    Niether is creativity a skill. Creativity is the inner vision of the artist/artisan. If you got a good shot accidentally, then it wasn't creativity. If skill is the reason you got a good shot, creativity is how you execised those skills. The whole premis is some what flawed. My creative influances are what gives my shots a look that (I hope) will make me stand out from the crowd.
    Here is an example of my skills being exercised by my creative side. http://lafango.com/fortunato_uno#/media/1058492-industry-in-action
    Now it may not be the best shot in the world, but it was no accident. The creativity was in what angle, ap, shutter speed, ISO, I used, and when I pushed the button.

  • A.Barlow December 7, 2010 03:36 am

    I like the first "gun" photo. It was pretty emotional and I didn't see anything that hinted to much about "wedding" like some say; I didn't get that from it.

    I do agree though, creepy groom!

  • Martin December 7, 2010 02:21 am

    Well, it was probably an idea of the groom, not photographer. But at least he could omit those pictures when writing this article.

  • Chris December 7, 2010 02:17 am

    Agreed, that groom sounds really creepy. What a weird idea, but I don't blame the photographer of course.

  • Martin December 7, 2010 02:13 am

    Yep, I agree that a gun in a weding shoot is a no, no!
    Weding is about emotions - mainly happiness and certainly not toughness.

  • Scapevision December 7, 2010 01:58 am

    From my experience, I think creativity comes from the lack of proper expensive tools. See how many creative people have 5D mark II or Nikon D3 or whatever expensive studio lighting. Most creative shots are usually done with the mind! Most pro's get lost in their tools forgetting the process

  • Rob-L December 7, 2010 01:55 am

    Those photos with the guns are awful in concept. Don't get me wrong, it's not that there is a gun involved (I own one myself), but the second photo looks like he's going to shoot someone (the bride?) and the first photo looks like he's contemplating suicide. (Hey, don't get married if it's that bad!)

    Those photos are just creepy and sad.

  • miguel romero December 7, 2010 12:44 am

    Creativity: Accident Or Skill?
    I think, in most cases, 50% - 50%

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