get some perspective | tips for achieving creative images

by Kelly Garvey

One of the things I love about photography is that each individual photographer has their own style, vision and “eye” for how they want to execute a shot. There are tons of different variations, perspectives, angles and compositions you can achieve with one shot. I learned this very quickly back when I took Sarah Wilkerson‘s Shooting 301: Composition and Creativity workshop. None of us interpreted the assignments exactly the same and we all had our own spin. The class pushed us to be creative and step out of our safe zone. It was fun to see everyone’s assignments from week to week, all the creativity, variation & ideas. It was also awesome to hear feedback and critique because sometimes it turned into an a-ha moment. Here are a couple images I took in Sarah’s Composition & Creativity workshop that ran May 2011.

get some perspective | tips for achieving creative images photo

Because everyone varies so much on how they interpret and see things, it’s fun to go shooting with a friend and see how your images of the same subject can vary so greatly. From the lens choice, lighting angle to the composition, perspective, etc. there are so many variables to take into account so you can achieve the result you want.

get some perspective | tips for achieving creative images photo

When you shoot, think about the intended result you want the viewer to be able to read. Are you trying to create a pretty shot you can frame in your house, tell a story, highlight a particular time in your subject’s life, be creative, capture your subject in action, create dramatic lighting, make your viewer feel a certain way (happy, emotional, uncomfortable)? Try to take your result into account when you’re shooting.

get some perspective | tips for achieving creative images photo

get some perspective | tips for achieving creative images photo

Sometimes you compose your shot to tell a story. In this image below, I wanted to use it to document a particular time in my life. I wanted to remember that I had to go to the doctor every week for months and that each time my son was with me.  Almost every visit my mom came to help watch Garrett and to be with me because she was excited and wanted to be there. I wanted to capture that moment so that one day (when he is old enough) I can show the baby their excitement through pictures. I composed the shot to include as much context as possible. If I cropped in more,  it wouldn’t have told the story I wanted it to because without all the context it wouldn’t have had the same meaning.

get some perspective | tips for achieving creative images photo

Here’s another example. My goal was to include as much context as possible here, too. I want to put it in his 3 year book so he can remember the time when we painted for three days straight together.

get some perspective | tips for achieving creative images photo

Sometimes you don’t care about context or telling a story and you compose your shot for a different purpose or sometimes purely for aesthetics. In Sarah’s workshop, we all had to pick a series of shots and compose the shots in 3 different ways. It really got our creative juices flowing. It was fun and easier and more natural as the weeks went on. This is an activity you can also do on your own.

get some perspective | tips for achieving creative images photo

As you can see from my examples of the snapshots I took of my son, a lot of times the lens you choose helps to achieve your intended result. If you don’t have multiple lenses to switch out, don’t worry – you can still change your positioning, location from the subject, etc. to capture the kind of images you want.

Remember not to be too hard on yourself when you’re in a rut or having trouble composing shots the way you want and just keep shooting. Eventually you will get out of it and good things will happen!  It is great to challenge yourself to be better, but just don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t quit! I notice the times when I am hardest on myself are the times when I struggle the most creatively.

get some perspective | tips for achieving creative images photo

Here are some other ways you can force yourself to think differently when in a rut:

  • take a class/workshop (Clickin Moms has a ton of awesome classes to chose from)
  • go location scouting for a new place
  • change lenses
  • change your distance from the subject
  • focus on a small detail
  • stand up and get over the subject (or make some other shift in position). changes in perspective make for neat shots.
  • take several shots in a row of the same subject and challenge yourself to change your composition each time.
  • while still being YOU, get inspired by studying the work of photographers you love & admire
  • focus on one skill for a day, week, month (work at your own pace).
  • do a 365 project. shooting everyday is an awesome habit to get into because it forces you to constantly practice, think of new ideas and change it up.
  • find ways to frame your subject in your shot
  • participate in a project or challenge (there are always opportunities on Clickin Moms. check out “the way I view” monthly project to see if that is up your alley or just go to the creativity exercises or challenges and games board to see what is going on).
  • stop to think about what you want to convey, then take the whole frame into account before snapping
  • go shooting with a friend. pick a subject (the same for both of you) and compare images
  • ask questions or post your images on the critique forum to get feedback
  • challenge yourself to use and see light in different ways
  • if your kids are hard to photograph, scout out a fun and cooperative subject you are excited about to help get out of a rut

I challenge you to step out of your usual niche; change it up and force yourself to compose shots in ways that are a little out of your ordinary!

get some perspective | tips for achieving creative images photoKelly Garvey is a natural light photographer in Houston, TX. She prefers a candid, natural, relaxed approached over the classic “portrait session” and loves photographing real connections and emotions wherever she can find them: kids, families, weddings, engagement, newborns, you name it.  Though always loving photography by growing up in a house with a photographer dad and a job in the fashion industry, it wasn’t until her son was born in 2008 that she acted on her interest, found her style and pursued photography as a career. She’s due in March with another boy and can’t wait to have a new subject to photograph!

Do you have an interest in CM’s Composition & Creativity workshop?  This highly demanded workshop will begin March 26th but sold out within 30 minutes of registration opening.  If you’d like to be the first to know when the next run will be make sure to sign up for the CM newsletter (right over there in the top right hand column —>) and you’ll receive an email when registration opens for the next class.

Read more photography tutorials by Kelly Garvey.

 

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30 Responses to “get some perspective | tips for achieving creative images”

  1. Mar 13 2012 at 7:47 am #

    Kelly, this is a fantastic post!! I will be bookmarking it so when I get in my rut I will know exactly where to come for inspiration! Your images always inspire me!!!

  2. Mar 13 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Thanks for sharing all these wonderful tips with us, Kelly! You are definitely a pro at creative composition! Love all these images. :)

  3. Mar 13 2012 at 8:07 am #

    Wonderful post!!!! Thank you!

  4. Mar 13 2012 at 8:44 am #

    I really loved this post. Thanks for helping us all to push ourselves to better places!

  5. Mar 13 2012 at 8:52 am #

    Kelly this is an awesome post! I love the images you included with it too! Beautiful compositions!!! :)

  6. Mar 13 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Kelly you rock!! And your images are such an inspiration <3

  7. Mar 13 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    Love your work Kelly. Great post.

  8. Elizabeth
    Mar 13 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    What a great piece! Thank you for your hard work! You are certainly an inspiration.

  9. Mar 13 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    This was a great read for me! I'm just a momographer! I take pictures of my friends' kids but really have no interest in making it a career for now. I'm a teacher and that pays the bills. I really love thinking about a daily challenge in which I'm forced to pick up my "big" camera! Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Mar 13 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    FANTASTIC and inspirational advice, Kelly!! your images are so FUN!!

  11. kdokoza
    Mar 13 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Wonderful advice Kelly – the list you've shared is very helpful! Always enjoy looking at your images ;)

  12. Cyndi
    Mar 13 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Wow, this is really good stuff here!

    Seriously, this is like several workshop assingments in one neat little blog, and the photos help to explain the point! Thank you so much for this. Me and my 12 year old son(future photographer) will head out on our assignments and explore with these tips in mind for sure!!

  13. Mar 13 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    You are so creative with your shots, Kelly! Love this article!

  14. Mar 14 2012 at 2:03 am #

    Great post Kelly! Will definitely return to that list – thank you!

  15. Mar 14 2012 at 3:03 am #

    Great post Kelly! It was a pleasure taking Sarah's course with you last year.

  16. Mar 14 2012 at 5:31 am #

    Kelly,

    Thanks so much! I am glad I took the time to click over and read your post. I have been wanting to take a certain set of shots for my son second birthday, but am so busy preparing for visitors that I was just going to let it go. Not now….I know I need to do it for the future. Thanks for the inspiration.

    I love the OB doc office shot…..INCREDIBLE!!!!!

  17. Mar 14 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Awesome!!! I love these shots and especially love the story in the OB office!

  18. Kristin
    Mar 15 2012 at 6:54 am #

    Really enjoyed this post. The first photo with the cereal is one of my favorites I've seen on CM ever!

  19. Mar 15 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Love these tips for mixing it up and shooting using different perspectives, Kelly! Love your work!

  20. Mara Vaughan
    Mar 15 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post! It was very thoughtfully written and I love the images you chose to share with us! I am definitely printing this one out for future reference. :)

  21. Amanda
    Mar 16 2012 at 1:59 am #

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Your shots are so wonderfully creative and very inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing :)

  22. Mar 16 2012 at 2:32 am #

    This is such a great post! Thank you for sharing! You really gave me some key things to think about as I am shooting!!

  23. Kim
    Mar 16 2012 at 5:18 am #

    Thanks Kelly…I belong to a camera club at the rec center at our church. I am going to share this with our members. Love the hands on the monkey bars…want to do this with my grandkids this summer!

  24. jessica
    Mar 19 2012 at 9:00 am #

    Love this post! Great stuff to think about!

  25. Kerri
    Mar 20 2012 at 7:15 am #

    Kelly, I love this post. Just wanted to tell you that I put this suggestion to use over the past few days and have been so happy with the results -> "take several shots in a row of the same subject & challenge yourself to change your composition each time."

  26. Sandy Young
    Mar 20 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    Awesome tips, Kelly, thanks! I needed this!

  27. Mar 20 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    omgosh! i need this! i will be referring back to this post many, many times :)

    thank you, thank you!!! <3

  28. Amy
    Mar 21 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!

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  1. Get Some Perspective: Tips for Achieving Creative Images-WDITT? Wednesday - Click it Up a Notch - Mar 13 2012

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  2. Get Some Perspective | - Part 1 - Aug 25 2013

    […] is a great article written by Kelly Garvey and a few of her photos.  get some perspective | tips for achieving creative images .  You may find it enlightening and inspiring.  Can’t wait to see those 1st Day of School […]

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