creativity exercise: shooting indirectly

creativity exercise: shooting indirectly

Many surfaces have reflective qualities — glass, metal, water, even highly polished wood. Take a walk around your house/neighborhood/city/etc, and pay attention to reflective surfaces. When you set out to find reflections, you might be surprised at the variety of surfaces capable of catching and reflecting the light. Also pay attention to the way that the shape (and even texture) of the surface changes the way subjects/scenes appear (as opposed to when they are viewed directly). How can you use the light catching / image distorting features of reflective surfaces creatively? Most importantly, pay attention to WHAT appears in the reflection. Is there a subject there you might not have noticed before? As you change your perspective (move left/right/higher/lower), what new subjects or scenes appear within the reflection?

This week, you may not shoot your subject directly. You must shoot a surface that reflects your subject or scene, but you may NOT use an actual mirror (too easy!!). Remember that the idea is to shoot the subject indirectly – not merely to capture a random reflection somewhere in your image.

And here are some of the faves submitted for the exercise:

Holly Thompson

Kara Roberts

Crissie Fields



Angie Allen

Amanda Norton

Rashelle Cuperus

What’s the best way to improve your photography? Shoot thoughtfully and frequently! Try new things and embrace creative and technical challenges. Every month, Sarah Wilkerson posts a new tutorial and challenges our members to join in a new Creativity Exercise on the Clickin Moms photography forum. At the conclusion of the exercise, we select Editors’ Choice images from among the exercise submissions and share them here with you on the blog. Congratulations to the ladies whose photographs included in the exercise above were selected as this month’s Editors’ Choices, and thank you to everyone who participated in the exercise!

Sign up for a risk-free membership!

About the Author:

Sarah Wilkerson is the CEO of Click & Company and also provides mentoring services, teaches advanced Click Photo School courses on composition & creativity, and authors the “Why It Works” series in CLICK magazine. She specializes in low light photography, everyday documentary, and tilt-shift work. A former attorney and Duke graduate, Sarah resides in northern Virginia with her Army JAG husband, four children, and three dogs. Visit Sarah Wilkerson online.


  1. Desiree Cherisse Oct 15 2010 at 7:36 am - Reply

    what creative photos! my favorite is the oil and the pan. WOW i would've never thought of that!!

  2. lynne Oct 15 2010 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Amaaaazing!! Beautiful work!! Love to see all the thinking outside the box!!

  3. Rebecca Berra Oct 15 2010 at 8:26 am - Reply

    Beautiful work, well done everyone!

    OK, I'm going to get my silverware out for this week's challenge!!

  4. Margy Oct 15 2010 at 9:11 am - Reply

    These were all fabulous! Really enjoying all the creativity.

  5. Holly Thompson Oct 15 2010 at 9:16 am - Reply

    I'm loving these creativity exercises and seeing so much wonderful talent featured! I'm beyond honored to have my images chosen for the blog today. Thank you, Sarah!!! My fave is the tuba… LOVE the vibrancy. Great work, Chrissie! And congrats to all the ladies, you are all awesome!

  6. Mindy Oct 15 2010 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Yay – so blessed to see the ones of my daughter selected (note to self: clean those waterspots off the bath faucet!). All of these were wonderful, the bubble one and the hot air balloons though are amazing!

  7. crystal Oct 15 2010 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    These are awesome! Some creative ladies here!

  8. Rashelle Oct 15 2010 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Great job ladies!!! This was a fun challenge and I really enjoyed all of the creativity from everyone. I'm thrilled that one of mine was chosen for the blog! This was my first picture post other than RYC101. How exciting. Love the one with the hot air balloon! Great job to all of you!

  9. Sarah Phillips Oct 16 2010 at 6:33 am - Reply

    These are amazing!

  10. Kristi P Oct 16 2010 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Hey Amanda, congratulations on making the blog!

    What great work ladies!

  11. Amanda Knerr Oct 26 2010 at 11:26 am - Reply

    All I can say is WOW.

Leave A Comment


Follow this blog

Get a weekly email of all new posts.

Email address