Red Turtle Photography » Blog

{documentary} think like a photographer, part one: light

think like a photographer

You want to become a better photographer – if only to capture the funny/sweet/tender/beautiful moments with your children, your spouse, your pets… maybe you have a “good” camera, or just love your smart phone camera… you want to relive the visual story of your family and document it for your kids when they’re older…

if any of these apply to you, you need to learn to think like a photographer.

I started a conversation recently, with several photographer friends – women with amazing talent and successful businesses across the world. I posed the question, “How do you think like a photographer?”  And I’m sharing what I gleaned in the next few posts, because I think these ways of thinking can begin to transform your photos right away.


Number One: Become obsessed with light.

Let’s talk science for a minute: without light there is no photography. The word itself is infused with this fact: photo (light) graph (to represent with lines; drawing) = drawing with light. If you’re shooting with film, light is literally burning silver in the emulsion of your film. If you’re shooting digitally, light is triggering pixels to store a certain set of information that will be rendered into an image. So, photography depends utterly on light. Photographers obsess about how much light, how their camera reads it and how much of it their lens can take in. But there’s more to it than that. Light… it’s really akin to magic. It falls in varying temperatures, each of which evokes a certain mood or emotion that can relay meaning in a well-structured photograph. It creates edges and boundaries and shadows, which together give rise to composition. Light can make a photo airy and happy like a summer afternoon, it can make a photo stark and hard like a desert at noon, and it can make a richly dimensioned like window light in the morning. What’s in and out of the light become wildly significant in the hands of a skilled photographer. Step one to thinking like a photographer is to be obsessed with light.

(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC maternity leave photographer


(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC family photographer



Click here to read Part 2: The Moment

If you’re feeling ready to jump into your photography more seriously, consider taking my upcoming workshop, Camera Boss. Click here to learn more!

xo, Katie

Send Usa message ShareOn Facebook Tweetto twitter Pin topinterest EmailSubscribe

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *