Become a Better Photographer by Being More Deliberate

Finding that great natural fill light from the granite wall behind me helped keep Bri in a good exposure range.

​Be certain. Be sure. Be deliberate.

Now, this may sound strange coming from someone who advocates challenging everything, finding new solutions, and experimenting, but they actually go very well together.

Found art on an early morning walk. The buds had dropped off a nearby bush. The moment I saw it I knew it had to be a triptych.
The non-descript background sets this old Scout out, and the light is soft and dappled. That is the way a Scout should be seen… ya know.
I used a window and a huge V-Card for this shot in New York City. Working with the model for just the right expression, we talked softly and tried to recall emotional events.
Finding a non=cluttered background for this shiny white dress allowed it to stand out from the shady blue tones of the shade covered sidewalk.
  1. Note all lens choices. Write them down if you must, but KNOW them. Be able to ‘see’ through that lens by being aware of what things look like through that lens.
  2. Know every exposure, and be able to defend WHY you chose that exposure for the image. If there is no reason, you were not being deliberate.
  3. Choose ISO with a deliberate understanding of how and why it will affect all aspects of the image you are about to make.
  4. Compose your images with careful attention to EVERY detail in the frame. Search the corners, search the background, and adjust accordingly.
  5. Use what you have to make what you want. A deliberate photographer is not limited by their gear but freed from it by a total and complete understanding of what they can do with what they have.
  6. Don’t censor or edit your work while creating, but be as considerably deliberate as you can while making the images.
  7. Expect to fail. Expect to learn from that failure. Failure with deliberate intentions will teach you more than unexpected lucky shots.
  8. Choose every piece of gear with complete and focused deliberate intention. What will it do to make your work better… consistently better?
  9. Concentrate on what you are doing and close out all distractions. Try to find a working method that allows you to be open to the imagery around you… and then deliberately repeat those circumstances whenever possible.
  10. Enjoy the serendipitous moments that happen with a very deliberate approach. They are revealing themselves to you BECAUSE of the control you have put on yourself.

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Don Giannatti

Don Giannatti

Designer. Photographer. Author. Entrepreneur: Loving life at 100MPH. I love designing, making photographs and writing.