Sharing Your Love of Photography June 9, 2015 – Posted in: Photography – Tags: , , , ,

I am a lot of things: a publisher, a photographer, a San Francisco Giants fan, a husband, and, most importantly, a father. In just a couple weeks it’s going to be Father’s Day again. That means that at Rocky Nook we have been working to pull together our “Father’s Day Promotion” so that our customers can save a little money when buying a gift for their dad (or, let’s be honest, it’s possible many of you are just rewarding yourselves for being awesome dads, which I applaud!). While planning for this promotion, I couldn’t help but to think about my role as a father, the things that mean the most to me, and how that might spill over to Father’s Day. (Just in case you are interested, our Fathers Day promotion is live now and you can save 40% off all our ebooks, just use code FORDAD)

I know it sounds cliché, but I am more excited about spending time with my kids than I am about the gifts they might give me. My favorite memories are from when we have done something together and they shared their thoughts, feelings, and observations.

One of my favorite things to do with my daughters is to go on a photowalk. Not only do I enjoy the time with them, I also enjoy sharing some of my knowledge. They learn a lot on these walks, but in the end I learn a lot by seeing photography through their eyes, which only makes my love for photography grow.

Whether you are a father or not, grab someone you care about who is new to photography and take them on a photowalk!

Phoebe Photographer2 (1 of 1)

To help kick things off, here are four suggested photowalk themes:

1. Basic Composition: As you start your walk, ask your companion, “What do you think makes a great photo?” This can open a discussion about the basic building blocks of a photo. Talk about how you purposely select what goes into the frame and what gets excluded from it. Explain the Rule of Thirds.

Leading Lines (8 of 1)

2. Practice: Becoming a better photographer is a journey, not a destination. One of my favorite books, which I had the pleasure of working on, is called Picture Perfect Practice, by Roberto Valenzuela. In his book, Roberto talks about how practicing key concepts will help you to become a more creative photographer. As you walk, talk about learning to “see” the background of the photo and how that will affect your image. Look for and point out horizontal lines, vertical lines, shadows, reflections, and patterns. Inserting shameless plug here…Roberto is underway writing the final book in his trilogy, Picture Perfect Lighting, which Rocky Nook will publish in early 2016.

Color (8 of 1)

3. Contrasts: Another thing that helps make photography more powerful is including contrasting elements. As you walk, talk about how isolating contrasts can add to a photograph’s appeal. Point out contrasts like big and small, light and dark, young and old, and happy and sad.

Rome Walking (8 of 1)

4. Light, Gesture, and Color: One of my favorite photography quotes is from legendary photographer Jay Maisel. He says that every powerful photograph has great light, gesture, or color. And the very best have all three. Point out how the light changes during your walk. Look for interesting shadows. Talk about how “gesture” can mean anything from how the wind blows through the trees to an expressive person having a conversation. Look for strong color contrasts, and point out that isolating a single color can make a photo more dramatic.

Of course, this is just the start. There are so many great things to talk about on your photowalk. The important thing is to share your love of photography with someone you care about. I think you’ll find that not only will your loved one benefit from it, but you will find a renewed love for the art of photography. With that, have a nice walk and happy Father’s Day!

 – Scott Cowlin, Managing Director/Publisher