Lessons from famous photographers: Something to get you thinking

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In his photography blog, Beyond the Surface, Paul Turounet recently reviewed the book, The Education of a Photographer. There are several provocative excerpts, including one from a section entitled The Dos and Don’ts of Graduate Studies: Maxims from the Chair:

The Dos

Do something old in a new way.

Do something new in an old way.

Do something new in a new way; whatever works, works.

Connect with others –network.

Look at everything — stare.

Construct your images from the edge inward.

Edit — when in doubt, shoot more. Edit again.

The Don’ts

Don’t dare do it about yourself – or your friend – or your family.

Don’t dare photograph yourself nude.

Don’t whine, just produce.

– by Charles Traub, Chair of the School of Visual Arts’ MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department in New York.

Photographers take note: Paul’s blog is a wonderful resource in its own right. Check out some of his recent posts.

Also, aside from not photographing yourself naked and not whining, what are some other do’s and don’ts that photographers should abide by?

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3 Comments

  1. A “Don’t” and a “Do”:
    “Don’t” be discouraged when no-one notices.
    “Do” your photography for yourself.

    By Glen
      August 14, 2007 – 2:33 pm   Permalink
  2. I think one of the most powerful comments about photography is what I just read by Glen. “Do your photography for yourself”.

    Aint that the truth! When you start shooting outside of your own style it loses it’s personality. To each his own and with so many styles there’s no need to compromise your own photography.

    Do~keep it honest
    Dont~ let it go to your head

    No matter the gig, have fun with it.

      August 14, 2007 – 3:19 pm   Permalink
  3. I suppose Charles is referring to blatant self-portraits when he says “don’t dare do it about yourself”.

    In order for work to be personal, I think it has to be very much about ‘yourself’ – your perspective, your experience, your desires, your triggers – the only thing that is going to make your work unique is adding yourself into the mix and if your work is true, this will happen whether it was intentional or not.

    So I say ‘make it about yourself’… just make sure no mirrors are involved :)

      August 17, 2007 – 6:21 am   Permalink

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