Staying Positive for Better Photos

1 year ago by in Photography / Videography

While watching Scott Chulman (The Sartorialist)’s interview with Steven McCurry, McCurry’s commentary on being in a positive frame of mind really stood out to me. As he put it “To be mentality positive and not to try and force it too much. I think once you put one foot in front of the next … you’re alert, you’re in the moment, really hyper-aware. Sometimes you need to find something which may not be a great picture but at least starts to prime the well.”

Starting any shoot, no matter if it’s a baby shower or a fashion shoot, it’s important to be in a positive frame of mind. As you start to shoot try not to be discouraged by shots that may be less than stellar. Like McCurry said, just keep at it and stay positive then things will start to click.

One of the most difficult things I had to deal when I first started shooting was coming off a great shoot then having to start the whole creativity process over again from square one. However now it’s equal parts nerves and excitement. I’ve learned to talk myself and my client through the creative process so we’re both on the same page, cooperating, enjoying ourselves, and that ultimately leads to great photos.

This also pertains to your own emotional well being. A few years ago I had a shoot schedule for the key art for an upcoming independent film. At the same time my dog of 16 years was living through his last days. We had to put him to sleep the day before the shoot. It’s still difficult to recount in my head. Nevertheless when the next day came and the room was filled with actors, directors, producers, makeup artists, etc. I had to leave everything that happened the day before at the door. I had to stay positive and lead the shoot.


Green Guys 2010.

So that’s my advice for the week. Have you ever fought through negativity and come out on top?

Hope you enjoyed the video above and check out the rest of the series, it’s very informative. To see more of McCurry’s work check out his website at Also if you like fashion & street photography check out Chulman’s page,

Written By Edward De la Torre

Edward is a Los Angeles based event and portrait photographer. His work can be viewed in the link below. He also likes a cold beer and long walks on the beach in that order.

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