Seeking Creativity and Inspiration in Your Photography

Blog Author Richard Newman

Greetings! Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Richard Newman, and I’m an image-maker living on the Monterey Peninsula of California’s Central Coast. I am honored to have been asked by your President, Amy Holmes George, to write a blog for the members of the Texas Photographic Society on creativity and inspiration.

I first fell in love with photography when I discovered the works of Edward Weston, Minor White, Ansel Adams, Garry Winogrand, and Andreas Feininger.

Now, there’s a visual stew for you! As I learned my craft, I knew that I wouldn’t be satisfied repeating other people’s thoughts and ideas, but wanted to express my own. I feel that the best photographs come from the photographer’s heart, but how do you get there? Practice!

According to Wikipedia, “Practice is the act of rehearsing a behavior over and over, or engaging in an activity again and again, for the purpose of improving or mastering it, as in the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’.

I wish it were more complicated but it’s really not. As I dove deeper into the work of my heroes I found that their “secret” was that they were in a constant state of readiness to be receptive to great images because of their commitment to photography and their daily habits. They lived it, and I challenged myself to do the same. Even with a full-time job, I found that if I did a few very simple things, I could live in the world of photography:

  • Make time for myself and my own thoughts.
  • Think critically about how something (anything!) would look as a photograph, to paraphrase Garry Winogrand.
  • Take time to look at the photographs I was making. I mean really spending time with them and being critical of what I had done.
  • Practice, practice, practice making pictures!

So where to start? How about Practice!

Let’s begin with a warm-up exercise. Over the next two weeks, make 40 pictures and put them in a file on your desktop. If you want to use a film camera, shoot a roll of 35mm, process it and have a proof sheet made. At the end of two weeks, don’t make any pictures for the next week, but LOOK at the 40 you made. I encourage you to keep a journal or notebook with you and record your feelings and experiences as you are making these images. I’ve included a few images in this posting that are from my practice sessions, remember, there is no pressure to make the perfect picture, the object is to open yourself to photography and see where it takes you.

Since this is the first blog, I can kind of set the rules. However, I invite your participation, your feedback and your work. My email is and we’re always open. I’m really looking forward to this exchange of ideas and images. OK, let’s GO!

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