Two essential things you need to be a great photographer
This week a short post to say that Diana and I have got something super incredible to give you (and it’s totally free….gratis, nada pesos). We’ve been working on this for the past six months. I’m now going to drop the English facade of mild self deprecation that I’ve had to develop over the past fifteen years of living in London and get back to my Californian self to say – this by far the best thing we’ve ever written about photography. I will be stunned, stunned I tell you, if it doesn’t blow your mind with inspiration and propel your understanding of photography onto a whole new level. There, I said it.
It is the distillation of all of my teachings about photography – it is no less than:
The two essential things you need to be a great photographer.
Simple. But not easy.
To download it for free simply sign up to my weekly newsletter (over there on the right hand side or at the bottom of this post) and we’ll send it over straight away.
I strongly encourage you to take 30 minutes out of your day today to read it, even if it’s on the train or during your lunch break or in the park in the sunshine on your phone.
It will create fire within you and you will want to race outside with your camera on finishing this, I promise.
I would LOVE to know what you think. Diana and I have poured huge amounts of passion, writing, ideas and discussion into this – because we want help as many people as we can propel themselves ever forward on this beautiful creative journey that we are all on.
We would love to know what you think, please comment here.
Anthony and Diana
24/03/2019 @ 3:55 AM
Anthony and Diana,
I am deeply moved by The Photographer’s Manifesto. It speaks to an intense yearning within me to uncover hidden beauty (and meaning) in the world and share it with others.
My favorite excerpt is this: “To return to this place of seeing in bigger, deeper way is to go against how most of us live as adults. It is to walk slower, much slower. It is to walk without purpose. It is to stand for hours in front of a scene that moves us, waiting for the light to change. It is to be OK with idling, hoping to capture something magical but not worrying if we don’t.”
For many years, I had been convinced by society that I was in some way handicapped, despite having a sound body and an intelligent mind…because I AM slow. I simply don’t fit the mold of corporate America that everyone thought I should. When I finally realized that I am, deep down, an artist, it was like something in my spirit was set free.
This book is a breath of fresh air, and I am SO excited — not only to develop my skill as a photographer, but also to learn better how to see.
01/04/2019 @ 12:27 PM
Hello Lisa, thank you for such a lovely comment. I am so pleased this has inspired you. It is wonderfully liberating to have that realisation, and to know that you can live in a way that makes your heart and spirit sing. Creating and making art is such an enriching experience, and it’s wonderful you have set yourself free to do this. I hope you enjoy more articles on our site and newsletter.
08/03/2018 @ 8:14 AM
I have just read , fairly quickly, your Manifesto. I found it a real eye opener. It seems to easy to sit and watch TV or whatever and think that watching yet another photography video will help. I need to re-read it several times with more thought and then move and watch the world around me. It is inspiring with just my first quick read and if I follow your advice I am sure to see the world around me so differently. Thank you for waking me up!
30/08/2017 @ 1:31 AM
Thank you Anthony for your ebook. I was fascinated by what I read and am hopefully I will be able to take all the advice offered in your book
14/09/2017 @ 2:23 PM
I am very proud of that book. It’s a great distillation of my thoughts on teaching and photography. Glad you found it fascinating. If there is anything you would like to ask me about it or share your thoughts please do. I am always here…though slow to reply sometimes…
All the best
14/03/2017 @ 2:45 AM
Anthony, this has been very inspiring to me. I just finished reading it through for the second time. I wanted to take it all in. I hope that I can learn to follow your advice and slow down and really see the life around me.
29/08/2017 @ 10:22 AM
Thanks Paul! You can and you will. It just takes practise. Thank you so much for commenting (and sorry for the late reply!) I really think it’s something you can develop and I am really pleased this is helping. I love photography and anything I can do to help and share is awesome for me.
10/03/2017 @ 10:37 AM
Dear Anthony and Diane – my own favourite saying is “When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.” Well, I reckon I’m ready.
The point I’m at is summed up by one of your quotes. “….. walk slower, much slower. It is to walk without purpose. It is to stand for hours in front of a scene that moves us, waiting for the light to change. It is to be OK with idling, hoping to capture something magical but not worrying if we don’t.”
I still suffer from severe impatience, but I’m getting there.
Many thanks to you both – I have signed up and I will be back, often.
10/03/2017 @ 11:32 AM
Thanks Mike! I’m originally from California so I guess walking slow came naturally to me. Here in London though I feel like the tortoise in the race…still win though!
10/03/2017 @ 11:35 AM
We have lots of great content coming up this year for you!
02/01/2017 @ 8:05 PM
Just got done ‘speed’ reading the manifesto: THANKS, IT’S VERY INSPIRING. The first gob to stick, that you mentioned twice but didn’t elaborate on directly, is ‘seeing’ a photograph without a camera which is my essential skill that I’ve never seen mentioned before. Thanks, again, to the both of you!
10/03/2017 @ 11:34 AM
Thank you Ron for your comment. Manifesting that shot in your mind can make a huge difference to your results. Keep it up!
31/03/2016 @ 3:50 AM
Hi Anthony – your e-book is inspiring me to start a photographic journey. I’ve shot video for personal and business for the last seven years and doing that has helped me actually notice life around me! I see the similarities. Excited to take the leap and really see more of life in a different way – Thank You!
18/04/2016 @ 3:43 PM
Glad to be of service! We are very proud of that ebook. It is probably of most relevant writing we have done so far. Looking differently is what it is all about. Good luck with it all!
And thank you for your comment!
18/03/2016 @ 3:04 AM
You say you would love to hear what was the one idea that struck me as the most inspiring. That’s the easiest question I’ve been asked in ages. Your statement that “Everyone has something that they are fascinated by. For me it is light.” I have always tried to achieve my results with natural light, wherever possible – accepting of course that this includes lights that are already in the scene, such as shop windows and street lights in night scenes. And skimming through some of your photos when I stumbled into this site, I can see you have been chasing the study of light, to perfection! You are achieving above & beyond your years, if we’re not supposed to become photo geniuses before our old age!
07/11/2015 @ 6:48 PM
Stumbled (Fate?) across your website and downloaded your thoughts in the Manifesto.Your words made great sense – especially how we stick to the simple things in making (not taking) photos but that we must get out of our comfort zone. Also we must always have our camera ready! You are right – we take millions of photos daily with our eyes before picking up the camera! I have been making photos since the age of 12 (now in my 60’s!)and I can’t imagine a day without images. Continue spreading the Word! THANK YOU.
Peter (London UK)
17/11/2015 @ 6:10 PM
Thank you for your kind words. I am really pleased it’s been helpful and interesting for you. Photography has given me so much in my life, I couldn’t image my life without it – so it’s been awesome to share my feelings and thoughts about it (and for people to actually read them!) Thanks for taking the time to comment, it really means a lot to know people are connecting with what we are doing 🙂 All the best, Anthony
11/09/2015 @ 12:06 AM
I know that photography is about “seeing”. But – why can’t I see? Thank you for reminding me that it takes commitment and living.
23/09/2015 @ 2:47 PM
One tip I give everyone to help them See, which is my favourite – slow down and enjoy your time and it will come.
14/08/2015 @ 8:29 PM
Inspirational – sometimes one gets so hung up on the technical side of photography that one forgets that is all about what the picture – and what you see – so thank you both for a really well done ebook and blog
16/06/2015 @ 2:29 PM
Dear Anthony and Diane. What an inspiring and soul warming Manifesto. So apt for our busy times we are living in. I had put away my camera 2 years ago because of my own pressure to achieve great pictures. With all the technology that’s to hand now I often feel over saturated with images, and don’t think that my photos are any good. So I do believe one has to take time and sit and wonder at all the beauty around us. It’s like a kind of life meditation on the go. My camera is now out, and I will start anew.
Many thanks for your thoughtful words and advise.
15/06/2015 @ 3:15 PM
I’m loving your iBook. Thanks!
There is a typo on “the essence of childhood enchantment.”
It has “enchament” and that’s a shame.
I don’t know how difficult it would be to repair that.
13/06/2015 @ 7:20 PM
Great manifesto! I agree it is possible to improve one’s visual literacy with practice + feedback. Creativity builds over time, too. For me photography has been both solo and social, therapeutic and fun. And increasingly absorbing.
Thanks for articulating the process!
10/06/2015 @ 8:55 PM
This is a great document Diane and Anthony; a compelling read and really inspiring. I think Plato said Awe is the start of philosophy. So you have followed in the footsteps of the greats and applied it to photography. I’m really fired up!