Bits of Wisdom from Jay Maisel

One of the pleasure of attending Photoshop World is the opportunity it provides me to sit in the presence of Jay Maisel. I've heard his presentations before and had the opportunity to study with him six years ago and he continues to inspire and inform what I hope to do with a camera.

I have the opportunity to interview Jay some years ago. Here is a link to the interview. Even if you have heard it before, it's worth listening to it again.

Here are some pearls of wisdom from one of my favorite photographers. 

"If you are not paying attention to your background, you are going to screw up anything you are trying to say with your foreground."

"Always carry your camera; it's easier to take picture that way."

"Shape is is the enemy of color."

"Here are three words for being a better photographer: 'Move your ass'"

"You only have two influences on the look of your photography: when you shoot and where you're shooting from."

"I don't believe as the dictionary says that gesture just has to do with the movement of arms and faces and legs.  I believe that gesture is involved in everything we photograph. We've all photographed gesture all our live. We just have not always been aware of it."

"Anything you do to make your image more specific, helps to make the photograph more powerful."

"Gesture will always reveal narrative, which light and color alone find it difficult to do. Gesture can tell a story."

"You cannot put your lettering in your pictures, unless you want it to be the content of your image."

"The most effective use of a pattern is when it becomes interrupted and there's a payoff in the end. Otherwise, it gets to be like wallpaper."

"You don't want to be a one-trick pony. You don't want to keep repeating yourself."

"If you can keep the element of surprise in your photography, you've already won the viewer half over."

"There is joy in ambiguity."

"There are going to be situations where you can't get yourself out of the picture. So, make yourself a part of the picture."

"I never saw light as something that casually fell on something in my picture, but rather as an integral something in my picture, like a solid object."