Why and How Using a Method to Create Interesting Photos - Part 2

Photograph of a coral reef and its reflection in the Red Sea. Photograph by Isabelle and Amar Guillen.
To create this photograph, we dove several times to capture the ideal reflection of this coral reef.

All Photographs Have Been Made

During our workshops, we often repeat that all the photographs have already been discovered. All disciplines and subjects have been thoroughly explored. This is even truer since the advent of digital era and the explosion of the number of cameras sold or smartphones available.

Moreover, the availability of the knowledge of photo techniques via the internet or the publication of numerous popular books has enabled much of the population to learn the basic techniques of photography. The number of photographs made during the last decade is gigantic. The progression of the number of shots realized each day is exponential. All subjects have been exploited. There is nothing more to discover.

Yet, the field of photography is more exciting than ever due to the creativity of some photographers. Even if a subject has been treated many times, it is always possible to find a new creative axis to highlight it. This is the case in wildlife photography, underwater photography, or landscape photography.

Everything will depend on the style of the photographer. Although everyone knows words, grammar, and syntactic rules, many exciting and interesting novels continue to be published each day. For example, the most widely read police/detective genre has become the subject of thousands of books in many languages. In aligning sentences, writers manage to create new stories each day and continue to arouse the interest of their readers.

While all subjects and photographic themes have been addressed, creativity, and the perfect technical knowledge will produce motivating photos, thus surprising new audiences. In photography, everything is invented or reinvented. It is a discipline of expression that, like writing, has no creative limits.

We often state that creativity in photography is limited only by the imagination of the photographer.

Thinking of Creation When Shooting

Creating photographs is a response to similar scenarios.

These points evoke the beginning of the method because they are constantly present in the mind of the photographer. Each of them must be detailed as much as possible, according to the goals set in the photographic approach. We often advise photographers to write a detailed document and a summary document that can be reviewed regularly so that the above points become natural, almost automatic. We often compare this process to writing. When writing a text, each photographer has syntactic, grammatical or orthographic rules inscribed deep within. We do not think much about it when we write. The words flow naturally.

Exceptional Subjects do not Make Interesting Photos

Today, society tends to focus on the extraordinary moments, whether in photography, current events, or other artistic fields.

In recent years, social networks and the instantaneous distribution of information have caused many people to conclude that something is interesting because it is exceptional or unique.

Few people think about the long term and depth of a work approach. These people seem to only count the instantaneous, the superfluous, and the immediacy of the subject.

This way of looking at things also applies to photography. Whether artistic or illustrative, many people have made it a habit of judging an interesting photograph according to uniqueness of the subject alone. In nature photography, for example, it may be a portrait of a rare animal or a lesser-common animal behavior. Or perhaps the object of the photo may be a meteorological event that shows a landscape from a different perspective.

But these photographs, even if they can be described as exceptional, are not necessarily interesting, especially if we go back to the various points that we have mentioned previously in this document.

On the other hand, an exceptional subject, correctly photographed with creativity, can become an interesting photo. It is the creativity of the author that will make a photo interesting and not the subject.

For us, photography requires solid foundations on which a photographer will build his photographic approach to produce interesting content and long-term construction. Time is a necessary input to develop creativity.

Our Method for Creating Interesting Photos

Without going into the technical detail of our own method, we will simply explain that when photographing, we always try to create a series of photographs by focusing on content, design, message, and creativity.

It would be impossible for us to detail these general points because we would need more than 100 pages. Indeed, since we are methodical, all the stages and ideas are recorded in a document that we continually reread so that we might avoid losing ourselves. This memento, essential to our work as artists, allows us to frame our creativity while remaining loyal to our personal style. Our photographic vision has been defined once and for all. Thus, we must remain faithful to it.

Usually, we say that the more methodology equates to more intense creativity. Indeed, with a detailed method, an artist consistently focuses on the essential, thus reducing wasted time.

This method allows us to create collections of fine art prints of lights and colors or collections of fine art prints in shades of blacks and whites. Even if the themes are completely different, the method remains the same. In the field for our photo sessions with clients or photo projects, we apply the principles of our method by following each step in order. Because we do not question ourselves, once the eye is riveted on the viewfinder of the camera, we can focus on the creativity of our photographs.


Creating interesting nature photographs with a specific approach (whether artistic or illustrative) is difficult. Photography is identical to all areas of creativity. Indeed, many photographers get lost in the technique, thinking that it is essential. Others do not know enough about it. Some photographers have not defined a clear and precise photographic vision. However, normally it is the lack of rigorous methodology which places a brake on creativity. Although it is rather paradoxical, experience has shown us that in a creative field, the more that methodology is present, the more intense creativity there is. Why is this so? We find that when an artist avoids getting lost in detail already analyzed or errors already encountered, the photographer experiences the most creativity.

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Article published on Friday, April 14, 2017 . Written by
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