Why any method to learn photography should absolutely stuff your head with technique? Would not it be nice to learn how to create beautiful photos with what is innate in you, before considering any tool or technique?

Let me show you my method to learn photography through the theory of emotions.

I will share with you:

  • the usual pitfalls when you want to learn photography
  • how my method relies on the theory of emotions to help you progress
  • why you will learn faster with your emotions rather than with technical knowledge
  • my guide to start your learning journey

The Pitfalls for Learning Photography

Learning photography requires absorbing a great deal of knowledge from both the visual arts such as drawing and painting, but also technical knowledge as how to adjust your camera, and even scientific knowledge with the laws of optics and physics. This unique blend of art and technology has been an exciting challenge for many photographers since the inception of photography. But this learning can make you fall into 2 traps:

  • Either you don’t know where to start and you flutter from technique to technique without quite understanding their effect or their relationships. You will lose your energy and your motivation.
  • Either you explore all the technical nitty gritty of photography, but you lose sight of the creative and emotional part. Your shots are correctly executed, but your photos convey no emotion at all.

How can you avoid this?

A Method That Puts Emotions in Focus

To keep your motivation intact, you need to understand the purpose of being a better photographer. And this goal is not to know your camera by heart: do not confuse goal and means.

Know first why you take pictures. You have to realize that you take pictures to remember your emotions. Being a better photographer requires only one thing: mastering the capture and sharing of your emotions in pictures.

To achieve this, you must know how to use the right photographic techniques that will isolate and accentuate one or more of the 8 fundamental emotions that you will feel during your shots. This is the emotional charge you will put in your photo.

I propose to you my method which focuses on 6 categories of techniques:

  1. the Subject,
  2. the Shooting,
  3. the Composition,
  4. the Light,
  5. the Development,
  6. the Presentation.

These 6 categories can be learned in this order, step by step. The basics of a category must be mastered so that you can move on to the next category. This allows for progressive learning and avoids scattering. Each category of techniques will bring you real improvements in your photos and these successes will encourage you to move to the next level. No level is more important than the others, they all have a place to create the emotional charge of your photo.

We can represent this learning model where your photographic maturity will increase with the following scheme:

6 photographic techniques to master emotions in your photos
Being an accomplished photographer requires mastering 6 levels of photographic techniques that allow expressing the 8 primary emotions of the Plutchik wheel. © Amaury Descours

The six levels form a pyramid where each level contributes to the expression of the 8 fundamental emotions of our psychology, and also relies on the lower levels to achieve itself.

Why Would My Method Be More Effective For You?

All the photographic concepts taken individually in my method are known to all: I do not pretend to reinvent photography and its 200 years of history.

On the other hand, since I began fine art photography in 2005 and the sale of my fine art prints since, I have gradually grasped the vital importance of emotions. As much for the photos I sell, as for the photos that I only share with my loved ones.

But almost no book, blog or training courses really address the subject of emotions in photography in a truly end-to-end vision. Emotions are too often regarded as something indefinite, which should, if possible, be put in a photograph, but for which no systematic approach is really proposed. If you put aside the emotions, you will certainly progress technically, but very quickly you will find that a soul is lacking, a meaning to your images. This something that is not there: these are your emotions!

Yet, you understand, feel and provoke emotions, every day and with all the people around you. So why not exploit your innate ability by really expressing it with your photos?

My method is not to banish the technique, nor to swear by it only, but to give you a certain appetite for technique, always as a means of expressing your emotions.

My method will show you that you can learn photography through emotions even with a smartphone. My 6-level pyramid shows you that the shooting represents only 1 level: only 15% of the creative choices you make are related to your camera! Everything else depends on you and you alone!

My method wants to guide you on what is essential to know and what is not, to guide you right away on what will have a real impact on the emotions of your photos.

So Let’s Go !

Let’s see more in detail what these 6 levels of photographic techniques are, and how they will allow you to decide the creative choices that will carry your emotions:

What do you think of this method? Do you think you have a better chance of learning photo with it? Will it make you accept the technical part of the photograph better? Leave me your comment, I will answer with pleasure.

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