The 10 Commandments of Portrait Photography

Art has no rules. Right? Wrong! Call me cranky, but I don’t like the latest photography trends. I love simple, classic portraiture, and I admire legendary photographers like Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Albert Watson. That’s why I put together my 10 Commandments of Portrait Photography. ​I used the word ‘Commandment’ for a reason. Some people will believe, and some don’t. And that’s okay. ​This is just the truth as I see it.

Commandment #1: A Portrait Is About the Subject, Not the Photographer

We create portraits because we want to say something about a person and because we want
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Review: ‘Avedon: Something Personal’ is Incredibly Detailed and Frustrating

Avedon: Something Person is a​ downright staggering account of legendary photographer Richard Avedon’s career. Weighing in at 720 (yes, 720!) pages, no detail is left out. ​While it’s jam-packed with interesting stories from his assistants and collaborators, this book has some issues with the facts.

My Initial Reaction: A Stunning, Expansive Piece of Work

Richard Avedon was one of my first inspirations when I started my photography journey in 2008, so I’ve had a deep attachment to his work ever since then. And when I stumbled across Avedon: Something Personal by Norma Stevens and Steven M.L. Aronson, I
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Review: Annie Leibovitz’s MasterClass is a Disappointment

When MasterClass announced Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography, I was pumped. I’d already taken ​the James Patterson Teaches Writing MasterClass and loved it. In just a few hours, I got a crash-course in fiction writing with plenty of actionable tips I still use every single day. So when MasterClass finally released Annie’s class on December 14, I yelled: “Take my money!” I’m an Annie fan through and through. I own several of her books, and I’ve watched her interviews with Charlie Rose about a dozen times. Here is the MasterClass trailer in case you haven’t seen it:

My Expectations

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The 11 Stupidest Things Photographers Say About Gear


I’m like a lot of photographers. I want to shoot more often. And one big reason I don’t shoot as much as I like is that I waste too much time reading about gear. Now I’ve been shooting since 2008, which means I’ve been reading about photo equipment for 8 years. That’s not an eternity, but it’s long enough to realize that when it comes to cameras and lenses, photographers have a bad habit of making dramatic statements that have zero basis in reality. Here are my 11 favorites:

11) Any Sentence Including “Microcontrast” or “3D Pop” or “Medium Format Look.”

What happened to the word sharp? Because it seems like there’s a new breed of photographer that seems hell-bent on sounding like a lens company marketing department. Whenever I hear pseudo-science mumbo jumbo like “microcontrast,” I think of a photographer trying a little too hard to justify a
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