What is it about that photo?

I was tweeting yesterday with Paige from Approaching Joy and Emily from Beautiful Hello about creative careers and training and all that. (You KNOW how I love twitter, right? It's THE perfect social media thingy for me).

The burst of banter came out of Paige watching my interview with Monica of Smart Creative Women. Paige and I share a similar life trajectory - creative from time 0 but a strong "gotta do something practical" influence that had us both doing "meat and potatoes" paid work while putting creative stuffs on the back burner.

One of the reasons that I started this blog is to make sure that I didn't slip AGAIN and give up on the creative. And part of that is making up my own "graduate school" of learning. Life circumstances don't allow me the luxury NOW of going back to school full time so I piece together slowly but surely courses and opportunities to hone my skills. Step by step. 

Always slower than I'd like but I'm getting there. (It's a good thing I can't do this fulltime as I'd be up ALL night fooling around with the pen tool in Illustrator).

On the photography side of things I'm in the midst of Project52Pro, a year long photography workshop with weekly photography assignments and critiques (hence the "52"). Part of a recent assignment was to select 8 tearsheets that we find inspiring. It's meant to help us narrow down our focus (pardon the REALLY bad pun. Hey, I'm a poet and I didn't know it).

[As yet another digression, I'm the greenest photographer in this workshop - most are already getting paid for their work. I'm dog-paddling like crazy but AM keeping my head above water. Barely.]

Here are the photos from my tearsheets.

The first three photos are styled by Dietland Wolf from Germany. I've written about her before over here. I love how she plays with the conventions of food photography composition. 

Two dimensional vase with deconstructed three dimensional flowers.


Again with the two dimensions - this time wire picture frames. And the way she uses depth of field Only the flower is in focus whiel the teapot and vase are out of focus).


Love the angled horizon line. Also, which way is up?


This next photo is by V K Rees, based in Brooklyn. Love the styling and the seemingly haphazard composition and cropping. Fresh. New. Not the usual.


I have no studio equipment - I'm the MacGyver of photography. Natural light from the back door for my still life shots and board from the art store to bounce/absorb light. I'd LOVE to be able to shoot portraits like this one of author Tomi Ungerer (shot by Sam Norval).


The next two are interior shots by Martyn Thompson. Fresh angles and cropping that you don't usually see. How often do you see the ceiling in a kitchen shot? Subtle, I know, but it makes a difference.


How about the lighting below and the white balance? Would you have adjusted it? Kept it as is? Deleted it? It works. It's unique.


And the last one? Street photographer Scott Strazzante who blogs at the Chicago Tribune.


So no matter type of creative work you do, who inspires YOU? Whose work grabs you right.now? You know, where you can't stop looking at their work.