Tyler’s Tips Episode 7: Simplify


Welcome to Tyler’s tips. Today we’re going to be talking about how to simplify your images so they can be more effective. What do I mean by simplify? Well we kind of look at it two different ways? You can simplify something in sort of an absolute logistical sense. Photographic composition, take things out of the composition. That helps to simplify it, make sure that the idea that you’re after is clear, the subject is really clear. And that’s really effective. It’s a great technique. We can go beyond that though, and we can also simplify the idea, and that’s where we can often really take our photography to another level. If we really hone in on the core essence of what we’re after.

So to illustrate this idea, I’m going to show you two photos that I did on a recent photo shoot for the Wall Street Journal. They hired me to go shoot photos of a home in Pebble Beach. So, the first photo is this one, and this is a good photo. It’s a documentary kind of a photo. It shows the relationship between the house and the view. The view is a really important part of this story for the paper, and so they asked me to make sure that I got lots of photos showing the view. But I don’t think this photo really gets to the essence of what it’s like to be there. It’s a cool photo, you go it’s a photo that makes you say, “Oh wow, look at that house. It probably has a great view.” So, I wanted to go a step further and really dig in.

So, what is that essence? And we spent a lot of time talking with and working with the homeowners during this photo shoot. And one of the things we discovered is, they have an evening routine when they’re at home. They like to have a glass of wine and enjoy the view. So, we thought hey, wait a second. Why don’t we take a photo of that? Because that’s really the point right. If you have a house like that, it’s so you can enjoy that view. And that’s the essence of the feeling.

So, we created this photo, which hones in on really what it feels like to experience that view. And experience in a way the romance of it right? It’s an amazing thing. And we were really able to hit that romantic part directly because these guys are such a cute couple and they love each other after, I don’t even remember. They told me, it was a lot of years. I think it was maybe over 50 years of marriage, 45 years. Anyways, they’ve been married for a really long time and they still very obviously love each other and are very cute with each other, and that in of itself, is magical. But I digress. The point is, we were able to really simply down our idea, and bring it to the essence of what it feels like and what makes this magical. And it’s actually not the big fancy house, that’s super cool. Big fancy house is super cool, but what’s really magic is how that view can impact your experience.

And that’s why that house, that big fancy house is right there and no in some other random place. So, there you have it. Simplify your image, simplify the composition by taking stuff out of it. And simplify the idea by really digging in and trying to figure out the essence of what makes it cool and what makes it special.

So, I hope that was helpful. If you enjoyed that and you have other things on your mind that you’d like me to talk about, please put a comment below or send me an email and I’ll work it in to a future episode. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to the next one.