The single most important task for the photographer in the 21st century is to have an identifiable style. Since so many of the photographs taken now are snaps in streets, landscapes etc, the photographer is out there looking for the photograph. He or she is looking for that decisive moment coined by Cartier Bresson. But in order to have style one has to create those decisive moments. This sort of thing has resulted in a few scandals (last year in particular) about photo journalists doing just that. But we do know that in the 19th century an British photographer who shot the Crimean War moved cannon shells around to make his photograph more interesting. And in the American Civil War a few of those war photographers moved corpses around to make the scene more photogenic. It is pretty well impossible to shoot rock bands at concerts and to make those pictures different. In my century (the 20th) I photographed the bands backstage. Being a magazine photographer gave me (a most important word) access. Another way to stand out is to mate a good studio flash to that digital wonder and indulge in lighting. We all know what Karsh, Avedon and Penn did with lighting. Any other advice is mostly fruitless. I recently returned from a two week trip to my native Buenos Aires. Street photographs always (sort of look good because the place one visits is foreign). I found that the panoramic stitching of my Fuji X-E1 was a godsend for injecting interest in a humdrum street photograph. Below is an example of a portrait I took of my friend, Argenine artist Nora Patrich in her studio.

Alex Waterhouse-Hayward



Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at:

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store