Erin Yuen » Environmental Portrait Photography serving Barcelona Spain and Southern California

My First Lesson

The first photography lesson I remember was from my dad. He was teaching me about photo composition. He always said a great photo starts with good composition. But as a kid it’s hard to understand big words. My dad has a way of explaining so things are easy to understand. He showed me a 4×6 photo and explained the four corners make a frame. What was inside the frame are objects, or the subject. Where the object is positioned in the frame is composition. He had me hold my left thumb and index finger to make a L, and my right thumb and finger to make a 7, putting them together makes a box. My dad then said “That’s your frame, now find a good picture.”

I remember walking around looking through that box waiting for something interesting to catch my eye. Every so often I would ask my dad “what about this?”. He would respond good what else can you find? Sometimes his response would be try again. He always reminded me it takes practice to see a good picture but never give up. He taught me it’s not only about practice but true love for something you enjoy doing. I’m always grateful to him for that.

That first lesson is what gave me my love of photography. Looking at life through that box forces me to focus, ignore everything else, and capture that moment. Over time I have developed my own perspective and viewpoint when photographing. I no longer look to my dad to tell me if something is good but to ask for his thoughts and critique. My love for photography started with a lesson from my dad and grows deeper with every picture I take.

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