4 Secrets of Photography Success from George Lange

take great photo advice from george lange

If you’ve been studying, practicing, or even just looking at photography for a while, you’ve probably heard the name George Lange. He’s a great photographer, and occasionally gives out wonderful advice to other photographers, particularly those new to selling their services.

He’s written a new book called The Unforgettable Photograph that looks to be a good one. While doing my weekly photography reading, I stumbled on some sample tips from the book over at The Huffington Post. While the article gets a bit sales-pitchy for the book at times, it’s a great read – and honestly, the book sounds like a good buy for anyone who wants to take great photos.

Here are some of the highlights of my interpretations of tips from The Unforgettable Photograph.

  • Get close to your subjects!
    • When George Lange shoots, he doesn’t rely on the gear too much. Scott Mowbray has said that Lange can shoot a great picture with any camera, even a cheaper point-and-shoot model or (gasp) an iPhone.
    • Instead of using a zoom lens – which is often either very unreliable or very expensive – he gets very physically close to his subject. This produces a more natural, stable photograph, and also allows Lange to notice detail.
  • And it’s all in the details.
    • The tiny details are what elevate a photograph to being a true piece of art – and that’s what you want to provide for your clients. Notice the tiny details of the room, the crowd, and the people when you’re shooting pictures.
    • For example, if you’re photographing a wedding, be sure to capture some of the architectural features of the church or other venue while you’re taking crowd shots. Work to catch the colors and angles of the bride’s dress or groom’s tux in the best light.
  • Don’t shoot in overly lit areas.
    • There’s nothing that makes a photo look bad like having too much light. Just as you would never shoot in a pitch-black room, you should never shoot somewhere too fully lit. A moderate light produces the best photographs, and allows you the most control.
    • If you’re shooting outdoors, aim to take evening shots, or use shade to your advantage. If there’s no shade, try using different filters to diffuse some of the excess light.
  • Know the light where you shoot.
    • You should know where the light sources are, as well as the brightest and darkest spots, anywhere you’re shooting pictures. This is very easy to figure out through observation and trial and error in your home or studio, but what about when you’re on the go?
    • Try your best to scope out venues and locales you’ll be photographing in advance. You have less control over your subjects and their environment when you’re not in your own studio, so you need to know what you’re working with!

If you try applying all of these tips, you’re sure to improve your photography quickly – and without shelling out cash for any new, overpriced gear!