Throughout the year I spent at photography school there was a very common phrase thrown around during critiques; ‘Concepts outweigh technical every time’
Any time I heard this I cringed, to me it felt like chewing sand while scraping your fingernails on a chalkboard. However it wasn’t because the statement is a lie; concepts, content and creativity really do mean more in an image than a mundane idea/subject photographed with technical expertise.

I thoroughly hate that statement because its an excuse, giving yourself permission to be anything less than perfect lowers the standard to which you want to achieve. How are you going to be successful if you are okay letting yourself down technically?
I also hate the phrase because it is limiting. Start going through the names of famous professionals in the craft of photography -from Ansel Adams to Dave Hill to Annie Leibowitz- all of them are very technically proficient. Each one’s expertise in the dark room, lighting, or post production enables them to dream creatively beyond other lesser skilled photographers. When you daydream, and create new ideas do you dream shooting in jpg auto mode? Do you dream in extravagant light setups? how big can you think?

If you don’t understand how to use a strobe in photography, you can’t dream in multiple light setups. If you don’t know how dynamic range works, you can’t dream in HDR/LDR. Excelling technically with your photography will not only make your images better, it will set you free to dream bigger, to explore more, to venture further.


This shoot is from over a year ago, at the time this shot was really pushing the envelope of how big I could try to dream. First shoot using battery pack strobes (alien bees), first time trying to project a batman symbol onto the side of a church (you’d be surprised how often it happens), first time shooting with more than three lights, first time shooting with coloured light, first time getting kicked out of the parking lot of the empress hotel for trying to shoot there (no comment)

FamiliesTechnical expertise is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.” -George W Bush