Bringing Vulnerability Into Your Photography

National Geographic photographer Cory Richards brings his baggage with him whenever he does his photography. Instead of shunning it, he gives in to the vulnerability that helps him show the humanity in his work. The stark difference between a subject who poses for the picture and someone who is captured in his or her natural element shows true humanity. Richards’s example shows an exhausted man, mentally absent from the photographer’s work. He describes it as the “in between moment,” in which the subject has left the photographer and is thinking about something else, which is that person’s reality:

All of the shortcomings and assets are necessary to capture outstanding pictures and film to show the real side of things. The scene isn’t staged and the emotion is real. As he describes, vulnerability is the key to making any good art and should be a part of every photographer’s work flow. You connect with the audience when you can share your own shortcomings with them. Richards’s advice rings true for many aspiring photographers and helps inspire the passion necessary to produce great work in this field.

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“It was a distraction. The camera became the distraction.”

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