Student Work

Creating Depth

I conduct my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops all over the planet. I also teach two online classes with the BPSOP, and it’s this school that I’m writing about today.

In my part I four week class, I show people how to incorporate the basic elements of Visual Design into their imagery. I call it my Artist Palette: Shape. Texture, Pattern, Form, Color, and the most important element…Line.

We also work on ways to generate Visual Tension, using negative space to define the positive space, and applying a Vanishing Point (linear perspective) as a way to show depth in a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional world; as in a photograph.

Since the camera has one eye (a lens) it can only see in two-dimensions, height and width; we have two eyes so we see in all three dimensions which include depth. Having my students anchor an object in the foreground using a wide-angle lens creates the illusion of depth.

That’s in my part I class.

When you sign up for my part II class, you have mastered (hopefully) these elements of design and composition and now we work on silhouettes, and your best friend…the shadow. We also spend a great deal of time on Line, and how to use it to move the viewer around the frame; which is a good way to keep the viewer an active participant when looking at our photos.

So now that I’ve given you a brief description of my two classes, I wanted to share with you some of the images that a few of my fellow photographers have taken in several of my past part II classes. I hope you will not only see what they have gotten out of both classes but be as impressed as I am with the level of work.

One last note, in my classes students can’t crop their photos and absolutely no post-processing. I want to see what they can do before clicking the shutter. So, what you see is what they got!!

Enjoy the show!
[wds id=”2″]

Visit my website at:, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

-BPSOP Instructor: Joe Baraban

Joe Teaches:

Stretching Your Frame of Mind I 

Stretching Your Frame of Mind II

Lifestyle photography: images you’ll cherish for a lifetime

Make your images come alive

Everyone knows you can photograph a wedding in a series of beautiful images. But you can also photograph everyday “real life” moments in a series — a story — that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. This is what the genre of lifestyle photography is all about!

Start thinking beyond just taking a snapshot of your day. Even the most mundane events can form the basis of a beautiful story — one worthy of photographing!

How to approach lifestyle photography

At its essence, lifestyle photography is about being in the moment.

What you’re looking for as you go about your day is to see moments unfolding. These are moments that are beautiful to you. Or perhaps these moments are filled with chaos and disorder but you’re seeking to find beauty hidden within them.

The intention is that you photograph throughout an event without thinking about what “story” will come out of it. It doesn’t matter what the event is. The point is to relax into the moment and to just be present. All you’re doing is photographing as you go without a thought to the bigger picture.

Capture real life in an artistic way

The process of lifestyle photography is not about trying to fit into some predetermined vision. It’s about accepting what “is” and seeing the good in it. Lifestyle photo stories are authentic in that they capture real life moments in an artistic way.

The storytelling happens after you’ve downloaded the images. There is more than one story that can be told.

Create authentic photo stories

The first step in creating a story is to find the best images taken. These are not necessarily images that can stand alone or those end-all-be-all images that we typically strive for as photographers. These images are the ones that speak to you.

Each photo serves as a building block. Different image combinations yield different stories.

The storytelling part of the process is one of review. It allows you to reflect on your images and to decide which moments you want to remember.

The better the components, the better the image series

Okay, so is lifestyle photography as simple as just holding up a camera and clicking away? If only it were!

Lifestyle photography is where the technical aspects of photography intersect with narration skills. The better the individual components, the better the end result. This means the same rules of good photography apply.

Photo stories rely on the quality of the individual images. Gear is not what is important here. What is important is that you can work freely…even if that means using your phone.

Learn how in Authentic Photo Stories taught by Brit Hammer




Authentic Photo Stories

Amazing Travel Photos Made Easy

Celebrate Your Life in Beautiful Images

Photography Essentials

No post processing skills necessary for any of Brit’s courses.



You can also work with Brit privately

Mentoring: Schedule a live session with Brit via Skype

Get a private image video review: Private Video Image Reviews

Find out about all of Brit’s courses, including Photographing Fine Art & Craft

Happy New Year from Bryan Peterson

Quick Photo Tip: Wait For It

Of all the genres in photography, I personally think that street shooting offers the hardest challenge…why? Because “like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re going to get”….while walking down the street.

Landscape, portraiture, food, are three areas that immediately come to mind that gives you time to think ahead of time about your photo. You have the luxury of finding the location, looking for the best light, and as far as food photography you have total control in the studio.

When I’m walking the streets with any of my fellow photographers that are taking my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops, I’m basically looking for light. If I can find the light, chances are pretty good that I will find a shot somewhere in it.

I have had other photographers that take my online class with the BPSOP submit photos that lack visual interest and can’t stand the test of time. For example, a photo that’s showing someone talking on a phone leaning against a corner with a cigarette hanging out one side of the mouth is not going to stand the test of time; unless something extraordinary is happening. How about all those photos that show homeless people eating, begging, or sleeping on the sidewalk?

Having said that, when you do find some light…light that’s worthy of spending some time with, it’s important to find a comfortable spot and wait for some action; just the way Henri Cartier-Bresson did.

When you do see something or someone approaching the light you have settled in on, don’t be in a hurry to bring the camera up to your eye. Too many times I have seen a photographer do just that only to have the subject veer off. Sometimes it’s either because they’re polite and  don’t want to “photobomb” your shot, or they just don’t want to be photographed.

It’s important (and hard to do) to wait for it...wait until the very last minute to bring up your camera.

In the above image, I came around a corner and saw the light hitting just this one part of the building. I thought I would give it a few minutes to see if someone would walk through it. I pre-visualized where I wanted them to be in the light, and I also thought about making sure their entire shadow was against the wall.

I fired off several exposures of the spot I wanted to get the exposure down, knowing I would probably get off one shot.

Well, the waiting paid off. Not only did I get her in the light, but I was lucky enough to have her wearing great colors; of course her looking down the intersection didn’t hurt!!!

Visit my website at:, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

-BPSOP Instructor: Joe Baraban

Joe Teaches:

Stretching Your Frame of Mind I 

Stretching Your Frame of Mind II

  • Thank you for all the courses that you provide for us fledgling photographers. Your instructors truly inspire me to keep on working and improving at this craft. My first course with BPSOP was Understanding Exposure in 2014 when I had no idea what ISO, F-Stop or shutter speed meant. Since then, I believe I have taken close to 13 other courses with BPSOP!
    Sandi Holst BPSOP Student
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
Translate »