Simplify for Maximum Impact


Want Drama? Want something that looks like it’s worth a million bucks?


The biggest thing that ruins a perfectly exposed photo is the presence of too much clutter. Look for simplicity. Walk around, recompose until you have eliminated as many distractions from the foreground or background as possible.

We can learn a thing or two about simplifying from the advertising industry. A study performed by the Journal of Consumer Research in 2006 showed that ads containing a lot of white space lead customers to perceive their brand as:

  • more prestigious
  • more sophisticated
  • trustworthy
  • higher in product quality and leadership
  • lower in risk than the same ad without white space

What does that tell you about photographs? Same thing.You are your brand and your photograph is your ad. Want to command higher prices? Want more sophistication in your work? Eliminate the distractions and create “white space”.

If you are unable to rid yourself of distracting backgrounds, use your largest aperture and blur out the background (bokeh). You can always do it in Photoshop after the fact as well.

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