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Live First

This is a chapter from the book A Lesser Photographer.

“You just have to live and life will give you pictures.” — Henri Cartier-Bresson

Life happens between frames. If you don’t put down the camera to experience your subject, how can you bring anything uniquely personal to the story?

Great photography is just great storytelling. Great storytelling evolves from a life well lived. Live first.

The best camera is already always with you, because the best sensor is your brain and the best lens is your eyes.

If you don’t take the time to live, see, and experience before you photograph, you’ll always be a cover band. Your goals will match the experiences of other photographers.

Technique and gear seem insignificant if you have a message. Developing that message is worth at least as much time as you devote to the rest.