Friday, 6 April 2012

Picture Maker Manifesto

Once a upon a time there was a Manifesto of a Picture Maker

  • Photographers are picture makers.  Picture makers are story tellers.
  • Take your time, observe and record.
  • A picture needs to speak to the observer, capture the emotional.
  • The world is your canvas.  Start with your little corner of the world first.
  • There should always be a fire inside of you and if it goes dim change what you are doing.
  • Explore the unknown to keep the fire alive.
  • The camera is not only your eyes, it is the paint and the picture is your voice.
  • Rules are like tools, and tools can be broken.  But if you break them without reason or thought, then you are best to throw them out.
  • You can never stage a missed event; it would be a lie if you did.
  • A picture lacking technical skill is like ironing starch on your flannelette pj’s.
  • A picture that is too technically correct is also like ironing starch on your flannelette pj’s.
  • You may only have one shot at it, paint it carefully in your mind and perform with your eyes through the camera.
  • Treat every moment like you are getting paid.  Be professional, but have fun too.
  • Perform like you are getting paid top dollar even if you are not, dream a little, and pretend you are on a top model set.
  • There may not always be a happy ending, not everyone will get your story.  Don’t let this discourage you, only you can create a happy ending for yourself!  Believe in yourself!

© Melissa Thorburn Photography 2011, All rights reserved.


  1. Thank you for your lovely comments Melissa.
    Yes, I absolutely agree picture makers are indeed story tellers. Ironed cotton sheets are one thing but starched flannelette PJ's eek...makes me giggle!
    Reminds me of a quote I came across the other day by Mary Oliver (a poet) "Instructions for living a life: Pay attention, be astonished, tell about it."
    Have a lovely Easter. Love Catherine x

    1. Hi Catherine, thanks for the lovely comments (sorry for my late reply) and I'm glad you had a giggle. I had fun writing this Manifesto! I must read some of Mary Oliver's poems. I had to google her, as I didn't know her poetry. She sounds like a lovely lady and writer.