Hi! My husband, Steve, just published his first book and it was released last month by Quarry Books! But with all the goings-on of Summer Art Camp and Wes heading off to college, we decided to celebrate the publication this month instead. 

We’re giving away two copies each day (one from this blog, and one from my facebook page). Leave comments in both places each day for a chance to win a signed copy of “Creative Photography Lab: 52 Fun Exercises for Developing Self Expression with Your Camera.

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Hi and thanks to Carla for sharing her blog space with me. I was sitting on a plane last week reading an article about Stern Magazine, a German weekly that features consistently wonderful photography. The art director, Johannes Erler, said in the interview: “I always prefer the emotional picture instead of the perfect picture.”

That quote struck me as the summation of everything I feel about photography. Without really knowing why, I am always attracted by, and attempting to create, an emotional image. And by emotional, I don’t necessarily mean something that has people in it who are demonstrating a strong feeling. Stern Magazine is mostly about lifestyle and fashion and I think the art director was talking mostly about that kind of photography. But for me, some images — magically, mysteriously — are packed with feeling.

And unlike the “perfect” picture, you can’t really construct an emotional shot from the ground up. There are no rules of composition, lighting schemes, or Photoshop filters that can guarantee a truly moving photo.

I believe that the only way to make emotional photographs is to be present and connected to your subject in an emotional way. Photographs should be like poems: An honest and well crafted response to what you are feeling at the time.

My hope is that our book might be a small help in that direction. You start by setting aside your preconceptions about the “perfect” picture and just start shooting from the heart. Of course understanding your camera is an important part of crafting images and we try to introduce some technical understanding into each lesson.

Thanks for your comments!

Twitter @sonheimphoto
Instagram: ssonheim



Leave a comment for the chance to win a book. Winner will be selected randomly on Saturday, September 14. (And come back each day this week for more chances to win a copy of the book!)

Winner picked #33:
Tania Bain: “Oh Wow, I would love to win one of Steve’s books. I would go from stuck in a rut to being a pixel poet :”)