“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~ Confucius

How do we make life complicated? By slowly adding more and more things and activities to our lives until everything feels overwhelming. It’s insidious and much of what we add is not essential. The same goes for photography. We find ourselves drawn to a particular subject. Here’s what can happen next.

  • We include other elements to the scene to make our subject more “interesting”.
  • We include other elements without even being aware of them.
  • We don’t give our subject enough space.

For example, I was drawn to the silhouetted branches of this tree at the lake. A straight on image included both the lake and the sky. But, it wasn’t the lake or the sky that I noticed; it was the branches. So, why include them? Sometimes, you want to include other elements for context. But, in this case, simply tilting my camera up and filling the frame with the branches produced a simpler image that showed what I saw in the first place.

Excluding the horizon is one quick and easy technique that can be used to simplify an image. You’ll learn other compositional techniques too, but most of all, you’ll practice slowing down and noticing what really resonated with you in the first place.


Keeping it Simple is available on-demand.

Through 8 emailed lessons, sent every four days, you’ll practice removing unnecessary and distracting elements in both your photographs and your life to get to what matters.

Email #1 – What is simplicity?
Email #2 – Simplicity versus Minimalism
Email #3 – Design
Email #4 – Space
Email #5 – Expressing Significance
Email #6 – Expressing Emotion
Email #7 – Silence and Stillness
Email #8 – Impact

You can purchase now for $10 USD at the button below and receive your first email immediately. You’ll be taken to a page on PayPal where you can enter your email address and make payment.

Is this e-course for you?

* Yes, if you’re someone who wants to focus on what’s most important – in your images and your life.

* Yes, if you enjoy the structure of regularly paced reflections, tips, and exercises.

* Yes, if you like to practice photography consistently.

No matter what type of camera you have (even a smartphone will work), or whether you’re a beginner or more advanced practitioner, you will benefit from this workshop.

More on Simplicity in Photography

See examples at my Simplicity Set on Flickr.

Learn why I created this workshop in the first place.

Here are some blog posts I’ve written on the subject of simplicity – Keeping it Simple and Creating Space through Simplicity.

“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”

~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

What others are saying about Keeping It Simple

What Others are Saying

“I love the assignments but the resources are also at the top of the list. My biggest learning from the workshop was to make my images have emotional impact. Simplicity and essence are key.”

~Virginia Patterson

“I would definitely recommend this workshop to others, especially if they feel they might be in a rut in their photography. This class certainly leads us into pastures new and where everything seems fresh and full of new possibilities.”

~Sandra Favre-Byles

“This workshop really resonated with me. Something clicked and I found myself connecting with my photos in a way I never have before. I found myself stopping, taking a few moments to really think about the subject, and how to capture only what is necessary to convey those feelings.”

~Cathy Hubman

“I think the single most important thing I learned from this workshop is the discovery that I fear making a photo that is “boring” and so to avoid this I have tried to jazz things up by trying too hard to make something “interesting.” Pretty pictures are easy. Images with substance are hard. I felt that I made a few images with substance this time around.”

~Linda Shapiro

Contact me below if you have further questions.

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