As a photographer and creative in general, I occasionally run across a photo that I immediately know I will return to over and over for further inspiration. I’m not even sure what it is about these particular photos that draws me in, and there is not necessarily even a common theme or thread running through them. Perhaps it all has to do with how they catch me in a given moment, during a particular season, stage of life, or just general mood of the day. Regardless of the reason, I thought it would be helpful and a good way for me to grow to occasionally pull some of these photos together and detail why they caught my eye as part of a new blog series: photography bookmarks. These are the photographs I bookmark to return to time and time again. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
Flowers by Tulipina; Photography by Corbin Gurkin
There is no secret that I love this image, as I have already mentioned it here. I have not seen a photo that has stayed with me in the same way as this one has in quite some time. The styling, the light, the crop of the photo all aid in creating this ethereal, other-worldly look. Had the photograph included the model’s eyes, the focal point would have been pulled between her eyes and the flowers. With the photo cropped in tighter, the focus remains on the flowers while the model’s lips provide emotion and a clear human element. I love how the photo reads both bold and soft simultaneously. This shot is clearly one that was imagined and had to be planned, pulled together, and executed. I have always found something really beautiful about time spent creating beauty in our world. It takes a special gift to create this kind of beauty.
Photo by Sharon Radisch
Having been to Cambodia, this photograph really resonates with me as it truly captures the essence of this beautiful country. The crisp details in the background provide just the right contrast to the blurred movement in the foreground. The uniforms are tailored, classic, and simple. Flip flops seem to be the most common choice of shoe, perhaps highlighting the heat found in the country but also the widespread poverty. The thing I remember more than anything in Cambodia (even more than the beautiful temples, people, and landscapes) is all the dirt. The air has a definite hazy, dusty quality that you can almost see being kicked up by the boy in the foreground. The photographer has clearly taken a seemingly mundane moment and turned it into a captivating, vivid image calling us to a specific locale.
Photo found on QUITOKEETO
How great is the simple styling of this photo, not to mention the colors!? The photo contains just enough details to bring in interest (gold-rimmed glasses, floral sprigs in the drinks, peachy hues in the marble etc.). I’m not sure if the color of the marble was intentional, but the warm tones in the marble really bring out the softer pink tones in the fruit and drink.
Photo by Kate Zimmerman
Seriously one of my favorite travel images of all times, I go back to this photo at least once a month. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have that gorgeous landscape as a backdrop, but I love the dull colors that come together to form a very vibrant image. If you think about it, the primary color palette consists of browns, muted greens, and some rich blues in the lowlights of the mountains. Sounds dull, but it definitely is not. Now to buy that plane ticket to Peru…
Photo by Swallow and Damsons
This photo captures light the way that I dream of in my photography. Though I love deep toned, dark, and moody photography, I don’t usually return to it for inspiration simply because my work simply does not usually live in that style. However, this image manages to take those dark, moody tones and create a bright image with lively colors and an overall well lit still life. The use of negative space plays a huge role in the composition, which I find brilliant. The two small twigs of greenery sticking out in the left side of the image take up just enough of that negative space to keep your eye moving throughout the image without having too much dead space. The botanical print on the wall adds depth and creates one more layer of interest for an elegant, collected look. The line along the far left edge of the photo (a door frame?) keeps the eye from falling out of the photo and helps frame the subject to keep the still life as the central focus of the image. Can you tell I love this one?
Photo by Arthur Elgort
The grain, warm tones throughout, and expression of the model make this image stunning and timeless. If you imagine the model, sans the bandana, the shoot could have easily gone a good deal more formal. But, throw in a bandana, understated jewelry, a loose off the shoulder look, and every day vegetables that she is peeling, and the image becomes this beautiful mix of elegance and rustic simplicity. My mind is immediately transported to the French countryside every time I see this shot.
Which of these shots is your favorite? Any photographs that resonate with you that I should check out?