Dave Pelham – The Step-by-Step Route to Creative Photography – Playful Creative Summit 2020

I own a camera. An intimidating camera. Lots of buttons. None of the buttons are permanently dedicated to one function. It’s a camera designed for an octopus who might want to grip the machine in different ways at different times and then the creature’d need redundant or reprogrammed buttons all over the place. I’m quite pleased with myself that I’ve managed to reprogram some of the buttons to my taste (octopuses have taste buds on their tentacles), despite the little detail that I’m not an octopus.

And so I was THRILLED to listen to Dave Pelham, a portrait artist based in the Netherlands, generously share a “Step-by-Step Route to Creative Photography” for his 2020 Playful Creative Summit discussion with David Chislett. Pelham came to still photography through a college videography class.


He keeps playfully “current” because he has children: sharing arts & crafts, games and play with them grounds him: playfulness is essential. More broadly, he deliberately tries to maintain a light-hearted, even improvisational spirit to his life and as he works. Practically, this can help his portrait clients relax; artistically, it can help him maintain his style.

So what are Pelham’s steps?

(1) Know yourself, for example your best times of day, what you need when you take a break, what your working environment needs to be – neat or messy, lots of coffee on hand, music?

(2) Because he’s a portraitist, he wishes for the best for his clients, he starts his interactions with them believing that his clients are good people who are doing their best and he’ll give them his best.

(3) In portrait photography, always remember who it is you want to capture, what is authentic about them. Keep an open mind about your work and experiences and interactions, see where the process leads. I, Lauren, would suggest that is true about any image.

(4) Practice. 10,000 hours or 100,000 pictures and you’ll improve. When your baseline skills are automatic, your creativity expands.

(5) Replenish yourself. Take a walk, listen to music. Give your brain a break.


Amazing source of classes Creativelive.






About Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams, Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Virtual Professional Organizer®

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