I’ve always been a huge fan of the photographer Elliott Erwitt. His photography is sharp, often very funny and captures a sometimes silly, sometimes ridiculous part of our human experience.

His way of talking about photography is wonderful. He is a super pragmatic person who doesn’t go in for all fuss of talking about photography as if it’s some kind of sacred experience.

street graffiti - 10 Things You Can Learn About Photography from Elliott Erwitt

He does, though, have extraordinary photographic talent, which has been honed over a 60-year career. So I thought I’d share with you some of the many things we can learn from him. After you read this I encourage you to look up his work and investigate for yourself.

couple in jean jackets with a camera - 10 Things You Can Learn About Photography from Elliott Erwitt

Finding a mentor

I make a point of learning from people I admire. It takes me out of my own little bubble of creative work, the hustle I do as a photographer and creative entrepreneur – and offers me interesting perspectives that are totally different to my own way of doing things.

There are always very cool and interesting ideas to be sparked, new ways to do things, new thoughts and inspirations to be gathered from some of the amazing creative talents in the world.

In this article, I’ve used some of my photos that are a little Elliott Erwitt inspired and paired them with some things you can also learn from this legendary photographer.

man on rollerblade walking dogs - 10 Things You Can Learn About Photography from Elliott Erwitt

10Lesson 1: Learning to use your camera is actually the easy bit

“There isn’t much to learn about photography, everything you need to know you can find out by reading the instructions in the box. The rest is practice.” – Elliott Erwitt

Okay, okay, I know this sounds flippant and probably frustrating if you are knee deep in confusion about how to use your camera. But even though it can be challenging and difficult, your camera is a machine with very clear and logical instructions. That’s the easy bit.

Learning how to compose interesting, unique photos, developing your eye for striking compositions, or bringing artistic and captivating elements into your images – those are the challenging parts!

So if you can trust that with some perseverance you will learn the mechanics of the camera, then you can dedicate yourself to the other part of photography that really makes the difference between an OK photograph and an amazing one. And that is…

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