10 August 2009


i like it, was never a suitable critique. it was my first formal interaction with photography, and my instructor, mr. bill hendricks, sought out a deeper response from all his students.

most of us were in the same boat; we saw a photograph somewhere and were drawn in deeper. something intrigued us about what we saw, we knew we liked it, we didn't know why, and we wanted to create the same thing. in response, we signed up for a black & white photo class at the local community college.

we still didn't know what we were in for.

fortunately, our prof rocked! and, over the course of that semester we dove into aperture & shutter speed, we meticulously digested basic daylight exposure [aka BDE], but most importantly we learned why certain images seemed to capture our gaze, while the rest faded into the background of our memories.

to prove a point, take a moment to find a photo somewhere... anywhere... right now... okay, if you like the image, chances are, it is composed well, and your eye first landed on the brightest and sharpest part of the photo. now there are of course, exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking our eyes seek contrast; something sharp against something blurry, something bright against something dark. and we like it. contrast helps us focus. and having a strong and singular focal point seems to almost always be preferred over an overly cluttered and staged image.

our lives are not much different.

and, though it pains me to share, i quite often find myself biting off more than i can chew. whether it be over-stating what i might accomplish in a single day, or chasing every rabbit trail i think might lead to greater success, i can be rather zealous in my pursuits, much to the same end as a good [not great] photograph that seems to lack intention.

fortunately that is not the end of the story. because, what i do feel strong at, and i would urge you to pursue the same, is an ability to re-set, re-compose, and fire again. perfection is never the goal - excellence is.

my name is gabriel ryan davis. i am a wedding photographer. i love my job. and i choose to pursue THAT with excellence. how might you do the same? what areas are you focusing on that are simply distracting from what you could be great at? trimming the excess is risky business, but my hunch is, the risk is worth it.

and because a photo blog post isn't complete without a photo, here's a little diddy taken by fellow mammoth men michael chantastic.


  1. Fabulous post, and so very timely for me. Thank you. I'm struggling quite a bit with the very issue of finding a way to deal with the things that distract me and pull my focus away from the work that I know is mine to do.

  2. I think sometimes chasing after your goals with little regard for risks can be freeing.

    You are successful in my eyes.

  3. Good insights here, Gabriel. Thanks for challenging us.

  4. I love this post. candid, thoughtful, introspective, inspirational. you are a kind, strong, intelligent, unique man

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  6. wowza! So well said (as usual) - thanks for that.

  7. Aaaamen. I truly believe it is vital to walk out each part of our lives in excellence...