We Simplify The Technical!

Mark Smith teaches us how he puts together stories with his photography and video.

Get ideas on putting emotion and mood into your photography

in Episode 116 of The Understand Photography Show!

Mark Smith Hummingbird

How to Put Storytelling and Emotion

into Your Photographs

Episode 116 with Mark Smith

Mark Smith is an author, illustrator, storyteller, photographer, and teacher.

“I love getting great pictures of birds and documenting the stories of animals that people don’t get to see.”

Creating images with Feeling

  • The mood you create with your images is just a matter of how you want to portray the story.
  • Your images can inspire people, make them laugh, cry, or even become angry.
  • Try to capture “life moments” for the biggest impact.
  • Get the viewer to connect with the image personally.

“I like to invoke the emotion of the creature’s life and try to make it more human.  I try to capture that special moment that conveys a story or a message to a person and get them to connect to it.”

Tips for Capturing THE Moment

  • It’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  
  • Spend as much time out there as you can with whatever subject you’re shooting. Learn about it.
  • Study wildlife behavior.  Find where they sleep, where they eat, and where they get water.  If you can find those 3 things, you’ll find your subject every time.
  • The best shots are with the sun directly at your back, with your camera angled about 3 degrees to the right.  This creates a slight shadow on the subject that brings out some texture.
  • Separate your subject from the background.  Vary your depth of field.
  • Study other photographers and other artists.

“Slow down and make a Bob Ross painting.”

  • Build up your image with interest in each layer: foreground, middle ground, background, sky, and all the details in between.
  • Differences in light and clouds can enhance the emotional impact of the image.
            -Storms can create very emotional lighting.
            -Golden hour – right after sunrise or right before sunset
            -Blue hour – a half hour before sunrise or after sunset
  • Be passionate about what you’re documenting, your emotion will come through.
  • TRAVEL.  Most important and least talked about.
            -Experience and open your mind to different things.  Be a kid again, get excited about everything new!

Finding Mark

Website:  MSmithPhotos.com

Instagram:  @Mark.Smith.Photography

Facebook:  Mark Smith Photography

 * YouTube Channel *





Understand Photography

General Notes

What you need to learn for a solid photography education.  Watch our free video:


Ladies Only Trips:
Cuba – February 2 – 9, 2019  SOLD OUT!

Upcoming Trips:
Everglades 4 day Photo Adventure – February 7-10, 2019
St. Augustine – April 11-14, 2019
Florida’s Forgotten Coast – May 13-17,  2019

New Book!  Peggy Farren and Joe Fitzpatrick have published a book highlighting Florida’s Best Photo Spots!

Florida Photo Spots: Naples and Collier County by [Farren, Peggy, Fitzpatrick, Joe]

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Mark Smith Grand Tetons
Mark Smith Blue Heron with Snake
Mark Smith Osprey
Mark Smith Deer

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