How Photography Can Make You a Better Designer

Posted by — 9 Aug 2007

39 designers responded to our call with their thoughts on design and photography.

"I like to think of design as my bread and butter while photography is the chocolate pudding."
-Steph Goralnick, graphic designer.


"In my work, I definitely find the most interesting part is to make things that are visually boring appear visually interesting."
-Lis Bokt, graphic designer for a science organization.


"Taking photos teaches me to take breaks, stand still, review, and look closer again and again."
-Volker Stock, freelance multidisciplinary designer.


"What you don't show is even more important than what you do. The mind is fertile territory and it must be left free to imagine and fill in the blanks."
-Eric G, architect/interior designer.


"I wanted to be an artist or a superhero. I think the pay is about the same."
-Reggie Tidwell, graphic designer.


"Geometry, patterns, forms, colours, textures, lines... The relationship between architecture and photography is very tight."
-Roberto Papa, architect.


"I have learned how to edit more in real life as well. All the world is my living room!"
-Lori Andrews, interior designer.


"In both photography and architecture, I like to be surprised by the result of my own work."
-Rogier Mentink, architect.


"I like taking photographic elements and infusing them into design, to give my own spin on the things I create."
-Judy Rozbicki, graphic and environmental (mural) designer.


"As a photographer and a designer, I find what's most challenging is not getting caught up in a routine once you find something that works for you."
-Barry Broussard, architectural intern, exhibit curator.


"I have this little thing I like to do when I'm taking pictures: I will set the camera down on a surface like the ground or a fallen tree and just take a picture without even looking."
-Ben Henschel, web designer.


"What Ansel Adams referred to as Visualization... the emotional-mental process of creating a photograph and the ability to anticipate a finished image before making the exposure."
-Christopher Paquette, residential interiors designer.


"I suppose the work I do always looks for the least amount of information to communicate as much as is needed - simplicity."
-Simon Hillier, designer.


"Everyone who carries a camera with them everywhere they go to capture and stop time are my heroes."
-Ben Warren, photographic designer.


"Photographers and interior designers also run into the same problems in marketing their work. No one really needs either one so we have to work very hard to make people realize that what we do has value."
-Debra Collins, kitchen designer.


"I think I have the most trouble thinking like a designer rather than a photographer."
-Whitney Moore, graphic designer.


"Having said that, however new and individual you feel you are, it is crucial to appreciate that you are the latest branch on a tree that has been growing down the ages."
-Christian Cook, graphic designer.


"The key to any good photo is having a strong idea."
-Adam Hajnos, graphic designer.


"If you can master the elements and principles of design, you will be an amazing photographer. Learn the rules, and then break them!"
-Jordan Irwin, web/graphic designer.


"Texture, and how light affects texture is a recurring theme in my photography."
-Ed Steinerts, graphic designer.


"You could say that white space is my DDE (decorative design element) of choice."
-Kyle Dreier, graphic designer.


"Some would say lighting is most important in photography. In the lighting world, it's timing."
-Bennie Shapiro, lighting designer.


"Using my photography is like using a blank canvas for my graphic design."
-Sonny Me, graphic designer.


"I keep trying out all functions of my camera gear and verifying the results in order to get familiar with the technical stuff."
-Eric Sayah, architect/interior designer.


"Experimentation is the only solution to any problem."
-Matthew Strong, broadcast designer.


"Staying current with technology is a regular habit."
-Samantha, graphic designer.


"I work part-time with a photographer who is more talented than I, so I get to learn much from him through osmosis."
-Kara Pecknold, graphic designer.


"Some of my photography is all about focus and moving the eye across an image by using the tiniest details."
-Jamie Grace-Duff, fashion designer.


"For me, photography is as much about post-processing as about the actual taking of the picture."
-Peter Drubetskoy, graphic designer.


"The design activity has to do with projection, with seeing things before they happen."
-Vanessa Lamounier, architect.


"The difficulty is to process influences to avoid copying them, using them to create something new and personal."
-Adrien Baudet, graphic designer.


"Some recurring inspirations have come in the form of stains, my morning bowl of cereal, and hair styles."
-Roxanne Kennedy, interior/product designer.


"My design work affects me greatly in that it makes me painfully aware of how fortunate I am."
-Mia Yvonne Pelosi, industrial designer.


"I have always been attracted to pattern and the way in which solid bold objects laid over top can create a clear focus point amongst the chaos."
-Anthony Bellemare, graphic designer.


"Creativity is the budding child of curiousity and one should never be afraid to address what they do not know."
-Sterling Stevens, architectural designer.


"Lately I've also been constantly trying to remind myself to look for smaller moments in my photography."
-Danny Nathan, graphic designer.


"Adding lighting to a rendering is the hardest thing to do, and either makes a final image look like a photo or look like it came from an 80s computer game."
-Jeff Tamagini, architectural designer.


"Color is everything in a design whether its a poster or logo and also in a photograph. Even in black and white, I treat the tones as if they were colors."
-Paul Octavious, graphic designer.


"As a child you are allowed to keep believing that everyone ends up in jobs that they love doing."
-Natalie Blom, graphic designer.


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