Paul D'Andrea Photography

Well Done Ordinary

Let Me Be!

We’re home from a week at my sister’s in Texas. For dinner Naomi pulled out all the stops and made Italian Wedding Soup (much like chicken soup but with curly endive and meatballs), home made bread, and a wonderful salad.

Over dinner we were talking about my sister’s selection of salad dressings, coffee, and maple syrup. None of them were ordinary, every one had some added flavor, raspberry maple syrup, Vienna mocha coffee… All were great, but none were normal.

I commented about how great it was to be home with well done ordinary. This got me thinking about my photography, and how important it is to do ordinary well.

I can remember a time when, out shooting, I was always looking for that one stunning image. Ignoring the normal in hopes to find something extraordinary. I see now how important it is to execute the ordinary exceptionally. To really spend some time getting to the point were even these bread and butter images are more than snapshots.

I’m really happy with my photographs from this last week over vacation. There were lots of snapshot oportunities, like our family opening presents on Christmas morning, or my sister’s very cute kittens at play. I set up three flashes bounced at different spots on the ceiling and then just watched for the moments. It’s surprising how easy this is to do and yet how natural the lighting looks. (I’ve been thinking more lately about odd shadows and how they are the dead give away that make lit photos feel contrived.)

Well done ordinary…

Commercial photographer in Indianapolis, IN.


  • Todd Smith

    January 3, 2009

    What a great way to put it! I agree, I’d like to do ordinary things extraordinarily well, if I can. You remind me not to overlook the ordinary, just because it’s easily accessible.

  • Paul D'Andrea

    January 4, 2009

    “You remind me not to overlook the ordinary, just because it’s easily accessible.”

    Absolutely. :) I think there’s another bit to this as well. Not just in seeing the interesting things in the ordinary, but also in seeing the ordinary as… a foundation.

    I have in mind the new Lensababy Composer I purchased a little while back, or the creative bokeh idea that I play with often. Every shot can’t be one of these, otherwise they just become a gimmick. They need to be the spice along with the well executed ordinary photos. I think that’s more the idea I had with this post; setting a foundation of well done ordinary images and then adding some more creative and interesting ones for flavor.

    Thanks for the comment Todd. I hope you’ve had a great holiday.

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