Jay Maisel Speaks on Importance of Gesture and How to Be a Better Photographer

When legendary photographer Jay Maisel speaks, people listen. For half a century now, Maisel has been creating breathtakingly extraordinary images, and so it is no wonder why PDNOnline recently filmed some wise words coming from the man himself. In these two bite-sized videos, listen as he offers satisfying advice on becoming a better photographer and how the use of gesture in your photographs can make all the difference.

In the first video shown here, Maisel urges photographers to “be open.” That is to say you should be photographing in the moment. Don’t let what already passed you by and what is going to happen dictate your actions right now. Another piece of advice he was given and that he now bestows upon us is to walk slow. When one walks slowly, Maisel explains, “that’s when the intimate, meaningful, insightful things happen.” He continues on with more encouraging suggestions that you should no doubt take the two and a half minutes to listen to.

© Jay Maisel

The second video from PDNOnline shown here covers Maisel talking about what many of us know him for: gesture. Maisel is a master when it comes to using his artistic eye and knowing when something truly interesting is occurring in front of him. He expresses that it is “important for us to be perceptive about the way people behave, and then to extrapolate it to the way objects behave.” This video gives several great insights on creating unique and stimulating photographs that make it hard not to get up and go shoot after watching.

If you’re a fan of Maisel’s train of thought, you should know that he has recently authored and released a new book titled “Light, Gesture, and Color” that may be worth checking out.

[via PDNOnline]

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Stefano Catalani's picture

He's such a fine photographer! Kelbyone has 4 classes with him, highly recommended! he's so inspiring!

J. Malonson's picture

JM is on the short list of my favorite photogs. In a world of camera operators, he has true vision.

Chris Smart's picture

That don't walk photo is cleverly composed. Really effective all around. The crosswalk signal also reminds me of a more sane time in America.

David Geffin's picture

Maisel is the man. His powers of perception are off the charts, definitely lots to take away from him. Agree that all the stuff on Kelby is great and worth checking out.

“It’s always around. You just don’t see it.” – Jay Maisel