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Expressive Photography…A Review

by Uncle Alan

Expressive Photography – The Shutter Sisters’ Guide to Shooting from the Heart

by the Shutter Sisters
(Tracey Clark, Adrea Sher, Kate Inglis, Sarah-Ji, Maile Wilson, Irene Nam, Stephanie C. Roberts, Paige Balcer, Karen Walrond, Jen Lemen)

Edited by Tracey Clark

Focal Press, September, 2010, 176 pages, paperback. ISBN-10: 0240813472; ISBN-13: 978-0240813479

Just about everyone loves picture books. It’s not something that goes away when we’re no longer kids. And I especially love oversized, exquisitely printed books of carefully rendered classy photos.

Tracey Clark, the visionary and driving force behind the innovative Shutter Sisters approach to photography, is editor of Expressive Photography.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading. I love the written word in all forms. But there’s just something about a large bright hefty book of great photos that’s hard to beat.

Especially this book of photos!

I’m having so much fun reading through this book, it’s hard to believe how much I’m also learning. Engaging text and commentary runs along with each photograph, providing tightly written and compelling details about what the photographer was thinking at the moment a shot was taken and why the particular elements of design and composition went into it, to make the picture as emotive as possible.

It gets your head spinning with the possibilities and almost forces you to exchange the book for a camera – any camera at hand — and start snapping away.

Expressive Photography presents an approach to photography that's as emotive as the photos themselves.

Photography is a powerful tool for blogging and social publishing of all kinds and that makes this book of special interest to the social publishers reading this. Expressive photography will bump the quality of your own photos, regardless of what level of equipment you have, by focusing extensively and intuitively on what you should photograph as well as how.

That’s probably because The Shutter Sisters, authors of this amazing collection of insights into making your photographs more expressive (and, thus, more appealing in every way), publish the Shutter Sisters blog (, from which this book arose. The site’s like the book, but a rolling, living being, instead — updating and inspiring with daily additions.

What I love about what these talented ladies are doing is the way they show you the results with their mesmerizing photos, then describe their own emotions, what they were looking for in the shot, the conditions they utilized or overcame. The camera type, lens, and settings are there sometimes, too, when they’re important. But, unlike most photography books I’ve read, they’re underplayed here. This is probably because the emphasis is so solidly focused on making your photos more expressive, not necessarily how to take photos.

They reveal the feeling behind the photos, showing you how the tiniest of details, once you notice them around you, can be enlisted to your beck and call and make it possible to create truly captivating pictures that flow naturally into your lens.

The Shutter Sisters blog presents a charming album-style warm approach.

I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this book, for the photos themselves if nothing else. I can easily say anyone, with any level of equipment, can easily find loads of ideas and inspiration here to dramatically impact the quality of their photos, if they apply them.

Social publishers should grab this book and hit the Shutter Sisters blog regularly. Your ability to dramatically enhance the quality of your own original photos in your publishing efforts will pay off in spades, whether you’re taking your pictures with a phone camera or the latest pro-grade fully-loaded gear.

Expressive Photography is available from and most better bookstores. Visit the Shutter Sisters blog at

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