Personal Pearls of Wisdom: Getting Over The Hump.

by Joe on February 21, 2012

in Personal Pearls of Wisdom

Getting over the Hump!!!

Getting over the Hump!!!

I don’t know about you, but to me, there’s always a Hump of some sort to get over in my life:

If it’s when I’m playing poker, the first hand I win (usually after a period of really cold cards) is called the hump. Playing softball, it’s the first home run. If it’s eating Sushi in Japan, it’s that first piece of who knows what!!!

Past the midpoint of something is getting over the Hump, for example Wednesdays is mid way through the week and is considered the Hump. When you get over the Hump, or the hard part, things usually get better.

In both my online classes with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop I conduct around the planet, I often talk to my students about getting over the hump. This means different things to different people. For example, one student keeps forgetting to straighten the horizon (the epitome of distraction), while another might nor understand the concept of balancing the Negative and Positive Space until he does it for the first time and figures out that it makes his photos stronger. All photographers have some sort of Hump to transcend.

I will tell you this, all my students forget to incorporate my “fifteen Point Protection Plan” until they use it for the first time and understands how important it is.

One of my all time favorite expressions is, ” I don’t photograph what I see because I never see what I want, so I photograph what I’d like to see. If I’m composing a photo, and I need to change something or ask someone (usually a stranger) to move over a step so a pole isn’t growing out of their head, I have no problem asking…not if it will make for a better photograph.

If I had to list one Hump that the majority of my students have a very hard time getting over, it’s approaching a stranger to ask them something that would improve their photo.

Brad, one of my online students had this problem. This is what he said to me: “Joe, I have taken the first step into a larger world, so this was my first attempt in talking to a stranger to “make” a photo; an interesting and exciting experience! I had her move to the left to remove the railing and to put her green bag out of the frame” .

Brad, has gotten over the Hump, and along with learning how to incorporate my “Artist Palette’, has created this wonderful photo you see above.

By the way, I did suggest that he place the person more to the right to create visual Tension by: placing an object close to the edge of the frame, and minimizing the Negative Space between the person and the edge of the frame are just two ways to generate Tension.

This was the photo as Brad first saw it.

Visit my website at: and check out my 2012 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime and I’ll show you others ways to create Tension, Don’t forget to AskJoeB a question!!!


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn February 21, 2012 at 11:29 am

Ah, The Hump.   I know it well.  Kudos Brad.  Doesn’t it feel good to have asked?  It does get easier but not always easy.  I still remember when I was in Joe’s class and asked a guy if I could take photos of his car.  Turns out he was a gazzillionaire that I’d unknowingly approached, but he was happy to have me take the photos of his car.  Live & learn, and thanks to Joe for consistently encouraging us!  -Dawn


Norm August 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm

  Well done Brad. This is one that I too need to get over. I am wondering if you directed her at all after she found her new position? Your model now seems to be sitting up a bit straighter, and I like the NS between her arms and torso.
  Thanks to Joe for helping me strive to improve my photography.


Geoff July 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Thanks, Joe. Great post! This really hits home with me. This is one hump I need to get over. I’ve asked people if I could take pictures of their car (I love classic cars) and had no problem asking. But asking someone to move or change their position is a little scary. I just need to get over the hump.
i’m so grateful for your classes at PPSOP and the personal attention. Awesome experience. Hope to take one of your trips some day.
Geoff Smith


Joe July 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm


Once you do it, it gets easier.



Joe March 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Thank you, thank you very much!!! I appreciate your feedback.



Joe March 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Thank you for the feed back. i appreciate it!!!



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