An Instagram Tip: Pretend To Read Your Emails

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An Instagram Tip: Pretend To Read Your Emails

Words by Mr Tom M Ford

6 April 2016

The photography feed of Mr Jason Peterson and his tips on how to snap the perfect image.

Every so often, we at MR PORTER come across an Instagram feed that showcases truly arresting photography, rather than someone’s ability to oversaturate an image of their poached eggs and avocado. Today, we’re poring over the pictures of Mr Jason Peterson (@jasonmpeterson) and stealing his tips on being a better photographer.

Raised in Arizona, Mr Peterson began shooting when he was 15 as a way of documenting the punk rock scene. Now based in Chicago, he is chief creative officer of advertising agency Havas Worldwide North America.

His monochrome feed documenting city life commands over 720,000 followers and gains around 2,000 a day.

1. Search for the light“I walk everywhere and I’m always looking for light: natural light down an alleyway or light reflecting off buildings. Once I find it, I’ll wait for a scene to happen.”

2. Be invisible“Everyone is suspicious of a camera. Blend in with the street. I frame the shot up and act like I’m reading emails.”

3. Use restraint“The best photos are the moments that nobody notices. Look for the pauses; the split seconds that are usually missed.”

4. Be your own critic“A great image should make people feel something. If you honestly don't feel it, no one else will.”

5. Take time out of the equation“I love black-and-white images because they are timeless. If you close your eyes you can see what the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s look like by the colour tones.”

“Capturing that one split second and knowing you got something sick is like a drug.”

“I’ve become friends with one of the biggest builders in Chicago. He has given me access to all of the new construction sites. This is my friend Brian on a snowy night. The elevator didn’t work and we had to climb up 50 flights of stairs carrying 30lbs of camera gear.”

“This was during the Air & Water show in Chicago. It was a hot summer day and I rode my bike down to the packed beachfront on North Avenue. You can’t see behind me, but it’s lined with thousands of people.”