Kirk Tuck’s Summer Storytelling Tips

An interview of photographer Kirk Tuck:

Austin, Texas based professional photographer Kirk Tuck looks forward to summertime and all the opportunities for this season’s storytelling. He relishes the time he has to shoot without an agenda; he loves roaming the streets of Austin in search of whatever captures his imagination. Kirk’s favorite subjects include Austin’s architecture, the city scene and portraits. We asked Kirk to give us a few tips on how to make the most of this summer’s photo opportunities:

The Quickest Way to Miss Great Shots… comes from not having your camera on you! “You really need to keep your camera with you at all times because you never know when the opportunity will present itself,” says Kirk. This sentiment is particularly important when choosing a camera. While many of us love the flexibility and advanced features the latest DSLR models offer, they can be cumbersome at times and difficult to keep at your side on a daily basis. “There are so many great compact cameras on the market today,” Kirk advises. “Several have advanced manual features and pack a lot of power in a small form factor.”

Note the Narrative: When on vacation this summer, consider what story you want to tell. Kirk says it’s important to include certain aspects from your subjects’ point of view. “Did they have fun? What did they enjoy the most? Why? What didn’t they like about the experience?” All of these considerations combine to tell a more comprehensive story about a particular moment in time.

Stay with the Story: “Most people shoot looking for that one perfect picture and then they put the camera down,” says Kirk. “There is an emotional resonance to the entire curve of photographs when you’re shooting, so keep shooting through the episode and you will have captured different nuances over the course of the event. It’s a more comprehensive story that wouldn’t otherwise be told.”

Never Sneak a Shot: Today’s technology gives us options that include lenses that can capture action from a substantial distance. However, if your inspiration includes a person or people, don’t manipulate your gear for the mere purpose of stealing a shot. “People are reticent about having their photos taken without their permission,” says Kirk. “If you want to photograph someone, introduce yourself and ask them for their consent first. There’s a social contract in a situation such as this. By starting a dialogue, you can establish a connection and you now have an effective collaboration. Your photos will reflect elements that you would have otherwise never captured.”

This summer is filled with promise and possibility so make sure to fully embrace this special time by keeping your storytelling partner close at hand. You won’t want to miss a thing!

To learn more about Kirk Tuck, his work, books and philosophy, visit

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