I've been fascinated with photography since I was little. Part of my interest was the equipment; I liked gadgets, and cameras have dials and switches galore. What kept me interested was the magnetism of a great picture.

All images copyright Andy Robb. All rights reserved. 

What is it about a photo that keeps your eyes locked, unable to look away, scroll away, swipe away?

That essence is at once ethereal and de-constructible. A photo is one slice, of one person's view, of one moment in time.

Not until I was working full time in my 'real job' did I begin to dig more deeply into what gives some photos that magnetic power, while leaving others powerless. I devoured all I could about the basics of composition and of my equipment.

Beyond the fundamentals described on every getting started guide, I had the pleasure of asking a great photographer for advice: practice, practice, practice. 

Two more things I've picked up that have been invaluable: restriction and reflection.

When I have less to work with, I'm able to focus on creating the outcome I want. Restricting may mean using a fixed-focal length lens, locking some settings, or planning specific shots ahead of a shoot.

After the images have been taken, reviewing them with a critical eye towards what gives each an attraction - or repulsion - can be even more important than the image itself. Understanding and incorporating failures and successes has been critical to my growth.

Over time, I have been able to visualize the outcome of a shot more easily. This is especially useful when I'm photographing people. Very few people  are naturally comfortable in front of a camera, and even fewer know how to position themselves for a shot.

Helping a friend, relative, or complete stranger relax for a photo can be a challenge. Transparency, communication, and assertiveness as the photographer have proven key for me, and as skills, get easier and better every time I pick up my camera.

I look forward to every shoot, every opportunity to practice, every chance to see someone smile and lock their eyes on a captivating image.