Que Sera Sera

The ABC to Photography is FTP

To me, photography is not about the destination, nor the final picture. Photography is about the path taken to create that perfect shot. 

It’s not a particularly easy journey, but when you arrive at your destination, and see your final picture you may, like me feel like a surge of satisfaction and happiness with what you have accomplished.

But there are many trials and tribulations that go into this task.

Let me share my secret formula that can help you truly make every photography journey memorable:

The ABC to Photography is FTP

Three letters, F, T and P.

Understanding and bringing together these three letters successful can help you maximize the complete photography experience and bring you closer to that perfect shot.

Let’s look at what these three letters stand for:

F stands for FOCUS

Knowing beforehand what you want to shoot is important. While it may not be the exact picture, having focus can refer to the type of shot, the creative style and whatever you envision to capture a moment.

Sometimes photography is recording moments other times it’s creating art or a story from what you see. You may not always find what you want but by staying focused and in he moment you will be able to recognize your final picture better.

I have always found that looking being mindful and fully aware of what is going on helps tremendously. Don’t get distracted by anything happening around you. Ignore the buzzing, the fading light, and the wrong angles and just stay focused on the shot. Because nothing else matters, and a second’s distraction can make you miss capturing that perfect moment.

T stands for TACTICS.

This may seem a little zen, but believe that you, your equipment and your shot are all one. It is the combination of the three factors that determine the outcome of what you (and others) will see.

If one piece missing, then you don’t have a great photo. Understand how your equipment works in order to get the photo. Know the tactics to get the best from your camera.  Know your own strengths and limitations as well. And keep in mind the tactics you can use to capitalize on your capabilities, your camera’s capabilities and you target picture.


This seems obvious, but it can get a little hard to push yourself when you’re out in the jungle. Animals don’t necessarily line up to take get their picture taken. You have to wait. Sometimes in the rain. Sometimes when your battery is going to die. Sometimes for days. P stands for perseverance.  

Perseverance also means trying for that one picture that you think is right. It means not compromising with ‘good enough’. With perseverance you grow the skills you need to make the shot you want to achieve. With perseverance, you realize you can climb a little further, last a little longer, and try a little harder. Perseverance is important to closing the deal.


While many photographers believe in techniques and luck, I personally believe cultivating the FTP formula can you coalesce all the elements you need to create that award-winning picture.