Discovering Yourself Through Mirrorless Photography

We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us. – Ralph Hattersley

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

hattersley Unlike my friend, Mark Toal, I’m not into meditation, not even a little bit but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe that a little introspection isn’t helpful for improving your photography or just plain enjoying photography more—something I think mirrorless cameras do better that other digital cameras.

When conducting a workshop a few years ago, an attendee asked what my favorite two photography books were. They were surprised by my answer because neither was about digital photography. My number one recommendation is “Discover Yourself Through Photography” by the late Ralph Hattersley. Just a sample of the eight chapter titles themselves should show that this is the most unique photography book ever written.

  • Discover Both Sides Of Yourself
  • Fight Your Way Out Of The Bag
  • Discover Your Own Secret Symbols
  • Photography May Be The Practice Of Religion For You (you never saw that one coming did you?)


It should surprise no one that the book was written in 1971 and if there’s just more than a bit of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” in Hattersley’s writing and more than a bit of the reflection of the times—times I personally consider the most creative in my life—which may be before some readers of this blog were born. So if you’re not into meditation and want to try something to give your photography a gentle shock treatment, spend 15 minutes a day quietly reading a few pages from “Discover Yourself Through Photography.” Used copies of the paperback version are available from Amazon for less than a buck (plus shipping.)