Three Chords

Musical purists will often deride modern music by insinuating that a song that employs just a few chords is somehow deficient. If that’s the case, Sweet Home Alabama and Leaving on a Jet Plane ought to be considered duds.

I took guitar lessons as a kid when John Denver was at his peak. Sadly, it was worse drudgery than Sunday School.

I was taught mindless scales by a subpar teacher on a guitar that was too big for my hands. Had I learned a few chords, I might be able to play today.

I’ve never been a fan of needless complexity. Nearly all of my personal and professional work has a photographic “three-chord” makeup.

A 50mm lens, shallow depth of field (f/2.8) and fill flash is my three chord combo. It won’t earn you an MFA anywhere but you can sure have a good time and do some great work with these elements.

Last week I completed five sessions in central Florida with this very three-ingredient recipe. This one was my favorite.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.

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