Steal Like an Artist: Girl with a Pearl Earring

By:Rick Sammon

Girl with a Pearl Earring- Rick Sammon Feb 2018


“10 Tips for How to Get Motivated and Stay Inspired” is perhaps my favorite seminar. After all, I think we all need to get motivated and to stay inspired to make good images.


The first tip in my talk is “Steal Like an Artist.” I got the idea after reading the book, “Steal Like an Artist” by Aston Kelon. The concept is that we can learn a lot from “stealing” or copying the work of other artists. I agree with the concept.


After seeing the movie, “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” I wanted to “steal” Vermeer’s concept of photographing a girl with a pearl earring. My main goal was to try to copy Vermeer’s lighting, including trying to get dramatic shadows and catch light in the subject’s eyes.


Working with my friend’s daughter as my model, and my niece as the stylist, I got to work. I set up a black cloth background in my office and lit the subject with one light: a Canon speedlite in a Westcott Apollo soft box. After some experimenting I got the shot I envisioned. You can see Vermeer’s painting by doing a Google search: Girl With a Pearl Earring.


So my friends, I think it’s a good idea to steal like an artist. I will add, however, always give credit where credit is due.


Get more tips from Delkin Devices Image Maker Rick Sammon through his web site: