There is a lot that goes into a photograph. Vision, creativity, originality, emotion, heart, soul, and expression – to name a few. Technical aspects like exposure, light, and composition come into play as well – but they are fairly minor when you take a step back and look at the big picture.
There are tons of folks out there who can take a technically good photograph. Once you’ve learned how to operate your camera, you’re well on your way to taking technically great pictures. And there is nothing wrong with a technically great picture – but in order to stand out from everyone else your image must be different. It must ‘speak’ to the viewer.
The seven things I mentioned above that go into photographs aren’t something that you can be taught. You won’t learn them at a workshop or in a book. Those things come from within each and every one of us and at no point will they be the same for any of us.
In the photo above, I wanted to bring out emotion and animation in my subject – which happened to by my youngest son Daniel. I wanted him to display something that only my wife and I get to see on a daily basis. Something more than just the ‘smiling kid’ photo.
I’m a people photographer, so interacting with my subjects to invoke the emotions I’m seeking is how I get the job done. I like photos that feel and look natural. You can even achieve that from a more posed photo as well – and it takes nothing more than interaction.
If you’re not doing this already, the next time you’re shooting, talk with your subjects. Talk about things that they enjoy or like – or even don’t like. You’ll be amazed at the images you can capture when people are being themselves.