Photos are a way to capture special moments and keep them forever, but what exactly makes a good photo? Is it the model, the photographer, the equipment or the time of the day when light hits just right?
Tom Baskind, a photographer with over 15 years of experience, believes all of the above are important, but what matters most, is passion and emotion. We've seen incredible photos taken with just a smartphone camera because the photographer knew how to capture real emotions.
Tom was schooled in photojournalism, which helps him focus on real, raw emotions, whether he photographs a wedding, on location, or a in a professional studio, framing his vision is important. He believes being able to adapt to the setting is a photographer's most valuable skill, but what else can enhance the value of a photo?
Have a clear vision in mind
Your photo must tell a story. It's not enough to just point and shoot and hope you will get something great. What's the reason behind your photo? It is supposed to show a happy moment, or set up a gloomy atmosphere? Whatever the reason behind your photo, you need to have it clearly set in your mind.
One good way to do this is to imagine the final result in your head. Look at the scene in front of you and try to imagine the best possible way to capture that scene. When you know what you want to transmit, it will be easier to do it.
Once your vision is clear, you will find the means to use what is in front of you to create the special photo you are looking for.
Make yourself unnoticeable
This is important especially for event photos, as Tom Baskind points out. When people know they are being photographed, they can act unnatural, which translates poorly to the camera. Try to have a subtle approach by never standing too close to those you want to photograph. Allow them to just be in the moment and capture their real emotions. This is what good photography is all about.
Stories are told when people are there to live them, and a photographer is lucky enough to be there and immortalize them. This is why candid photos always look the best and show the true emotions of their subjects. This allows those being photographed to see the photo and get back into the exact moment that photo was taken.
Highlight the subject's personality
Another important trait of a good photographer is his ability to read people and get a sense of who they are so that they can show that in photos. Take portrait photography for example. A good portrait is one that highlights the most beautiful features of a person, without masking who they really are.
Not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera, so it is up to the photographer to help them relax. You wouldn't ask a really shy person to jump in front of a camera and start posing. You need to make them feel comfortable and earn their trust.