What Makes A Good Photo?

 (this post was written last summer, late at night, when I wasn't tired and stared at my desktop collage.  The internet was off so I wrote this as a "note" on my computer.  I just read it for the second time tonight and felt like it was maybe worth sharing. If you find it insightful-yay!)
What makes a good photo?  Is it the 5:00 am foggy morning?  Maybe Lightroom 5 and VSCO film for post-processing?  A new Canon Mark 5D III?  Or maybe it’s the subject that makes all the difference?  

All of these things can help to make a photo better, but who’s to say that if you don’t have have killer lighting or the latest equipment that you can’t produce a killer image?  Who get’s to set the standards for a good image?  Who gets to determine if a photo is good or not?  

Today, us photographers out there can so easily fall into the rhyme and rhythm of the top photographers that are “glorified” for their images.  Yes, they are amazing and yes, they do have talent… but we shouldn't put them on a pedestal and aim for their same greatness and style!  We are all given our own special talents. Maybe some of us are given the gift of capturing moments in the form of photography; but our talents go deeper than just “capturing moments”... it's how we see and interpret those moments.  We are all given the gift to see the world through different eyes.  So for us photographers, we (me included) need to use that advantage that we have over all other photographers (and people), that advantage of - seeing the world how we (no one else) sees it.  God made us all different; he gave us all different and unique lives and gives us different experiences to make us grow and to develop into who He wants us to be in Him.  
So instead of just following along the chain of many talented photographers, why don’t we just stop “wishing” that we could be more like them and take that time to discover our own style and discover how we can fuel our photography simply by letting our personal life inspire our work.  We’re all different, we all have different tastes, likes, and dislikes.  Let’s embrace the uniqueness that God has given each and every one of us and stop comparing.  Because who’s to say that an image is too dark or too blurry?  NO ONE.  Maybe you like darker toned photography, maybe you like the messy “realness” a blurry photo gives.  Some of us may not personally love a darker photo or a blurry image, but that doesn’t mean that that makes a bad image, because who has the say in if an image is good or bad?  

I write this post for myself, but hope that you can maybe find this helpful in someway.  I personally deal with comparing my photography to what I want it to be like… Then a thought accured as I looked at my desktop background (a photo collage of images that inspire me), “those photos are all by different photographers, taken at different times (50's Audrey Hepburn to present), and all unique and different, and yet... they're all good… so what makes a good photo?  I believe a good photo is a photo that is captured through YOUR eyes; an image that is unique in a way just like you, an image that is… YOU. <--- that kind of sounds cliché doesn't it? Oh well.

And while I'm here, HELLO!  I can't say that I'm back for good (life is busy), but I do miss this little place.  Maybe you'll here more from me?  Also, if anyone still reads this blog, thanks. :)

P.S.  Excuse my non-natural born writer-ness. 


  1. Yes! I get what you're saying! What really does make a good photo? I think it's truly what the person capturing the photo sees, what that image means to him or her that makes the image good/special. It's good to be reminded that we all have our own styles and tastes, that we don't have to copy others to be good; yes we can gain ideas and inspiration from them, but we don't need to be them to feel good about ourselves. We can bring our own unique styles to our work. :) thanks for this!

  2. Oh how I needed to read this today. I am constantly comparing my photos to others, constantly trying to change my style and editing methods to fit in with whatever I think is trending at the moment. It's so hard not to though, but you're right! Photography is so subjective and as long as we feel happy about the images we are creating then who is to say otherwise.

    Thanks for such a great reminder!