A Good Photo Should Tell a Story and Generate Interest

Photograph in black and white of a landscape of Monument Valley. Photograph by Amar Guillen, photographer artist.
Mineral landscape of Monument Valley in Arizona.

Key #1: A Good Photograph Is Technically Successful

A good photo is technically successful if it lacks the following major flaws:

  • Blurred motion.
  • Overexposure.
  • Focusing errors.
  • Poor white balance management.

A good picture should have:

  • Balanced composition.
  • Good framing.
  • Deliberate choice of the point of view.

If motion blur is voluntary, if overexposure is a style like “High Key,” it is obvious that it is a deliberate and artistic choice. In this case, the photography will be good because you made an informed choice.

If the focus error or poor white balance is due to a lack of knowledge or inadequate mastery of photographic technique, then the photo will not be good.

The boundary between an artistic choice and a poor mastery of technique is quite easy to establish with a little practice.

Key #2: A Good Photograph Must Generate Interest

For this, I place myself in the shoes of the viewer.

I cannot replicate the same emotions that one of your photos could evoke. What I am really talking about is whether a photograph interest.

That is what I call impact.

The impact can be generated through:

  • Unexpected composition or framing.
  • Anthropomorphic side of a photograph.
  • Unusual point of view.
  • Eye-catching colors.
  • Evocative gradation in black and whitee.

The impact of a photograph is what makes it different from others.

When create a photograph and you want to be impactful, ask yourself what will make it different from others. Think about what will make it stand out.

I often find that many photographers are content to realize what has already been done.

Their photos, as beautiful as they are, have no impact because it is the model who is unique and different.

When you create photos, try to be different, unique, and exceptional at every step. You will create photos that have impact.

Key #3: Always Tell a Story

For a picture to be good, it has to tell a story, thus, you must become the storyteller.

Sharing the beauty of the landscapes, a moment with an animal, or the ecstasy of a vibrant underwater scene, is like telling a story.

And to tell a photographic story you have to create it in your mind.

For example, when I photograph a deer, I always have the ideas of elegance and power in my mind.

When I am choosing a scene with a deer, I choose elements that will accentuate its qualities. When I am ready to press the trigger, I will wait for the right attitude and the right expression that will translate to elegance, power, and strength.

If the deer graze or have their head down, I am not going to press the.

It is all a question of the right moment to translate the story you want to tell.

Ideally, the story you tell should transcend cultural or language barriers.

This is why you must use photographic language.

Not everyone will like your picture, but it is not what you are looking for. The important thing is that the message is perceptible.

Key #4: A Good Photograph Reflects a Unique Moment.

A good photo is always the result of a conjunction of elements:

  • Special lighting.
  • Atmosphere.
  • Attitude, such as an animal posture.
  • Expression if it is an animal.
  • Seasonal focus for landscapes.

When you manage to put several unique, exceptional elements in a frame, you are sure to arrive at a good picture.

You do not have to go to the end of the world to find an exceptional stage. You just need to know how to look, to be imaginative and creative in bringing out the imperceptible and unique elements that will make your picture look good.

Never forget that it is not the place that makes a good photo but just the conjunction of certain photographic elements at a given moment.

The ordinary contains wonderful treasures to create good pictures for the one who knows how to look.

Key #5: A Good Photograph Should Look Like You

To create a good photo, it has to be different, unique, and outside the box.

Why do not you create pictures that look like you? Because you are certainly unique with your character, your morals, and your ethical values.

If you photographically translate who you really are, the messages you want to share are likely to translate into photos in an organic way.

That is why you need to define your photographic why and your photographic approach. Do not try to copy others, for there is only one you.

Key #6: A Good Photograph Must Always Be Well Presented

I often say that a photo only exists if it is printed. Before that, it is an image that is only visible on a digital screen.

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An image on a screen flickers in front of the viewer in the blink of an eye. Today, millions of photos are created and viewed. It is hard to stand out from the crowd because viewers quickly scroll through a large number of images.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, show your photos with an original, meaningful presentation.

If by construction it is interesting, printing on paper will reinforce the fact that it is good.

Apply yourself with the goal of presenting it well, to highlight it whether it is by the choice of paper or the frame.


In short, if you want to create good photos, pay attention to your surroundings.

Often, the ordinary will offer you great opportunities to create the extraordinary.

Even if you are inspired by other photographers, try to be different and unique.

Create photos that look like you and are unlike any other.

Do not be afraid to play with subjectivity and reveal your true spirit.

Be humble, patient, constant, persevering, and persistent because the road to excellence is long.


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