Define Your Photographic Approach to Create Interesting Photos

Black kite flying over a pond in La Dombes in France. Photograph by Amar Guillen in black and white.
Black kite flying over a pond in La Dombes in France in black and white.

Tip #7: Do Not Take Pictures for Everyone

If you are looking to take and make pictures and hope that everyone will like them, you will become simply average. You will no longer be audible and identifiable. You will not be able to stand out in the photographic hubbub or noise if you are trying to match the status quo and please everyone.

I think it is better to have a small, loyal audience of watchers or people who have faith in you than a huge group you know nothing about.

If you have a small audience, you have more constructive comments and feedback on your photos. You can improve them, make them more interesting. If you shoot for a large audience, you will not be able to create emotional, personal connections or you will feel like you do not have the time. You will fail to listen to your own inspirations.

Your photos will no longer be interesting. They will be average.

Personally, for my art photos, I have a reduced number of clients. I take care of them. I listen to them. I do not try to broadcast to as many people as possible, because I know that I will not be able to listen to everyone. I will not be able to satisfy all the expectations. Thus, I choose to focus on quality over quantity.

Make it a point to take care of the people who love your photos and appreciate your talent. You must hold them in high esteem. They are a treasure.


Tip #8: Always Strive for Photographic Excellence

Excellence is an eminent degree of quality, of value of someone or something in its kind.

I think that photographic excellence cannot be achieved. We strive for excellence, but we can always do better. Yet we must always try to achieve it.

Not only should we respect ourselves, but also, we should respect others' time and energy. When we take pictures and finalize them, we have to ask ourselves what we can improve for our next photo projects. We should always be thinking of our specific photographic audience.

For me, I use to think the search for excellence matched the words of Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux when he said:

Twenty times on the job, put your work back on-the-job - Polish it constantly and polish it again - Add sometimes and often erase.

I have often thought that this was the only way to create good photos. In fact, it is a waste of time. What interests an audience in our photos is the emotions that come out of them. Technique is secondary.

I wasted a lot of time doing and redoing over and over again. Now I have adopted the principle that what is done is done. I always learn from my mistakes. I try not to repeat them. I move on. This is the famous compound effect.

Add your little brick as each day passes. Make small but meaningful progress.

Striving for excellence and constantly seeking it means understanding one's mistakes, moving forward, and choosing not to repeat certain mistakes. You will find that your settings and product are not always the same each time, each new day brings forth a new challenge

If you do not strive for excellence, you will be average. Your photos will not be interesting. You will not stand out. You will not be identifiable in the photographic hubbub. This does not have to be your destiny, however.


Tip #9: Understand the Virtuous Circle of Photographic Creation

The virtuous principle of photographic creation is as follows:

  • You take pictures in the field.
  • You are enjoying yourself.
  • You are joyful and enthusiastic.
  • You feel satisfied.
  • You then show them to an audience.
  • You have comments and constructive remarks.
  • You are making a difference to your audience.
  • You feel proud because you feel that you are useful. Your photos are being used for something, for someone. They have a purpose.
  • Then, you go back to the field to take new pictures.

This virtuous principle of photography is an essential principle for me.

I found that when it broke, the photographers did not take any more pictures.

It implies that you should always edit your photos to get opinions from other people. This is the only way you can progress.

It also implies that your photos must be useful. They must help you or other people to live better, to move forward, to understand their existence. If you understand this virtuous circle of photographic creation, you will always be motivated to take pictures.

For me, it is a great principle for creating interesting and meaningful photos.


Tip #10: Define Your Photographic Approach

A photographic approach consists of the following two elements:

  • A photographic vision.
  • A photographic signature.

Photographic vision is the way you see the world around you.

The photographic signature is the way you show it.

After defining your photographic why, this is the most essential element of your photographic approach.

The right definition of your photographic process allows you to mark out the path of your creativity. It allows you to have solid reference points so that you never get lost in the way you create your photos. It is a guarantee that you will be consistent in the way you create your images. Not only does this bring forth efficiency, but it also constructs a constant and solid foundation on which you can expand your work.

I wrote and published an article on the photographic process. Click here to read it.


Tip #11: Develop Your Photographic Awareness

Your photographic awareness defines your ability to know where you stand in relation to other photographers.

I think this is an essential element if you want your photos to be interesting and meaningful. Indeed, if you know the styles and genres of photography that other photographers belong to, you will try to be different. You are not going to copy them, but you can become inspired by them.

If you take pictures that look like you, you will apply the principle of the virtuous circle of photographic creation. If you do not know yourself, how do you think you can distinguish yourself from other photographers? Do not be a copy. I recommend you to read the article I have published on this subject.


Tip #12: Create Your Photographic Identity

Your photographic identity gives you an existence in photography.

Defining it will allow you to say who you are, what you want to be, and how you want to be perceived.

Defining your photographic identity allows you to list all the data that will individualize your photographic approach. It is comparable to your administrative identity.

If your photographic identity is strong, your photos will become different, because they will be like you. You give them meaning: the meaning you want.

Your photographic series will become consistent and coherent. You do not spread yourself too thin. You concentrate on precise objectives.

I have published an article on this subject as well. Click here to read it.


Tip #13: Develop Your Photographic Intelligence

Photographic intelligence allows you to adapt to the needs and behaviors of the people who look at your photos. If you want to create photos that are attention-grabbing, meaningful, and interesting, you need to understand how your audience sees and reacts.

You need to adapt and choose photographic tools or techniques that allow you to make the photos your audience expects while maintaining your values.

You will probably think that I am talking about marketing and sales actions. This is not the case. I am helping you to create your legacy. Never forget that the important thing is the virtuous circle of photography. If you only create photos for yourself, they will not interest others. Eventually, you will stop all photographic activity because you will not see the point. We all need recognition. We are social animals that long to be seen, appreciated, and heard.

This is why you need to develop your photographic intelligence. I have published a detailed article on this subject.


Tip #14: Develop Your Photographic Culture

You probably know that the appreciation and understanding of a photo by a viewer is above all an emotional act. It is this act that will dominate the judgment.

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When you create your photos, I recommend that you always think about the emotional act. You need to add photographic elements that will spark connections.

Let us say that your photos attract attention. But do they induce emotions? In order to do this, you must have a grasp of photographic culture. You need to have a photographic culture to expertly mix the ingredients that will touch your audience. You have to create symbolic photos that attract and hold the attention of the people who will look at them.

I have published an article explaining how to do it. Click here to read it.


Tip #15: Learn to Master the Language of Photography

Photography is an art form in its own right. Photography is a means of expression. It allows you to express your emotions, transmit your messages.

To express yourself, you need to know and master the language of photography. The language of writing is a series of symbols that allows you to signify something concrete.

Mastering these symbols is essential to communicate with others.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of visual symbols used in photography:

  • Lines.
  • Shapes.
  • Masses
  • Textures
  • etc.

These are just a few, there are more symbols you may encounter. Knowing them and knowing how to use them will allow you to write photographically and be audible to your audience. I have published an article detailing the different steps to use photography language. Click here to discover it.

Tip #16: Master the Photographic Writing

I Want to Help You to Create Interesting Photos