What to look for in a photographer’s work. What makes a photo “good”?

A good photograph is intended to convey a message, theme, impression, or an emotion. This is done by drawing the viewer’s attention to the subject, a clear, distinct center of interest or emphasis without distractions.

It is generally by introducing or including a second element in a photograph that creates a “context” by which a message, impression, or emotion is conveyed. It is how these two elements work together and their relationship that creates impact. A good photograph is more than just the sum of its parts. An exceptional photograph will draw you in and capture your attention.

Just as important as knowing what to include in a photograph is knowing what to exclude. The message conveyed by a photograph can be ruined or lessened by unecessary distractions. When looking at a photographer’s work, do you find yourself regularly drawn away from the subjects by unnecessary elements?

In model photography & portraiture, attention should be very clearly drawn to the subject. The subject of the photograph should be sharp & clearly focused (unless otherwise intended). There is no excuse for fuzzy photography unless it is deliberately done.

The lighting in a scene or on a subject in a photograph has a tremendous impact. Lighting is used to draw attention to or away from elements in a photograph.

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