Saturday, September 26, 2009

Take only the Best: Show only the Best

Take only the Best: Show only the Best

Someone was remarked, "All the photos you take are really wonderful!" Really, are all the photos I take really that great? I doubt it - No, I know that not all of them are that great; however, I am not bashing this person. I want to bring up a certain point - if you want to look good, there are several tips to follow:

1. Take only the best photos

2. Show only the best photos
3. Dump the rest.

Take only the best photos:

When you shoot, be critical of what you shoot. Some shots just weren't meant to be. When you do not need to shoot a ton of photos, it is best not to set your camera to multiple photo shooting. For several reasons:

1. It will be a pain and time consuming to go through all of them
2. Your card fills up faster (if you're using digital)
3. Your efforts will be hit and miss - you're "praying and spraying"

Instead of firing off a ton of photos, ask yourself a few questions:

1. Does this shot honestly serve my purposes?
2. Could this shot be even better within reason of the circumstances?
3. What other angles can I explore?
4. How is the lighting? What can I do to maximize the lighting?
5. Whatever else you can think of....

A well thought out photo tends to be a better photo and sometimes spontaneity can be great - being ready just allows you to capture that moment much better.

Show only the best photos:

If there is a hard lesson to learn, it is that people really, honestly don't care to look at all of your or my photos. Honestly, I do not want to see every single photo you took. I want to see your best because they will give me a greater impression. This is harsh, but once you've mastered weeding out the not so good photos, your audience will praise you more and appreciate your work a lot more.

If I shoot 100 photos in a session which is normal (75-150), then I will choose about the 20-30 top photos. Most of the photos will get between a 3-4 star rating out of 5, but the Fives are the ones that go beyond just nice and into the realm of "awesome" or something that invokes an audible sign of satisfaction. Art can be a private thing, but if you are showing people, you are
showing your work to impress/give an impression - in this case, less really is more.

Dump the rest. Seriously.

Dump the rest... seriously. There honestly is no time to look at work that didn't make the cut. Save one or two for nostalgia or something, but the best thing you can do is de-clutter your computer with photos you never look at. I have thousands and thousands of photos - I honestly don't have the time to go through them, that's why I post up my favorite 5-7 photos from each shoot. Doing it this way relieves me from the effort of worrying about the old ones. It might be hard at first to dump your beloved memories, but after a while you will feel the weight lifted off of you and your hard drive will thank you many time over.


  1. More great advice. I think people shoot like crazy because they don't think digital costs them anything. But it costs a lot of time to sort those images, and lots more time to 'fix' them in photoshop.

  2. Yup, agree. Less is definitely more.