3 Aspects Needed for a Great Photograph

For those who have taken photos, whether with professional gear or a smartphone, let me ask you a question. What goes through your mind right before you take that photo? Is it a brief moment of thinking how pretty it looks and taking the shot, or is there a deeper meaning that you realize unconsciously that at first you have trouble explaining? Throughout my time as a photographer, I have noticed three aspects in terms of creating a great photograph. Two of them are a must while the third one is optional depending on the subject in question.



These would be the necessary technical things discussed in many an article and photography workshops. Rule of thirds, selecting the right settings for your camera, utilizing depth of field, and even just waiting for the sun to position just right for the perfect lighting. The camera settings basically consist of the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO for a range of different effect from making the scene brighter by having the lens capture more light over a longer period of time or even to blur movement for a cool effect. Each of these camera settings can be the subject of many photography articles and blogs and they have. It is an essential to know your equipment and how to utilize what you have to make the best out of any situation.


Now you are probably wondering what else could fit the other two spots? A lot you have learned from online classes and workshops can be categorized under this aspect after all. Notice I say a lot, which will lead towards our next one...



For this we are discussing more along the lines of the emotion coming off a living subject, which varies depending on what you are aiming to achieve with the shot. The most common one when thinking of a photographer is weddings and portraits. While you could just simply tell them to smile and look at the camera for a photo, it will pale in comparison to a truly heartfelt smile and thus will show in the final photo. The job of a photographer is to capture the moment and all the varieties of emotion happening on the spot. At events and weddings, it can be as simple as watching and taking photos while everything happens or, in the instance of posing for the shot, trying to have the subjects in a relaxed state.


In a way this applies to photographing pets and wildlife. You cannot instruct animals and insects to stay in place for the shot like you can with human subjects. Instead, you wait for them to do an action that you feel best represents your vision or be ready for a fantastic shot you weren’t originally prepared for when it happens, which both of them take a lot of time and patience to achieve.


Of course this aspect only applies when you are photographing a subject that involves people or animals. So what about when you want to photograph neither of those and are aiming for something akin to landscapes or products? Well this leads to the final aspect that I believe everyone should take a mental note on…



The final aspect you might be wondering what or who else could be part of the missing equation? You are out doing some nature photography and you know you do not have a human nor animal subject to take photos of. Only the great outdoors with all kinds of plant life. You know all the technical aspects needed to create a great shot, yet something is missing. You have no emotion from anyone or anything, right? Well there is one that appears for any type of photography that is the final piece of the trio aspect puzzle.


Photo provided by  Ron Delhaye

Photo provided by Ron Delhaye

The photographers themselves.


I am a firm believer that whatever photo you take, the emotion that you felt at that moment can pass down into the photo itself. If you take a shot just for the sake of it, it will show in the final product. People have always stated that the love for your work will show in your product and I think this is very much true for not only photography, but anything you want to do in life. So think of what deep down you think of the moment you take the photo. What causes you to eventually click that shutter button and use that as a guide to get your best shot. It takes time and a ton of practice with a big dose of patience, but it will pay off with the great reward of feeling proud of what you have been able to accomplish.


What causes me to click that button? I picked up photography because of the relief of stress and anxiety I feel when I gaze onto rolling landscapes and serene scenes of nature at its finest. For me, it is when I feel I am at my most peaceful state when I finally take that special shot. It is these moments of serenity that keeps me going, along with exploring new locations I have only seen in photos. Once you get a taste of it, you can’t simply go back to the way things were before and this is very true for me.


I hope this helps assist everyone that reads this blog and inspires them to explore not only their photography skills, but also within themselves to realize what makes them want to wake up and welcome the morning sun despite how harsh reality can be. It can feel draining at times with the monotonous work needed to help elevate your business, but it only takes one look at a finished product to really bring that passion back in full force and reminds you on why you do it in the first place. For me it’s my photography helping others reach their heights. Think about and let me know what yours is.