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What Makes a Good Photographer?

Posted on 05/27/2014

Guest Blogger Jesse Stephenson of Jesse Stephenson Photography shares what makes a good photographer. Read more below!

What makes a good photograph?  If you aren’t trained as a photographer, you may not be able to explain why a photograph is good, but you know one when you see one.  After all, it speaks to you.  It evokes emotion, and allows you to feel what the photograph is conveying. 

Photography has two sides to it:  Art and Craft

The art side is just that.  It is the ability to make a photograph interesting.  To capture well the emotion the person is feeling.  It is understanding rules of composition, and how to use light to enhance, and illuminate.  It is sometimes posing the subject to help bring out their best or slim down or even look more natural.  Art is relational; connecting with, and putting the subject at ease is critical for a great photograph.

Craft is, simply speaking, knowing which button to push.  This takes years to master, and thousands of photos.  A good photographer will always strive to grow in this area.  It is having a grasp of things like proper exposure, which deals with the lighting being just right.  Depth of field is also critical for a photographer to master.  This deals with whether you just want the subject in focus, or the subject and some portion of the background in focus.  Understanding the interaction between the camera’s shutter speed, f-stop and ISO are a must in order to take a technically correct photo.

If you choose to use a friend or family member to capture your wedding or portrait session, make sure they are skilled in both the art and craft of photography. It is also important to make sure they have enough experience to take good photos while under some stress.  Some hobby photographers are great landscape or nature photographers, but it is a quite different experience when you have to be the “director” as well.


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