Take a look around anywhere and there are tons of people taking selfies, snapping photos and posting to social media. The world loves their smartphone cameras, digital SLRs and even the comeback of the instant camera. But what makes a really good photographer? Here’s a look at some of the characteristics of good photographers.
A group of people walk along a street and see a beautiful, old building. Although they are looking at the same building, each of those three people sees something completely different. A good photographer sees things differently. That does not mean a good photographer has some special, magical senses but they take in the details, angles, and shadows envisioning the scene in a photograph.
Good photographers are creative and think outside of the box when planning and executing shots. Simple things such as lying down and getting the shot from a different perspective, or zooming in on features that may not make sense initially. Choose different angles, approaches, props and so on to make the shot stand out. Three are a million photos of trees in the world, so a good photographer is going to examine all the ways to make their tree photo unique.
Fabulous photography equipment doesn’t make a good photographer, but it certainly helps to have good equipment and knowing how to use it. Dropping a few grand on a camera body and a few more grand on lenses will not make you the best photographer on Earth, but having it and learning how to use it correctly makes things easier to experiment with different speeds, settings, or lenses to capture that perfect shot.
Having great photo software, as well as knowing how to maximize usage of the software is also critical. Basically, a good photographer needs the skills to select and use the best equipment for their needs.
Photography is exciting, but a good photographer needs a lot of patience. Whether trying to get an entire wedding party to look at the camera at the same time or waiting for the perfect natural light to shoot a covered bridge, good photographers understand that there is waiting. Regardless of a photographer’s style of photography or subject, it takes patience getting that perfect shot.
This does not mean possessing the ability to communicate with a building or a statue, but good photographers must communicate their vision and their story. Photos should speak to people and let them know what the photographer aimed to express or accomplish.
Good photographers must literally have good communication skills when shooting people. Providing subjects direction and examples results in better photographs that embody the vision of the shoot. Rather than have subjects just sit and pose, good photographers direct or choreograph the shoot.
Certainly, these characters don’t guarantee a great photographer, but they provide some insight into what makes good photographers stand out among their peers. As with any hobby, remember the importance of practice. Photography is a passion for noticing, capturing and sharing moments with the world.