How to know if your photo is good?
August 08, 2019
I recently received an e-mail from a follower who asked me how to know if a photo is good enough to share it with others.
It’s an excellent question, and it got me thinking. I also think the answer would benefit others, so I decided to write a blog post about it.
This is a highly extended version of the reply.
I think when we come across a dilemma like this, there are essentially two ways we can go about it.
The first way would be to think if others would like it. We would then compare our picture with similar pictures made by others to see where our photo stands. We would also take into account our previous e.g., social media likes or comments. These are the so-called external metrics.
The second way would be to use our internal metrics. Do I find it to be a good photo? Do I think the composition is good? Not compare it to other’s work, but to our standards. What is my standard of good composition?
However, I think a kind of a hybrid between the two is actually more prevalent. It’s probably impossible to only use internal metrics purely.
But the question is – in which direction does the scale tip?
Do we value more of our gut feeling or we try to “please” others? I do think the word “please” is quite accurate here, because when we’re afraid to share our work by saying and having the vibe of “check this out!”, we’re essentially unsure if it’s good enough for them.
I think it’s important to use our internal metrics as much as possible. If we think it’s a good photo, it’s a good photograph. Simply because we say so. Why should the opinion of others be any better or more valuable? We’re all human beings, and we’re all equal. Even if someone had 10 art Ph.D. degrees, it wouldn’t make that person more authoritative. This is my opinion.
The reason why I think that is because nobody knows the truth of this world anyway. Nobody has figured it out, and my guess is, nobody ever will. So, essentially nobody knows anything. Some people claim they do, but do they really?
If some sort of a god would come down to earth and would say what is good and what is not, then perhaps I would rethink. Until it’s just human being(s) – flesh and bone just like me – I don’t put them on a pedestal as someone “higher” than me.
That doesn’t mean I don’t respect their opinion. If it’s something constructive, I respect every opinion, whether it’s positive or negative. But ultimately, I decide for me.