What Makes a Good Photo?

One of the most common questions Life Your Way readers ask when we talk about decluttering and organizing is how to organize photos. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be talking about all things photo-related with a special series from the Association of Personal Photo Organizers!

The following is written by Michelle Nahom:

What makes a good photo?
source: BigTallGuy

I could give you some simple tips that will improve your photos like zooming in, keeping your background uncluttered, and getting on the same level as your subject. But you can search the Internet for advice on how to take better photos and get all sorts of helpful hints on how to improve your photography.

The advice I am going to give you is often overlooked.

It’s all about the stories.

In my world as a personal photo organizer, a good photo tells a story. It may or may not be the best photo you took, but it’s the one full of meaning.

I have a photo where my youngest son is just learning how to snowboard. He’s gotten comfortable on his board, but he really wants to learn the tricks. So we headed off to the mini terrain park.

After a few falls and a fair amount of frustration, he started to have some successes. He was coming off the rails without crashing. He was landing his jumps. He was one happy kid!

Afterwards he said to me, “you know mom, you have to take some chances and crash sometimes if you want to get better!” Pretty mature words coming from the kid that a half hour earlier was just about ready to pack it in because he was so frustrated!

I liked some of the photos I shot so much that I decided to make a piece of wall art for his room. I showed my son what I was doing. He was really excited, but immediately asked me if I could use a different photo — his favorite picture that showed him doing a grab, and that is the trick he most wanted to master that day.

Its not my favorite picture…the background is a little busy. I shot several other pictures I like much better. But this was THE MOMENT for him.

So that’s the story that goes with my photo…the determination and perseverance that he showed in mastering “the grab.” That’s what I’ll write about when I put the photo into our album. I’ll put my favorite photos in the album too, but this is the real story.

Remember what’s most meaningful.

My challenge to you is to focus on the pictures that tell a story, and to get them into an album! This may take a little more effort than simply saving the picture on your computer, but I think you’ll be glad you took the time when you see your family enjoying those memories!

What stories do your favorite pictures tell?

Click here for all of the posts in this series.

Michelle is a mom of 3, avid photographer, and loves to tell the stories that go with her photos in memory albums for her family. She is the owner of Creative Photo Solutions, a business focused on helping people organize their photos and tell their own stories, and is a member of the APPO (Association of Personal Photo Organizers).