The Elements of a Good Photo


In an era where photo and video are king, visual marketing is essential for any business to thrive. When competing with the barrage of ads that consumers face, it’s important to understand the elements of a good photo. These elements, once mastered, will help to engage your audience and make your job more fun!

A good photo boils down to two parts:

  1. Captivation
    Your photo must be able to catch the attention of someone scrolling through hundreds of other photos on social media or walking by dozens of ads on the street. The best way to do that is to create something that looks different. Different doesn’t mean better or worse, it simply means that it stands out. Find out how others have photographed the same thing in the past, and do something completely different. You want the viewer to feel as though they’re seeing something that they can’t see anywhere else. This sense of novelty will make your photo a desirable place to rest the eyes.
  2. Storytelling
    Human beings, by nature, are infatuated with storytelling. The key is to tell a story that leaves a little bit to the imagination, because we’re also attracted to mystery. You could take a photo of a woman smiling, or you could take a photo of a woman smiling while holding her phone to her ear as she gets in a cab. In the former, you see a woman that is happy. In the latter, you see a woman who is happy because she’s having a good conversation with someone as she prepares to go somewhere. Who is she talking to? Where is she going? The mystery in combination with the narrative is what keeps your photo on the viewers mind for longer than average.

There is virtually no reason for anyone to pay attention to you if you aren’t making it worth their while. If someone is going to buy into your product, service or idea, you need to show them something that they can’t get anywhere else. That may seem harder to do today since more people have access to a camera than ever before, but don’t let that intimidate you. More cameras just mean more mediocre photos. When you create an image that captivates your audience and tells them a story, it doesn’t matter whose camera you’re using, you have a higher probability of rising to the top.