Creating a Great Image – Part I

December 30, 2009



Over the next few months, I will share the 12 elements that go into the making of a great image – in the hope that these elements will help you create wonderful images.

Element #1 Capturing a moment or storytelling. As photographers we are storytellers. We are capturing forever a moment in time that will never be again. Personally, I sometimes forget how important my imagery is when working with my clients photographing their children and their families. Not only do we capture the moment, but we are also making that moment possible. Whether we are photographing a landscape or an individual, telling a story enhances what the viewer sees and how they will respond to it. Getting a reaction is the whole purpose. We can never to sure how our viewers will react to our work, but an emotional response is the goal.

Learning how to capture that moment requires an ability to first recognize the moment in a scene and second to capture it at just the precise instant. This portrait of Kirsten, photographed inside a dress shop, exemplifies the beauty of her expression and wardrobe. The image was created at FotoFusion during a seminar by Clay Blackmore using a Canon EOS 1D MK III with a 70-200 f/4.0 lens, along with some retouching and the MZ Soft Focus filter to enhance and soften her skin (Action created by Eddie Tapp).

When you create a portrait, learn to see and capture the essence of telling a story.

Note: 12 elements for creating a great image are used by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) for print judging a merit print. For purposes of my articles, I have infused my own definition of what I think should be included.


This post was written by:

- who has written 4 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Judy Host is an award winning International Portrait Photographer and Educator traveling all over the world to share her experiences with her peers. She has recently recorded her first DVD on the Art of Available Light Photography. Check out Judy’s website at Upcoming workshops are in Miami and Maui, Los Osos, and Denver For more info, please contact her at

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