When it comes to photography I think many photographers and some clients are confused about what quality really is. There are, what I like to call technicians, they believe in textbook lighting, a perfectly constructed histogram and follow all of the rules of photography. Then there are the copycats. They see images in magazines or on other people’s websites and think, “hey, I can do that” and they attempt to recreate a similar shot. Sometimes it comes out great, sometimes not.
There are also many who have their own ideas and really try to understand the rules of photography and incorporate them into their vision. Once again, sometimes it comes out great and other times not so much. But this post is about quality, and how do you really determine quality in photography?
For me, it is all about the execution of your vision. Was the intention there from the beginning? If I’m being honest, anyone can shoot a sharp, well-lit photograph these days. But what are you taking a picture of?
These days, in my opinion, to be successful you really need to have intent and be able to deliver upon it. There are thousands of people out there with digital cameras calling themselves professional photographers. Some will tell you that your clients cannot tell the difference in quality from one to the next and that they can’t tell the difference in print quality from Sam’s Club to a professional art print. But I think they can.
Our clients can tell the difference once you show them the difference. The difference starts and ends with the person behind the camera. It is up to us, the photographers to maintain a certain quality control. But not the way you may think. My quality control is over me and my vision and making sure I can deliver my intentions in a photograph. It isn’t about shooting a thousand frames and picking out the best “moment” a model gave you while posing a hundred different ways. When you have intention, you can shoot 12 frames and have 12 better moments than you could ever pull from your 10 fps burst shooting. Shoot less and you might just get more. 😉
Here is one from my first series of Polaroids with Olivia. Only 10 shots per pack and I ended up using 9 of them for this series. Intention is everything.