9 Critical Points to Consider When Making a Photograph -- by John Warton at Photo Laureates

Share Article

Lessons on amateur photography from a leading expert helping manage one of the largest amateur photography community site with over 35,000 active members.

John Warton actively works at reviewing and evaluating photography submissions for a photography association called photography laureates (http://www.photolaureates.org). He provides here his top 9 photography tips for amateur photographers to submit quality entries – and in particular for those feeling that their work is lacking "something".

1) Watch out for both background and foreground in your compositions

Quoting John Warton: “Do not use an overly cluttered background if you want to focus on a particular object or portrait. Less is more. Also remember that foreground elements can help frame your subject”. Architectural elements work well in framing subjects (arches, doorways, windows…). However be careful not to have these elements overshadow the subject.

Furthermore, it is always wise to ask oneself: is the background unique or interesting? Does the background help in telling a story about the subject or what was happening at the time the picture was taken?

2) Lighting can be your best friend or your worst enemy

Quoting John Warton: “Lightning plays a key role in getting a quality shot. Whenever possible, I always recommend outside lighting”.

Also, contrary to popular belief, an overcast sky is in fact much better for shooting than a sky with bright sunlight as the later washes out color on the subject. Many rejected photographers at photography laureates (http://www.photolaureates.org) fail to make that distinction.

3) Zero in!

Quoting John Warton: “Your directional is important as it assists the eyes of your audience in understanding what you want to show in your work. One of the biggest mistakes most beginning photographers make is shooting from so far away. The subject should be the focus of the picture.”

Also remember that visual elements can help draw the viewer’s eyes into the photo.

4) Be spontaneous!

Quoting John Warton: “Try to always be ready. I have it as a rule that the best shoot opportunities come when you least expect them”.

5) Creativity rules!

Quoting John Warton: “The idea here is to transcend the ordinary. You have to try to experiment with new things and methods. It is OK to make mistakes and learn. Be original. Be bold. Be a photography director. Remember that photographs are made to be made – not to be taken. Boring shots are not an option”.

Very creative amateur photos are sometimes selected at photography laureates (http://www.photolaureates.org) even if they are technically weak.

6) What center?

Quoting John Warton: “Avoid that reflex of centering your shots. Take your subject off center.” This is often referred to as the "rule of thirds."

Imagine that there are lines dividing your image into nine equal-shaped blocks. You want to frame your subject at one of the intersection points instead of in the center of the viewfinder.

7) Great but what’s your point?

Quoting John Warton: “I always try to ask myself what my point is in making a particular photo. Ask yourself what you are trying to demonstrate. What is your message? What vision are you trying to convey to your audience? What will they think of when they see your work?”

8) Single position photographers are boring!

Quoting John Warton: “Hold your camera at different angles for more diversity in your compositions. Experiment with repositioning the camera before repositioning yourself!”

The most interesting photographs are often taken from a unique vantage point. So it is always good to experiment and to try different perspectives. Use angles to recreate the mood that you are trying to convey.

9) Let them be natural!

Quoting John Warton: “Let your subject be natural. You adapt to them. They do not adapt to you. Follow the action and the vibe of the scene you are depicting.” Whenever members browse through the database of amateur photographers at photography laureates (http://www.photolaureates.org), we hear that they particularly enjoy natural, direct shoots.

John Warton is a senior photography editor. He has decades of experience in photography first as a freelancer, reporter and then as publisher. He is a member of various international photography associations (Association of International Art dealers, Photographic resource center…)

Photography Laureates offers the following:

  •     A unique platform of self expression to the amateur and professional photographer
  • An opportunity to be published as part of a leading photography manuscript
  • 24/7 customer care assistance to help associate photographers gain exposure
  • Review and pieces of advise from the editors on submitted entries
  • A leading membership community where members can exchange and learn

About Photography Laureates (http://www.photolaureates.org)

The mission of Photo laureates is to provide a platform of artistic expression for amateur and professional photographers to gain exposure and recognition. Photo Laureates promotes photography and photographers through technical workshops as well as improvisation sessions.

An independent panel of experts at photo laureates reviews photographs based on the following criteria: technical quality, composition, flow, texture and light.

The manuscripts from photography laureates are distributed internationally. Photographers always retain full copyrights to their photographs. Photo laureates has more than 30,000 members and a 98% satisfaction rate.

For more information on Photography Laureates, please visit: http://www.photolaureates.org


Sol – Customer Care Manager

Photo laureates


# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Igor Stunt
Visit website