We’ve all been in there. You like a photo that you took, but it’s not getting the reaction on social media that you thought it would. Why? Is it that they don’t know a good photo when they see one? I mean this thing belongs in a gallery!!!
Well....cupcake...perhaps your photo sucks.
I am the first person to stand on a soapbox and say that social media has become the worst enemy for photography simply because even the worst photos get likes and loves. Really? Trust me, if you have friends you could put up a photo with someone’s head half cut off and the photo off weight and you’ll still get likes. So how does a photo not get likes if that is the case? Well here are 5 things that you can look at to determine if your photo sucks. Feel free to use this as a guide for looking at other photos as well 😊
Reason 1 - Bad Lighting
Lighting is one of two critical components to a photo, so it goes without saying that it could easily be a contributing factor to suckage. Is the subject dark? Is the subject too bright? Are there weird and distracting shadows? All great things to think about when shooting.
Reason 2 - Shooting at the wrong time of day
This ties in to Reason 1 above, but when are you shooting your outdoor photos? If you say in the middle of the day then you are shooting in bad light (unless it is cloudy). A clear blue sky during mid day will give you the worst light of the day. Over exposed highlights and far too dark shadows because the sun’s light is so intense. The contrast kills you. How many portrait sessions have you had where the photographer chooses 1pm on Saturday? Hmmm. Why not go have a picnic or a walk and come back a few hours later when the sun is going down and the light is much much better.
Reason 3 - Too much Photoshop
Photoshop is a tool, just like your camera and lens. It can be used too much however. A good photo, unless you are doing compositions, will have very minimal, and hardly noticeable edits to it. Slight sharpness tweak, slight vignette, maybe a tiny white balance correction. They don’t take away from the photo you took, but enhance it a bit.
Addition-faking a blurred background by using the blur tool in Photoshop looks horrible and is very easy to notice. If you don’t know how to do it in the camera then learn it (see Reason 4 below)
Reason 4 - You’re trying to impress others
You feel great because you got 25 likes and a comment that you are an amazing photographer on your first photo posting on Facebook. Now it’s go time. So instead of staying within your skill level you decide to go for the gusto and hit the high and hard stuff. You are a great photographer, remember, you can do anything. Let’s charge money, let’s offer every type of service, etc. etc.
This choice will more than likely kill your photos. Everyone is learning at photography, no matter what skill level you are at. I always recommend getting good where you are at before moving up a notch in the difficulty scale. A good rule of thumb is if you don’t know how hard a type of shot is then you are not ready for it. Research research research. Do your homework. Definitely challenge yourself but arm yourself with everything that you can beforehand.
Reason 5 - blur or out of focus
With the extremely advanced cameras that we have today, it is extremely painful to see a photo posted of something blurry (if it wasn’t intended to be). A sharp photo brings in people’s attention. Maybe you were out of focus, maybe it’s motion blur, either way don’t post it because it sucks!
These are just a handful of a thousand reasons why your photos might suck. Take a closer look, not just your photos, but those posted by others as well. Can you see some of the things that I point out? I bet so.
If if you have any questions about your photos, need a critique, whatever, shoot me a message. I am happy to help.
You may want to look into attending one of my Photo101 classes as well. I teach lighting and composition to help you take far better photos, with any type of camera. I have classes registering right now! Just check out my Classes section.
Take care, have fun, enjoy photos.