Photography – A Checklist

Photography-Checklist

Do you get stuck when you take pictures, because the photo doesn’t look as amazing as you would like it to? I do. All the time. To figure out what I need to change, I go through a checklist in my head. I thought I’d share that list with you, hoping it gives you a system for analyzing your pictures and figuring out what aspects need more work.

Object/Subject/Scene:
Photography starts with seeing. When we can see the beauty of an object, a scene or a person, we’re half-way there. Conversely, if we try to take a picture of something that we can’t see the beauty of, taking an amazing picture is somewhere between difficult and impossible. So: We have to see beauty first.

Composition:
Shapes, arrangement, angles, scale, proportions, distribution, crop. Camera position, camera angle, focal length, focal point, depth of field, motion blur. Textures. Background to object/subject ratio. Background to object/subject contrast.

Color:
Tonal range, gradient, complementary colors, color ratio, color pattern, interrupting color, dominant color, color blocks, color chaos, black and white.

Light:
Number of light sources, daylight or studio light, number and position of reflectors/flashes, light temperature, light intensity, light direction, contrast, highlight intensity, shadow intensity, exposure.

Story:
Soul, human-ness, authenticity, imperfection, history, association/reference, a wink, a hidden smile, inspiration, emotion.

Post Production:
Adjusting exposure, contrast, saturation and individual colors to communicate a specific mood.

I could work on this list for weeks and it would still get more exhaustive and cohesive, but I think it’s a good start. I would absolutely LOVE to hear what you would add, challenge or change. Please let me know if something needs more explanation, too.

Wishing you good light, always.