Hey you. Yes, I’m talking to you. I just thought it’s time to let you know: You are one of the best photographers in the world. At least in the top 5%, probably even in the top 1%. You’re world class. Seriously.
Many of us are struggling to keep up with producing images that sell. We get to read statistics about millions of images being taken every day, every hour.
Occasionally there are discussions about the “true photography”. It can be either that journalistic photographers claim that only documentary photography is true photography. Or it can be that stock (especially microstock) is just overstaged and unauthentic.
Everyone and everywhere it seems to say: You’re not good. You suck! You’re not doing it right and you don’t do enough of it. This can be frustrating, even depressing at times.
But none of this is true: Over the course of the last 12 months or so, I’ve been getting involved with more of the “photography world” outside of stock. I’ve been sharing images through Instagram, I keep following a few groups on Facebook and Google+ with Photography, Photoshop and Lightroom questions and tipps, and I also had the chance to review tens of thousands of images provided by hundreds of photographers. And those experiences taught me: If you manage to get images online at stock agencies on a regular basis, you really are among the crème de la crème in photography.
Here are ten very good reasons why you are better than 98% of the people taking images:
1. You take photos of other things than just flowers & pets
2. You make an effort to get all of your subject into the frame (or close in enough to cut off more than just the top three branches of the tree)
3. You feel sorry for the main subject if it is squeezed into the tiny bottom right corner of an image
4. You don’t get a stiff neck from all the tilted horizons
5. You know that you can’t expose for the sky when taking a portrait
6. You know that a pixel is the tiniest component of an image, not the prominent main feature seen all across the picture
7. You know that blue is a great color for a sky, and green looks nice on trees but both are not really attractive as skin colors
8. You appreciate that HDR is a technique that can help bring out details from your cameras dynamic range that would otherwise be lost in the 8-bit compression of a JPG file. But you also know that when overused, you lose the natural contrast and details of your images, so you use it with care.
9. You know that light leaks and sun flares can add to the mood of an image. But you know that something isn’t right when there is a big bright spot covering the nose and eyes of the person you are portraying.
10. You take multiple images of your subjects. Try out different angles. And then you pick the best 2 or 3 out of 10 images you shot. Or sometimes 2 or 3 out of 100. You don’t upload 95 of the 100.
You may take these serious or not. But I draw a lot of motivation and confidence from these simple things that we easily take for granted. Believe me, they are not. Among the millions and millions of images shot every day around the globe, only a tiny fraction consider these simple facts that make a “good image”.