When you look at a photo you truly love, whether you have taken it or not, what is it about that photo that moves you? Most likely there is some sort of connection in the photo or with you as a viewer. This is what draws you in and makes you want to know more of what happened.
In my own personal (non-professional and very possibly wrong) opinion there are few different types of connections that are explicit in photographs.
– The subject(s) is looking at the camera with attitude (whether good or bad). This allows you to see a bit of their personality coming at you.
– The subject(s) is interacting with their environment. This can be staged or natural, but the photo shows them in a place where they are engaged.
– The subject(s) is in the midst of activity but appears to be lost in their own world. It makes you want to know what they are thinking or feeling. Are they happy or sad?
– The subjects are interacting together in such a way as to tell a story with no words.
The subject(s) in question don’t necessarily need to be human, of course. They can be animals, cars, or deserted buildings. The main point is that you are trying to capture more than just an image, but a story. You are trying to make a connection with the viewer to what you photographed. This is something I have been thinking about more lately in taking photographs. I want more than just a portrait of my kids, but I want a story to be told in the image. It doesn’t necessarily need to be deep and profound. I’m not photographing the Dalai Lama here, but I want the photos to show their experiences in life as they grow.
It is hard to make every single photo you shoot have a connection with your audience. Most especially if you shoot as much as I do. When you have that special shot, though, it is when you truly become a storyteller without words.