No matter what kind of shoot you’re on, you can get shots to be proud of by keeping the fundamentals in mind.

As photographers, we get so caught up in the business of taking pictures that we sometimes forget what drew us to photography in the first place. It’s not a unique problem; many people get so deep into the nuts and bolts of the work they’re doing, that they lose sight of what motivated them in the first place.


Let’s take a moment to step back and remember the role of photography: to create memorable images. It’s as simple, and as difficult, as that. A memorable image can shock, delight, educate and make us see something or someone in a whole new way.


What kind of images are most memorable? The Washington Post reported on an MIT study that discovered Weird and counter-intuitive images do well, according to the algorithm….Conflict and suspense win---be it a pair of scissors in flight---or a man standing in front of a bear. Photos of bedrooms generally induce yawns.”


Here are a few reminders on how to get great results when you’re dealing with common photographic assignments.


Portrait / Baby / Wedding Photography

As subject matter for photographers, people are endlessly fascinating. They’re always changing; from their emotions, their appearance, their responses to situations—the whole range of human experience and daily life unfolds in front of the lens when you’re paying attention.


Try and capture moments that are unplanned, spontaneous and natural. Very few posed images of people are memorable. Instead, they mostly seem forced and fake. Get your subjects to relax and encourage them to really express themselves, without inhibitions. That’s when the magic happens, and you’ll be there to preserve it on film.


Landscape Photography

Nothing is more challenging than taking a memorable landscape photo. The sheer fact that you’re trying to capture a massive, three-dimensional space on a small, two-dimensional piece of paper is at the heart of the challenge.


Still, if you are prepared to put in the footwork to find an unusual angle or an interesting vantage point; if you can wait until the light is just right, then you can make a landscape shot come alive and expresses a unique emotion about what it means to live on this earth at this time.


Architecture / Real Estate Photography

Taking great shots of buildings or homes is almost as hard as taking great landscape shots.  It’s all about finding the right angle, and discovering how you can express something new and unusual about that building or real estate property.


Consider adding people into your architectural shots. The way that people interact with a building can provide great clues for the viewer who’s trying to get a sense of the place. In addition, it adds scale and focal points to the picture to draw the eye.


For real estate photography, try shooting at those moments that showcase more than just the house itself. For example, try shooting the home at dusk or twilight hours so that you capture an amazing sunrise/sunset to compliment the home.


Conclusion? Find the emotion

When it really comes down to it, a memorable photograph is one that tells a story and creates emotion in the viewer. It’s not what’s in the picture that people remember, it’s how the picture made them feel. An emotion captured on film that triggers more emotion - that’s the trick to a memorable photo.