How Do you Get That Shot

Dear Ten·2·Ten,

Just wondering if you had any tips on how to get “that shot” – you know what I’m talking about!  The shot with the “wow” factor or the “breathtaking” result.  I’ve studied photography for several years and feel like I’m technologically advanced – I know my camera settings inside and out – but still feel like my final images are lacking something.  Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.



Dear TJ,

In my opinion, the “wow-factor” shots aren’t 100% based on technical skills alone.  Yes, proper exposure is always important and knowing the factor that play into the overall appearance of a photo are key (like how aperture can affect the mood of your image, for example) but a lot of the “wow” in an image is a reflection of your overall inspiration, artistry and passion for your craft.

When you’re shooting something you love, whether it’s weddings, children, families, landscapes or pets, your passion will be what brings your images to the next level.  Yes, technical skills are important but it’s that passion that will make your instinct say “hey, I bet if I lied down on the ground and shot at a crazy angle while backlighting this whole thing it’ll result in something crazy awesome!”.

My recommendation to you would be to take a step back and assess what you’re shooting: are you shooting what you truly want to shoot or are you shooting something just because you think you can make money from it?  It’s normal to want to make money, if we don’t have money we can’t survive (pay our rent, feed our families, etc.) but sacrificing your happiness just to make money isn’t always the best way to go about it.  If you’re not happy shooting what you’re currently shooting it may be why you can’t find your wow-factor yet.

When you find your passion, your wow-factor will find you.



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