Photography is the only language that can be understood worldwide.
People like to look at photographs.
I can testify to this. Each time I display pictures on my website, the subsequent traffic jumps up significantly.
For there is a universal fascination with photographs, and interestingly people looking at the same snapshots will see widely different things.
Women for instance will notice details that men totally don’t care about, and vice-versa.
I have been an informal photographer for a very long time. I started in my twenties and I am still at it.
I never took any course; I am entirely self-taught.
I have learned throughout the years (by trial and error) what makes a good shot.
To take a good snapshot, you have to be alert, fast and unobtrusive.
That’s why I favor carrying a small, good quality camera. Something that you can quickly hide in your pocket after the dirty deed is done.
“You can easily recognize a professional photographer in a herd of tourists: he is the one who hides his camera.”
You also have to be mindful of the light. Light is extremely important.
It is not widely known, but pictures look best when taken in overcast weather.
A wise photographer always takes multiple shots of a single subject.
As the saying goes, you have to kiss many frogs to find a prince, and similarly you have to take many photographs to come up with a good one.
I usually take at least three shots of the same subject and keep the best.
My favorites pictures are candid shots. Pictures taken when a person’s official mask is temporarily down and when the subject is totally unaware of what is happening.
But I will never publish an unflattering picture. I leave this underhanded demeanor to politicians.
Nowadays when I show up at some event, people expect me to be there with my camera and I am glad to oblige. The following day they rush to my website to see who was there and if they compare favorably with the competition.
Don’t deny it. I know that you do it.
Finally, you cannot be a Sunday photographer and expect great shots. Like any discipline, you have to practice almost daily to achieve a respectable level and take pleasing shots.
It is not easy, but it is fun trying.
There are no rules for good photographs; there are only good photographs.