Questions to ask yourself when selecting a good photo:

Question 1: Is there clear center of interest?

The subject should take up most of the picture and create the viewer's first impression. Your eyes may wander from the subject to other parts of the photo, but they should retreat back to main subject. If you are unsure about this , ask these questions:  What is the first thing your eyes see? What holds your eyes the longest? Is there anything that competes with the main subject?

Question 2: Is the image composed well?

A photo should have good composition, or a sense of order for the contents of the photo. Here are some tips to help you compose a photo properly:

  • Make sure there is a clear center of interest. Fill the frame by moving closer, etc.
  • Use the Rule of Thirds. This is dividing the photo into three pieces similar to a tic-tac-toe format.
  • Keep the background simple, no distractions. The background can be a tool for having good composition.
  • Remember: You want order and balance that helps guide the viewer's eyes through the

Question 3: Is the focus sharp and is the exposure appropriate?

Focus is the idea of the photo projecting what the photographer sees as the most important part of the moment captured. The exposure is composed mainly of the three pillars of photography: ISO (the camera's sensitivity to the available light), aperture (basically a hole in the lens that lets light into the camera), and Shutter speed (which is when the camera sensor stays closed until the camera takes a picture). Here are some questions to ask yourself about these concepts: Is the sharpest point of the photo in the center? Does the focal length or zoom setting add to the photo?

Question 4: Does the photo tell a story?

A photo that tells a story is much more likely to be remembered. It should just take a glance to understand the story. In a good photo, the story will induce an emotional response. Emotional responses help make things easier to remember. Ask yourself these questions to recognize if the photo tells a story:

  • Does the photo make a statement that you understand clearly?
  • Can you relate to the event or person in the photo?
  • What, if anything, could be added to the photo to help you understand the message better?

Question 5: Does the lighting enhance the photo?

You should use the available lighting to show what's important in the photo and to set the mood. Using lighting will help you to focus attention of the viewer on certain areas of the photo. You can also use it to focus less on other areas in the photo. When evaluating the influence of light in a photo ask:

  • Is the amount and color of the light appropriate?
  • Does the light help convey the message?
  • Are all the important aspects of the subject well lit, or could the lighting be improved?

Question 6: Is the approach creative?

I know that there are many different definitions for the term "Creative." In photography, creative can mean that the photo shows the subject through the photographers' eyes.  Basically the photo shows the subject in unusual ways. When evaluating creativity, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the photo tell more about the subject, or does it show it in different ways?
  • Does the photo relate visual elements in unusual ways?
  • Is the photo interesting and new, or is it odd?