Making the cut: selecting photos to share

Scene from an Italian restaurant
One of the benefits that digital photography has over film is the ability to take many photos of the same subject or scene, quickly and without added cost. If you are still learning photography (and really, aren’t we all?), you should take advantage of this by viewing your photo, critiquing it, making adjustments if needed, and shooting again.

So the upside is you can take many photos and improve your skills. The downside is that you can take many photos and simply end up with a lot of pictures.

Since I strongly believe that photos are meant to be shared, how do you decide which of your many images to post online or to email to friends or to print? Some photogs don’t really deal with this question. They just share everything! I see this often with people who are just getting their feet wet with photography. I think in their enthusiasm to create images, they get caught up in the moment and just put them all out there. I think too, it can be difficult to separate the chaff from the wheat, especially if you’re not used to doing this.

But it is important, and in order to be taken seriously as a photographer (yes, even an amateur) you need to be selective in what you put out there.

Think about your favorite restaurant. Let’s say the chef has decided to try a new dish, something she’s never even considered before, and it’s fairly complex. And let’s imagine that before she gets it right, she’s had to make the dish 5 times. Only then is she satisfied with the results, although the previous 4 tries were getting better and better. As a chef who prides herself on what she produces, and who views her reputation as important, would she serve the prior 4 tries? Clearly not. What about number 4? It was almost perfect. Still, no. Attempts 1 through 4 would never leave the kitchen. But number 5 could be served proudly. It’s the same for we photogs.

Whether you are sharing with total strangers or family and friends, whether the audience are photogs or not, always put your best foot forward. Cull out repetitive shots, those that are blurry, too dark or too bright, and otherwise poor images. No one enjoys seeing bad photos or essentially the same photo more than once. Manage what you share judiciously, and like the successful chef, your reputation as a talented creator will grow.

And if you don’t trust yourself to make the right choice about which images to post, ask for opinions. In this post, Be a Better Photog: See and Be Seen, I discussed the importance and value of critiquing the work of others, and asking for the same in return. Take a look and give it a try.

I’ll leave you with this:

“The artist is the only one who knows that the world is a subjective creation, that there is a choice to be made, a selection of elements.” Anais Nin

Choose wisely!

Pizza on a pan

Choose wisely!

Special note: this represents our 100th blog post since we launched 2 Guys Photo in late January. The response has been terrific and we thank you all for your continued support. Ed & Rey.

– Posted by Ed using BlogPress from my iPhone


About Ed Spadoni "Thoughts and opinions, resources and experiences… for emerging photographers everywhere."
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5 Responses to Making the cut: selecting photos to share

  1. Honest, when I take 800 pics at the zoo I prune it to 300;-)

  2. Mark James says:

    I’ve got much better at this over the last few years. I still post some pictures on FB that are not up to my current standards but that is because they tell a story and it is for friends and family. I have been trying to cut back on this more now.

    My perception of what is good is growing with me as my skills grow. It’s funny to look back at a shot I was proud of 4 years ago and cringe a little. The art of taking pictures underwater has a very big learning curve and I now feel like keepers are few and far between. I’m enjoying the challenge though. I’m also enjoying the challenge of learning how to take pictures above the surface as well.

    Now I need to learn how to take 1 or 2 a come away with a keeper instead of 5 or 10. As I learn how to set the camera in different situations I’m getting better at this.

    Rambling thoughts. 😉 Have a good one.

    • Ed Spadoni says:

      Hi Mark – I was just listening to a photography podcast this morning and a professional photog said his goal is not to be the best he can be, but to be better everyday than he was the day before. That made a lot of sense to me, and I was reminded of that quote when I read your comment. I do the same thing: look at older images I thought were great, and cringe. But I’m also pleased because that means I’m making progress.

      Keep up the great work on your site. Ed

      • Mark says:

        That is a good way to look at it. Being art it can never be perfected, only improved upon.

        Thanks for the kind words about the site. It is a mess and needs a major overhaul. I am saving up to have a web designer set it up in a more professional way. I have a vision of what I want but not the talent to make it happen. Always striving learn more and to make things better.

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