When you share your photography with other people, is the reaction not what you expected? Or have you entered images into a competition or juried exhibition and been disappointed with the results?

Of course, photography — like all art — is subjective and beauty certainly ‘is in the eye of the beholder’.

But if there consistently seems to be something lacking in your photography, a new approach might be worth consideration.

To consistently make stronger photographs, you need to apply a design methodology to your image-making.

Design is just as important in photography as it is with other creative works. A design process includes identifying and solving problems, making conscious choices and working to achieve a specific outcome.

Of course, photographic design does include composition but extends far beyond this. Also of crucial importance are

  • an intimate understanding of, and interest in, your subject
  • practicing mindfulness and conscious awareness
  • pre-visualisation of each finished photograph
  • reading light and using it to the best effect
  • accurately seeing elements within the frame and how they interact
  • creative post-processing using an efficient workflow
  • high quality presentation of the finished work
  • and much more.

Most people seeing your work won’t recognise the influence of design (though judges certainly will) yet a well designed photo will certainly achieve greater impact and engagement with viewers.

When you start practicing photographic design, your images will immediately become more successful.

Developing your seeing skills and ‘visual vocabulary’ is a crucial aspect of making effective photographs, and the most direct way to accomplish this is to apply a design process. You will more consistently create truly expressive images and your viewers will respond more enthusiastically to your work.