Do you have a favorite type of photo?
Take a look back at your best images from the last few years. Do you find some common elements in them? Is your favorite type of photo something that comes from your genre of photography, your subject, or your processing? I've discovered that mine seems to be a combination of all of those issues.
My Favorite Type of Photo
There are a few things that seem to repeat in my photos, whether I'm consciously trying for them or not. Here's what I see when I look though my old images.
I don't really care for images that are lit all over the place. Instead, I'd much rather see a dark scene with selective bits of light revealing my subject. Maybe that's why I don't do much shooting during the day. I'd rather wait until sunset or just after. Even in post processing, I tend to look for elements in the photo that I can brighten up to make them stand out.
This one is no surprise to me, but I'm a color fiend. I don't just want a cacophony of color littering my photos, though. Much like the selective light, I want colorful objects to populate parts of my image. I also l like color contrast or thematic colors that evoke subtle memories or feelings.
A Sense of Place
My favorite photos give you a sense of being in a different place. If I do my job well, they make you want to go there. That's fairly easy to do with places where plenty of people have already visited, but it's fun to find little spots that make people want to give it a try.
A Key Subject Among Many Distractions
This one doesn't always work out, but I try. When you look at a scene that has plenty of interesting distractions, what really stands out as the subject? In my opinion, there should always be something or someone that's really the focal point of the photo. I'll always try to make that subject stand out – subtlety – in the image. Your eye can wander around, but I want you to keep coming back to the subject in my favorite type of photo.
Putting it All Together
Of course, all those rules go out the window if there's a bottle of Patron nearby.