by Katrina Kennedy

Taking photographs is about telling your story. Capturing the moments, the events, the pieces of your life that make it uniquely yours. What kind of photographer are you? Do you want to capture the details? Or the events? Do you like  landscapes? Or portraits? Are you capturing the running child or the old dog snuggled in its bed? Or perhaps a little bit of it all.

Knowing what you want before you push the shutter will improve your photography dramatically. Consider four things.

1. What do I see?

I could see the entire bicycle or I could see the road where it meets the wheel and the pure potential it possesses.

2. How does it make me feel?

I could snap quickly and capture my son’s smile. Or I could stop, consider it a bit longer, and grab that connection between a dad and his son as they experience a first two-wheeled bike ride together. The feeling of connection captures the moment best.

3. What meaning does it have for me?

A drop off at preschool turned into a quick moment to capture. In this image my son is clearly important, but, even more important were the too-big shorts and the little feet jumping through the numbers, calling them out as he moved.

4. What does it make me want to do?

I want my photos to capture a feeling that reflects what I was feeling in the moment, but I also want them to compel me. Compel an emotion. Compel an action. Create activity. Provide inspiration.

What do your photos say? What questions do you ask before you press the shutter?