The Important Question You Should Ask Before Taking Every Photo

We spend a ton of time talking about how to take a photo, including lighting, techniques, composition, and a lot more. And of course, all those things are quite important to producing a compelling photo, but that is not enough. But it takes more than that to create a good image, and this insightful video discusses how you should be approaching taking photos beyond just the how-to of it all. 

Coming to you from Chris Sale, this great video discusses the importance of asking yourself why you are taking a photograph. It can be easy to fall into the habit of running through the motions of taking photographs, and as such, that can lead you to end up taking the same images over and over. And that can be a shame, as it keeps you from expanding your techniques and exploring your creative palette. And really, the best way to stop yourself from falling into that rut is by stopping to ask yourself why you are taking a photo, as it forces you to explore your motivations and better understand what drove you to find that particular scene, composition, and combination of settings worth capturing. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Sale. 

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David Pavlich's picture

Why do I take a photo? Probably like many of you, I enjoy photography, from taking a candid shot of my cats to photographing a deer to shooting an interesting building. I enjoy the whole process. I don't need to overthink it. Too many 'if/then' conversations with yourself and suddenly, photography becomes less enjoyable. If it's not fun, then why do it?

Deleted Account's picture

Good point!

Frank Anderson's picture

Couldn’t have said it any better.

Willy Williams's picture

When one loses interest in photography (or anything else), it's time to sell one's gear and find something else that makes it exciting to get up in the morning.

Sam Sims's picture

I think there are too many Youtube photographers and finding any truly meaningful content can seem daunting at times. Nothing against this guy but I don't need to ask myself why I take photo's. I just need to get out there and take them. When this Omicron variant dies down (hopefully sometime soon), I will be going out a lot more.

Willy Williams's picture

While COVID is still a challenge, use the time to acquire more in-depth knowledge of one's gear, learn one or more new skills that can be practiced alone, take one's camera for a much-needed walk in the forest, try a new RAW processor, lose 25#, play with your dog.

Ed Sanford's picture

If you wait for Omicron to go away, you will waste your time. It is here to stay. Here is a great quote that I read recently. "We've all become so afraid of dying, that we have stopped living." There are plenty of places to photograph that keep you out of health jeopardy. My camera has been my 2nd greatest source of comfort (wife being #1) during this hellish 2 year period.