What defines perfection in a photograph?
It seems that the photos I am most proud of or cherish the most are never “technically” perfect – at least not in the conventional measurements of composition, focus, clarity, story, art or whatever. However, they are perfect in a way that those measurements could never describe.
This image of Multnomah Falls was taken on a whirlwind trip to Portland, Oregon to watch my daughters synchro team. I am proud of it because I am not a landscape photographer, and truly struggle to take decent images of scenic places. I am not sure that this image truly does Multnomah Falls justice, however, I did a darn good job with a subject that is normally so difficult for me. Regardless of any technical issues, for my memories it is truly perfection in a photograph.
The perfection in this next image lies not in the place, or the photographer, but in the subjects themselves. These girls have skated as a team for three years, and now synchro will be put on hold at their home skating club. This image was taken during their last competition of the final season. The girls have become like family to each other, and this perfect image is one to treasure.
My Maizie. What could be more perfect than (wo)man’s best friend?? A lot of work went into this image, starting with the fact that this precious puppy rarely sits still, and when she does it’s because she is sleeping. In addition to that, she is not a dog you can leave off leash in wide open spaces as she will run off on a whim. With the help of my daughter holding Maizie on a leash and giving instruction, and some creative photoshop afterward to remove the collar and leash, the result is my favorite image of my beautiful little friend (so far). Perfection.
Not many of us like photos of ourselves, and I am no exception. Still, I can give an example of a “perfect” (in my eyes) photo of me…like this one. Three things I love and no face in the image? Perfect.
I am not going to explain what is “technically” wrong with each of these images, some have more issues than others. Some people will see the issues and some won’t – just trust me when I say that from a photographers standpoint, none of these images are “technically” perfect.
At the same time, every single one is PERFECT in all of the ways that truly matter.
A great reminder to never let some weird perfectionist streak (or another persons unkind words about your work) stop you from making images that are PERFECT in the ways that matter the most to you. Keep Shooting.=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Tressie Davis is a portrait photographer located in Chelsea, MI. Portrait work may be viewed at www.tressiedavis.com.