The importance of Design in photography

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 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 more.

Most people seeing your work won’t recognise the influence of design (though experienced judges certainly will), and 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.

Over the coming months I will teach you much more about photographic design. 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.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.