What Photos Do People Want to See?

July 04, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Today I ask the question … When it comes to photography, what do people want to see?  What do they like to look at?  I actually ponder this question fairly often.  I have been told that I look at and think about the world in a somewhat different way from most people.  As might be expected, that finds its way into my photographic viewpoint.  I shoot what catches my eye, curiosity, and general interest.  Many times I find that my images do not capture the eye, curiosity, and general interest of others!

So I did an oh-so-unscientific analysis of the reaction to my images on a certain website where I have posted a few images.  My analysis is unscientific for a few reasons …  it includes a small number of images (less than thirty), the images have been posted for a short time (less than three months), and the images were posted to be entered in contests (so they are selected for others’ approval,  not solely for mine).  I looked at three statistics for each image:  number of views, number of likes, and number of peer awards.  For each image, I divided these numbers into the number of days the image has been available for viewing, to get the number of views, likes, and awards per day.  I then looked at the top five images in each of the three statistics.

The “winning” image for all three statistics was the image above, a close up of an orange Gerbera daisy.  Why?  Well, in the countless hours I spend admiring other photographers’ images, perusing photography magazines, reading about photography, and looking at photo contest results, I’ve come to a few conclusions.  First, regarding subject matter, people LOVE landscapes and animals.  Everyone seems to enjoy these subjects the most.  People are quite popular subjects as well. Viewers also seem to like flowers, especially if they are presented in an artistic and impactful way.  Regarding graphic elements, people seem especially fond of bold vivid color, more so than, for example, pattern.

Does this result surprise me?  I find it interesting, maybe useful, but I can’t say that I am really surprised.  Will it change my photographic habits?  Not really.  I will still shoot what interests and pleases me.  I don’t expect that my favorites of my own images will necessarily be favorites among viewers (in fact, I have fairly consistently found that they are not).  And that’s the beauty of art … It’s a personal experience for both the creator and the viewer, with expression, enrichment, and learning opportunities for all.

What are your thoughts about your art and others’ perception of your art?  I would love to hear your comments/musings/experiences, so please feel free to leave me a message.

As always, I wish you happy shooting and a satisfying photographic journey!


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