what makes a picture great?

“Good photography requires a blend of trained eye and an imaginative mind.” –Bernice Abbot

One of the most difficult–and rewarding– challenges for a photographer is to produce a creative, compelling portrait. But capturing an image that uniquely projects something of depth about a person will be one of the most important ways to develop engaging visuals for your publication.

Equipment is the least important aspect of great picture making. Many great photos have been taken with built-in cell phone cameras and Polaroid cameras.


This photo of Winston Churchill was taken in 1941 by Yousof Karsh. Karsh only had a few minutes with Churchill, so to achieve this iconic “bulldog” expression and capture Churchill’s “don’t give up” spirit, Karsh snatched the cigar out of Churchill’s hand just before taking the photo.

1. What do you think is the power behind this photograph?

2. What makes it successful?

For more photography resources, join MTI Online to gain access to a variety of lessons in the resource library, all for free.

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Magazine Training International’s mission is to encourage, strengthen, and provide training and resources to Christian magazine publishers as they seek to build the church and reach their societies for Christ.