C’mon Man: Senator Event Photo Edition

I love me some photography, but I love critiquing bad photos even more. Senators Gardner and Bennet attended the launch of the USS Colorado, the Navy’s newest Virginia Class Submarine (I’m assuming the Virginia Class is missing turn signals and can’t drive in snow).

Let’s compare two photos from the event.

First, Senator Gardner. 


  1. Elements: Senator, Cute Family, Naval Officer, USS Colorado, US Flag
  2. Composition: everyone is centered, nothing distracting the background, maybe needs to crop the top of the picture – represents the event
  3. Technical: well exposed, no one is squinting, excellent lighting

Grade: A-

Second, Senator Bennet. 


  1. Elements: Senator, Cute Family, USS Colorado, Colorado State Flag
  2. Composition: background is cluttered, major squinting, is that a pole coming out of the Senator’s head? Crop the sun out at least
  3. Technical: OMG, can we get any more direct sunlight? And backlit? And it looks like the focal point is behind the main subjects.

Grade: C-

Look, you’ve got a staff. Someone on that staff is under 25, which means they’ve clocked about a million selfies in the past week. They understand lighting and presentation. Get the guy or gal who is constantly sending pictures from the Congressional Bathroom to their Instagram account to take these photos. It’s pretty simple: light to the side, pay attention to the background, include important elements, and crop well.

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