Selecting Your Best Photographs Can Be A Challenge

Several months ago, I set up my first SmugMug gallery. My goal was to select and share my 50 favorite images - from hard drives filled with tens of thousands of images. 

The gallery is just a start. More galleries to come.

Selecting 50 images was not an easy task, but after a few days, I accomplished my goal.

So here's an idea for you. Select your 50 favorite images and set up a gallery or portfolio for all to see. Show off your very best work to the world.

Now, as a personal exercise, list the pictures in order of your favorites. Ahhhhh, the task gets more challenging – because you love each image just as parents like/love all the kids equally.

(As an aside, I can't tell you how many portfolios I have review in which the photographer does not have his or her strongest picture up front. Strong sells. Strong is important. If you are going to have your portfolio reviewed, your strongest image should be your first image.)

Now try this: Write a caption for each image. This process may help you decided on the order of your favorites, or perhaps it might make you delete an image or two. Why? Because if a picture does not tell a story, it might not be worth including.

Of course, the opposite theory is true: all great pictures should be strong enough to stand alone - no caption necessary. 

I'm just putting these ideas out there to help you look at your work more thoughtfully. I was going to say "carefully," but I know you do that already - zooming in a million times on your RAW files to check sharpness, etc. :-)

One more idea on selecting your favorite images: put on some music and enjoy the process. It's fun selecting your best of the best.

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If you don't have a SmugMug gallery, you can set one up and save 20 percent the first year by clicking here and by using my code: RICKSMUG20.

If you want to set up a SmugMug site and need some help, on-line assistance is available 24/7 with SmugMug's Support Heroes – SmugMug's crown jewels. 

SmugMug has 30 of them around the world (US, Ireland, Germany, Slovenia). Most of them were customers of SmugMug before becoming Support Heroes. Many are pros in their own right, and others are passionate amateurs that do amazing work.  

They all share a love for photography, sharing photos, the internet and helping people. They work nearly around the clock, 365 days a year, nights, weekends, every major holiday. Why? Because that's when SmugMug's customers are uploading photos, using the site, etc.,

Emails to Smugmug ( are typically answered in minutes to an hour or so. You'll always by a real person, a photographer, a professional, a Support Hero.

SmugMug has a group of  heroes that are specialized. They have the additional title of Pro Concierge, and when needed, they provide extra attention to the pros for workflow, color management, getting great prints, post-processing, you name it. 

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Here's a shot that will be in my next SmugMug gallery: Wildlife.

Explore the light,