Shirley Says ~ Part One ….. What makes a good photograph? ( + giveaway!!!!!!)

The giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all participants! The winner of the Shirley Vaughn Photography mini-book is…….. JENNY.

Congratulations, Jenny!!!!!! Check your email for further instructions.


Shirley Says ~ Part One

The following information is provided by Shirley Vaughn, a professional photographer from Panama City, Florida. Shirley and I met through an online community bulletin board at I Heart Faces. I hope you enjoy her post (the first of many) and be sure to enter the GIVEAWAY! 

What is a good photograph?

In my opinion, a good photograph is in the eye of the beholder. In other words, there are many photos that I have seen by professionals that made me say, “I deleted three just like that last week…Are you kidding me?” Then, there are photos of my family that others may think…”So what?” while I am thinking, “That’s the first time she wrinkled her nose when she smiled.” I love this photo – what a cute little pout!!!!!

Shirley Vaughn Photography

One quality that makes a good photograph is its ability to convey emotion. Emotion in a photograph, or any work of art, helps the viewer connect with that photograph in a personal way. Many times it makes the viewer become invested in that photograph by stirring up feelings and memories that are a part of his or her life and the viewer is drawn to that image. Emotion, or feeling, is what can take a snapshot and make it a memorable and valued portrait.

Shirley Vaughn Photography

We all start with different backgrounds and different cameras but have one goal: to take better photos. I want to say that the camera you have is really not as important as we might want to blame. I have seen some wonderful pictures taken with a cell phone and the post processing of these made them have that “wow” factor. Some of my favorite pictures I took with my husband’s point & shoot camera. (Of course I still LOVE my Nikon DSLR.)

What crucial item do you need for a good photograph?


Not only do you need light, but you must know how to compose your picture. The three controls of your light are aperture, shutter speed and ISO. The combination of these three things determine whether your exposure is adequate and accurate. It’s these three things, along with composition, editing, and other techniques that I will share with you later.


Shirley @ Shirley Vaughn Photography

In response to Nicole’s generous invitation to be a guest writer on her blog, I’m giving a copy of my mini book, Photographing Children & Families, to one lucky reader. Follow the simple directions below to enter this contest.


Answer this question: Do you prefer a printed book or digital e-book?




  • You must leave a comment on this blog post for EACH entry.
  • A maximum of five (5) entries per person, please.
  • Open to U.S. residents only.
  • Contest ends Saturday, October 15 at 10:00 pm (CST).


Thank you, Shirley for providing this photography series and offering a copy of your book.

Good luck to all the contest participants!



  1. The Diamond E likes Shirley Vaughn Photography on FB! 🙂

  2. I subsribe to 27 & counting by email!

  3. I follow @nmhutch on Twitter!! ::)))

  4. I like 27 & Counting on FB!

  5. I prefer written book! Great giveaway Nicole!! Good job!!

  6. Aww – this is so cool how you get guest writers!! I will def be stopping by here more often =)

    But to answer your question – I would prefer printed book.

  7. Great tips from Shirley and looking forward to reading more from her.


  1. […] Shirley Says ~ Part One ….. What makes a good photograph? ( + giveaway!!!!!!) […]

  2. […] Says at 27 & Counting. You can read Shirley’s prior photography tutorials by clicking here and here. Thanks for visiting and we hope you enjoy this lesson on shutter speed and ISO settings […]

  3. […] is providing a copy of her photography booklet to one lucky blog reader. To enter, simply click HERE. Be sure to read her informative post too in a new series called Shirley […]

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