They say a picture is worth a thousand words; hence, the title of this article. Photographs—or images—have been a part of human history ever since the first man came into existence. With all those images, it must be hard to get yours noticed.

It’s simple, or so some photographers say. Here is what they say makes a good photo:

It creates emotion. A great photo always creates just enough emotion to get your attention. This is what photos in the New York Times or in the Times magazine shares with sudden off-the-street pictures that just happen to get snapped. Even if it’s anger, hate, jealousy, a good photo will always elicit an emotional response.

An idea of what you want to see. Some amateur photographers start out taking photos of almost everything within their scope. They then narrow it down later to what really inspired them the most. The best photographers always have a fallback—a subject—that always inspires them the best.

Freezing time. Almost the same as capturing something, great photos are ones that remind you of a good or bad moment. Whether it’s a departed loved one or a day you won’t soon forget, good photos are also great memories, in a way.

A good composition. There are some photographers that don’t always follow this, but it is a good rule to remember if you’re a beginner or even an intermediate. Going back to the basics will help you in the hunt for that photo you’ve always wanted.

Creating stories. Freezing moments, eliciting emotions—these are elements of creating a great movie, but it’s also a good way to capture a great photo. When you tell a story through a picture you’ve taken, that’s another pointer to know you’ve taken a good photo.

So what are the stories you want to tell? Do you want to share the moment you felt pain or triumph? Tell it through a photo. You never know who might be looking.

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