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Picture Perfect

  I got a couple of letters from people disappointed that their photos didn’t get printed in the “Snapshots” column.

  I know it’s a well-liked part of Kentucky Living, but I don’t like anyone being unhappy. So I thought it might help to describe how we make the selections.

  The process begins with the Kentucky Living staff gathering around a table with a pile of envelopes in the center. A topic like “50th anniversaries” might bring just half a dozen entries. “Prettiest pets” attracted nearly 200 photos.

  We each grab a handful of envelopes and make “Yes,” “No,” and “Maybe” piles. We work individually, and quickly. If it’s out of focus, or the subject of the picture is a small speck in the distance, it’s a “No” regardless of how cute the child or kitty might be.

  Then we start working as a group. We hold up each picture from the “Yes” pile and only the ones that produce
"oohs" and "aahs" graduate to the next step. We usually never even get back to the
"Maybe" pile. We lay the remaining photos, about 10 or 15, on the table. All of them would look good in the magazine, so we have to get very picky. We look for overall composition, lighting, focus, and human interest. We argue about why we think this one is just a little better than that one. During all this, we never look at the names or captions-the picture is all that matters.

  When we finally narrow it down, we know we’re excluding some very good pictures. So when you’re sending in your snapshots for consideration, make sure they’re good technical quality, and if it doesn’t get chosen, try again next time.

  And thanks to everyone who sends in photos. We have a lot of fun seeing snapshots from all over the state, and we appreciate you helping make “Snapshots” one of the most popular parts of Kentucky Living.

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