Why Does One Photo Go Viral?

To some degree I haven’t a clue what strikes the fancy of photographers that love one photography significantly more than others. On my National Geographic website I’ve uploaded 97 of my best photographs. Keep in mind these are shots I like and believe are worthy for consideration. Some are posted there because of a unique expression while others are technically perfect. Some make it to my collection of the best by being super cute animals in unusual circumstances or with great facial expressions. I find it curious why some get more votes for favorite picture than others.


Below are two separate unique photos of a crane taken seconds apart. If you look carefully you can see the differences in background as the crane’s actual expression barely changes. I cropped the first shot as a 6″x6″square composition while treating the 2nd as a full portrait cropped to 4″x6″. The 4″x6″ version was added to my collection on the National Geographic website and has gone viral. Technically it’s a very sharp picture with a contrasting background and an interesting facial expression that’s widely open to interpretation.

Sometimes I’ll post a shot I think is outstanding and barely get any response at all. Maybe it has to do with timing, when I post the picture. Some folks only have time to check out new work on weekends for example. Either way I may never know the secret. I just keep shooting, processing and posting the shots I like.

African Crowned Crane


7 thoughts on “Why Does One Photo Go Viral?

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