So as a photographer, I believe there is a skill level that is simply non-negotiable. To create beautiful and moving images, there is a base of knowledge that is absolutely necessary--understanding of light, understanding of the exposure triangle, understanding of composition, understanding of focus. I could go on. But as much as that is true, the images I value are ones that make me feel something. And they don't have to be perfect to do it. Take this image, for example:
So I can't get enough of this photo. I knew when I took it that what it really needed was off camera flash to balance the light coming through the door with the dim light of the hall. Because I didn't have it, the light is a little bright through the doorway. This isn't technically desirable, but here, it doesn't matter. The image says something despite the technical foible. Clearly, a photo about a little boy and his blanket (and other blanket as the case may be). There is a story in this image. Here is another example:
This adorable little girl is looking dreamy. The background has some decent bokeh but it is a bit blown out. I needed some more light up front, similar to the issue I had in the last photo. It is a wee bit off kilter, too. But, does it really matter here? I don't think so. The expression is perfection. The hair blowing across her face is so very youthful.
The important thing here is that, although the images aren't technically perfect, I know why. I know exactly what is incorrect about them, I know how I could fix the problems, too. Sometimes you can trade technical aspects for genuine moments. But, you cannot do it all the time. I have to really love a photo to accept technical shortcomings. I have to really love the feeling the photos evoke. And it isn't very often that the technical shortcomings can be overcome this way. These types of photos are few and far between. I usually like to be technically spot on. But some "imperfect" images don't wind up in the trash bin.