Great pictures. What MAKES a great picture? Composition, lighting, background, foreground, color (or no color), expression. All or some of these things in combination make a great picture. Sometimes, we only achieve one thing in our picture that makes it special to us, or makes it special to others.
This picture is not technically wonderful. The background is cluttered and I cut PoppyLew's head off (quite by accident, I believe). However, sometimes it's the subject that makes the picture special. In this case, it's my son, who just celebrated his 33rd birthday. This was his 2nd trip to Disneyland (his first, he was too young to remember). The expression on his face when he first entered the park on his PoppyLew's shoulders, to me, is priceless. Full of joy. I love this picture because every time I see it, it reminds me of the joy of youth. It makes me smile, and it kind of makes me sad, too, to realize that often, we lose that unmitigated joy at the wonder of things.
Photography can be used to stop time. My son will always be like this in my memory when I see this picture, no matter how grown up he is now. I miss those times. I miss my boys as children. Luckily, I still have my sons to enjoy and to share in their accomplishments and their continuing growth. However, I always have photographs to remember them as innocent, beautiful children. Photographs are more than just a digital file for your computer or a piece of paper. They are priceless, cherished memories. Make them count. Take LOTS of picture, and don't apologize for it! You'll be happy years later that you took the time. Happy birthday, dearest Mark. I love you as you were then, and as you are now.