What makes a photograph timeless?

I was about to share with our summer holiday pictures I took last summer, but then when I looked at them I thought I could write a little article about my my photography approach and discuss together with you what makes photography or a work of art timeless?

As time goes by, what makes a photograph timeless to you? I think images can evoke a wide range of emotions depending on our viewpoint of the scene and our connection to that point in history. It definitely has to be something that everyone can relate to, something "universal", no matter the span of time between when the photograph was captured and the time when it is viewed.

Would you say that a timeless portrait is a "simple" portrait? I tend to believe so, there are just a few elements required for a timeless portrait, and the rule of "less is more" works the best for me. When creating a timeless image I consider the following:

1. Clothing selection.

Clothing choice should be consistent with the story you want to create and convey. Small patterns, stripes, graphic tees, logos and any clothing with writing on it are the items I try to avoid for the shooting. The reason is as they draw the viewer's attention away from my subject's face. As an example, do you see a couple of logos on the second and third images, ideally i should clone them out for a timeless portrait. I intentionally left as is so you can see and "feel" the difference.

2. Lighting.

You're likely to encounter that light is one of the major determining factors for conveying a specific mood and story in an image. It can turn an everyday moment into a work of art. Seeing the light is the first step in being able to use it in an interesting way. The more you practice seeing and shooting in it the more it will become part of how you view the whole world around you.

3. Facial expression.

The timeless soulful look is about the eyes, the facial muscles and the mouth. Expression in a portrait can convey many human emotions, it is the visual communication between my subject, camera and the viewer.

4. Composition and background selection.

I don't want timeless portraits to be dated by fashion and location, thus keeping the clothing and the background simple is something I always consider. Cluttered backgrounds of reflections and bright objects are the same distractions from my subject. I try to change camera angles, perspective, avoid broken light coming through trees or any light/bright objects in the background.

And these few are just for fun becuase I would like to share with you with our summer adventures, the clothes and location tell us about the approximate date of when these images were taken.