To tell a good photo story. I recommend my students take a look at five elements.
1. Your images should be strong technically- out of focus images are not acceptable- (there is a little invention called out focus works really well)
2. Use elements of design to create strong compositional images-leading lines, rules of thirds, framing, depth of field, etc etc.
3. Moment-you images should have a strong moment that evokes emotion- Why should I take the time to look at the image otherwise?
4. Narrative-Tell a story, be passionate about what you are shooting and find the narrative below the surface of what you think it is
5. Visual Variety-Overall, tight, medium, portrait, details, close-ups-vary your shots to keep our viewer interested. This allows the viewer to get a more intimate understanding of your subject and story.
Make great pictures!
(my notes from my last critique session)