In Our Opinion

Photography tips for the non-photgrapher

By July 12, 2013 August 6th, 2021 No Comments

Whether for a press release, annual report, or social media update, the reality is photography plays an important part in any communications strategy. And while it would be ideal to have a professional photographer available at all events – both corporate and community-related – most organizations are faced with taking a “DIY” approach to photography.

While a “good” camera can certainly help improve the quality of a picture, high end equipment is no guarantee of high end results. In fact, there are many great examples of amazing photographs taken with an iPhone (and countless terrible pictures taken with a digital SLR).

As our agency’s official amateur photographer, here are a few of my tips for the marketer/manager/employee forced into the same role:

Look for the light
If you can, take your subjects outside, or near a window, to take advantage of natural light and available backgrounds. To avoid harsh sunlight, take outside photos in the morning, late afternoon or in light shade. For photos taken in bright sunlight, turn your subject towards the sun to avoid deep shadows.

Filtered sunlight provided the perfect lighting for this photo of my husband.

Filtered sunlight provided the perfect lighting for this photo of my husband.

Mike's headshot was also taken outside,with a local building providing the shade and backdrop.

Mike’s headshot was also taken outside, with a local building providing the shade and backdrop.

Get close and hold steady
Rather than stepping back to get the big picture, step in to get the details. (Or, as I often tell clients, “we don’t need to see anyone’s feet.”). With groups, try to avoid a straight line, arranging people so you can get closer. Also, make sure to stop moving and hold the camera steady before taking your photo.

A photo with great potential, ruined because I didn’t stay still, and the lighting wasn’t very good. Both this, and the one above, were taken with the same “very nice” camera.

Take more than one
If you’ve ever watched a professional photographer at work, you will notice they take alot of pictures. That’s, in part, because there are many ways a photo can go wrong – someone blinks, adjusts their hair or the photographer moves. To help ensure you will get at least one good shot, take more than one photo. (A good rule of thumb is the bigger the group of people, the more photos you should take).

Look for your logo
At the recent 4th of July parade in downtown Natick, I positioned myself across the street from MutualOne Bank’s downtown office, allowing me to include their logo in almost every photograph.

Photo tip - Bright light

Mr. Markey in front of MutualOne Bank’s Natick office.

Protect children
Children can make for great photo opportunities, but be careful about when and how you utilize images of children – even if you are taking pictures in public.

Lots of children, but because I was behind them, we were able to avoid potential complaints.

Standing behind the group allowed me to take photos of children without revealing any identities.

Bright sunlight created a deep shadow but actually "hides" my daughter's identity.

Bright sunlight created a deep shadow but actually “hides” my daughter’s identity.

Looking for more tips? Check out these blogs from PC Magazine and Life Hacker. You can see more of my experiments with my own camera on Google+.