Nine tips for taking a better photo

Everybody uses photos, whether for a report, website, or other marketing materials. Photos are a great way to capture a moment, summarise a message, or make your mark as a organisation. As an ex-professional photographer, it bothers me to see the same mistakes being made all the time when a photo has potential.

So here’s a few tips for getting better photos:

  1. Invest in a camera. A £100 camera will take better photos than any phone.
  2. Make sure the picture is straight and level.
  3. Try to have a clear background. Make sure there aren’t any trees/poles/anything else sticking out from people’s heads!
  4. Hold the camera close to you. It will help prevent the camera from shaking.
  5. Try to avoid using flash indoors – it creates a harsh light that isn’t flattering.
  6. When using a photo in a document etc., always keep the aspect ratio correct when resizing. I have seen many reports where the subjects look like aliens with distorted heads! For example, if you’re using Word, this means dragging the corner handle to resize, which keeps the same proportions. In other programs, you might need to hold Shift while resizing instead.
  7. Take a few minutes to understand what the buttons on the camera do.
  8. When taking group shots, always take five or six photos each time. You’ll be surprised at how many people blink at the wrong time!
  9. Always keep your batteries charged!

And remember, a good photo will communicate much more than any number of words.

Photo: FaithAction’s new staff members in May, by Martin Smith