If you are taking photographs that include or feature people, some basics to remember:

  1. Light your subject. This can be done outdoors by remembering to have the sun behind you (not behind your subject, causing their face to be in shadow), or indoors by using any common office or household lamp as your light source. 
  2. Pay attention to the background. How many times has a great vacation image been ruined because there is a palm tree or lamp post accidentally coming out of the person’s head?  Look at the entire frame.
  3. You are the photographer and therefore the “director.”  Do not be afraid to “direct” the action.  Feel free to ask people to change position, smile or look at the camera.  Most people are not accustomed to “posing” and therefore appreciate the direction you will give them.
  4. Get closer.  A common problem is being too far away from the subject for the viewer to be able to “see” them in a way that allows a connection.  Getting closer to a subject may feel unnatural at first.  This takes time – practice!
  5. Move around your subject. There may be an angle that you had not considered which will better convey your message.  You are not locked in to a single “shot” just because it seemed like a good idea when you began the shoot.  Be flexible – sometimes you “find” the image simply by moving around.
  6. Try several ideas.  This may provide a “eureka” moment when you eventually pair your image with your text and/or your chart.  A particular image may suddenly bring your concept to life in an unexpected way.
  7. Set your camera for the highest resolution.  If you think you might wind up taking that award winning shot that should be blown up to poster size, make sure that your camera is set to at least 1600 x 1200 (pixels).  Consult your camera manual for details on how to do this if you’re unsure.