Rebecca Hume on Big Duck gives 10 tips on how to take high quality photographs for your organisation that can be used for your marketing and fundraising purposes. Here’s a re-phrased summary:
1. Think beyond events.
Photos of the day-to-day events that explain what you’re really about are more important than those of your annual gala dinner.
2. Be prepared – but not too prepared.
Give people warning that you are going to be taking photos, but ask them not to dress or do anything out of the ordinary.
3. Don’t say ‘cheese’.
Take candid photos that show realistic situations – not cheesy, false smiles and poses.
4. Consider the details.
Pay attention to lighting, positioning, distracting backgrounds, inappropriate slogans on clothing, sponsors logos, or anything else which might make the photo unattractive or unusable for publicity purposes.
5. Get close.
Focus on specific people or interactions. What you may lose in context you will gain in facial expressions and body language. Think creatively – close-ups of hands or of objects related to your work can be evocative.
6. Shoot lots of frames.
With digital cameras there are virtually no limits, so snap away merrily. Better 10 duds and one winner than no decent photo to show for your efforts.
7. Embrace colour.
Always shoot in colour. You can always convert an image to black & white or other funky effects later.
8. Use high resolution.
Resolution refers to the number of little dots or pixels that make up a photographic image. The higher the resolution, the larger you can use the image with it still looking crisp. Use a camera (not your phone) and set it to the highest resolution (e.g. Superfine). You can always compress a photo later to reduce the size, but if the original photo has a low resolution then it can’t be ‘photoshopped’ to improve quality.
9. Always get permission.
Legally, you need signed model releases from everyone in your photos before you can use them on your materials. It's best to get permission before the shoot rather than after.
10. Take your camera everywhere.
Keep your eyes peeled for photo opps. Photos can be used for grant applications, slideshows for events, office artwork, as well as for publicity and promotion.