Good Photography

Taking Good Pictures

Photographs can add interest and visual appeal to press releases and news stories. However, a key to visual appeal is that a photo is high in quality. By submitting a quality photograph to a newspaper, it increases the chances of it getting published and it will have more impact on readers. Before submitting a photo to a newspaper, assess its quality by following the suggestions below.

Qualities of a Good Photo

To capture the attention of editors and readers, a photo needs to have certain qualities:

  1. The photo needs to have a direct connection to the subject of a press release or article.
  2. When taking photos of people, try not to stage them-capture their activity by keeping the photo natural.
  3. The photo must have a clear focal point without many distractions in the rest of the photo. In other words, keep it simple-do not try to include too many subjects in the photo.
  4. Submit clear identification of the picture’s subject(s).
  5. In most cases, faces in a photograph should appear at least the size of a dime.
  6. Take unique poses of subjects, but make sure a subject is identifiable.

What to Avoid

There are many ways that a photo can be considered bad. Here are a few tips of what to avoid:

  1. Make sure the picture is not blurry.
  2. Try not to have too much background or too many distractions in the photo.
  3. Make sure something is not graphically coming out of the subjects’ head. For example,pictures that are taken outdoors often have trees in the background and many times branches appear coming out of the subjects’ head.
  4. Photos with scratches and other permanent marks cannot be used unless the blemishes can be cropped.
  5. There are certain poses that should be avoided because they have been overused in the past: * The subject receiving a check or an award while smiling at the camera. Use a mug shot of the person or capture him/her doing something. * The subject posing behind his/her desk. Capture him/her doing something.

Have fun taking and submitting photos of your church functions. However, keep in mind the basic components of a good quality photo. If you have a poor quality photo, sometimes it can be fixed by cropping. For example, if the picture has too much background or has a scratch near the edge, it can easily be cropped. Provide some brief suggestions to your newspaper if you want your photo cropped or altered in any way.