Tips for taking better pictures: Avoiding Common Mistakes
A few tips to help you avoid the most common mistakes when taking pictures.
Know your camera!
- Every camera is different and it is essential that you check your camera settings before you begin, or your photographs might be unusable.
- Take time to get to know your camera’s settings. Wrong settings and mistakes are hard to see on the small camera screen.
- Take time to view test images on a computer screen before you go out.
- Set your camera to maximum quality (large file) setting. You can’t make a small file larger!
Know your subject!
- Think about your subject. What are you trying to take a photograph of?
- Ask yourself if your subject is interesting and relevant to what you are trying to say.
- When photographing for NGOs, remember to include people in your photographs.
- Avoid photographing meetings!
- Focus on your subject and simplify your background (see Composition Tips for more information on this)
- How you hold the camera will affect the quality of your photographs.
- Whenever possible move your body closer to your subject instead of using the camera’s zoom feature.
- Stand stable when taking a picture, especially in low light.
- Keep the camera still and hold with a steady grip.
- Use a tripod when photographing in in very low light or at night.
* Adapted from the Save the Children Photography Field Guide