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Photographs are an extremely effective medium for getting a message across.  However, the image chosen has to speak to your audience, not just to yourself.  It has to be relevant as well as powerful.  A great way to obtain the right photograph is to take it yourself.  Here are some hints to keep in mind.

    Know what you wish to express before you take the photograph--donít sit back and wait for inspiration to hit you.

    Capture the inherent qualities of your subject matter, including drama, mood and emotions.

    People tend to be better subjects than backgrounds.  Zoom in when appropriate and crop out non-essential elements.  Make use of the viewfinder to best frame your subject.

    Donít ask people to pose.  Catch them doing something natural, as that is how the more exciting photographs are taken.  People tend to feel less comfortable upon being confronted with the camera.

    Consider your light source.  Dramatic contrast can be best had in early morning or late afternoon light.  It can also be enhanced with filters when printing.

    Understand and research your equipment thoroughly, including your lens and film.

    Use angles as a means of expression.  Note: shooting from a low angle gives the illusion of power.  Photographing from above produces an opposite effect.

    Observe.  Take note of styles and strategies employed in photographs that you find successful.

    Photograph as often as possible.  Practice makes perfect and increases your chances of obtaining that perfect photo.  The more shots you take, the more likely youíll capture the right moment.

    Remember that its better to have one fabulous photo in your publication than five mediocre ones.


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