Do you have to take photographs of people for your press releases or news stories? Do you wish that they were better? Well here is a step-by-step guide to how to make your images more creative.

Before setting off

Make sure you have set up your camera properly, that you have charged the batteries, that the resolution is set correctly, the lens is clean and that you have enough space on the memory card.

On location

Greet your subject enthusiastically. Explain what you want and what they will be used for – this shows you have pre-thought about what you are doing. Ask them how much time they have. Explain what you want to take and tell them what you want to do. Ask them if there are any really good locations available. If you have an idea for a shot, really push it. More details please

Setting up the shot

Always get a “safe” shot first. If it is about an individual, get a good head and shoulders shot using the telephoto setting on your camera. Take 5-10 to get a good one. Talk to your subject while you are doing it. Ask them what they do, do they like it, praise them a bit. Don’t say: “I’m a rubbish photographer – I hope they come out!”

Check the images you have taken and zoom in to check. Once you have the safe shot you can be a bit more creative. Don’t leave until you have the shot you want. Here are some ideas.

Some ideas for more creativity

  • Use props – if someone is going around the world take a small globe, if they won a golf tournament get them to bring golf clubs.
  • If someone has won something, get the people behind to clap and cheer – they can’t normally clap and look miserable and it gives them something to focus on.
  • Use both wide angle and telephoto effects to give a range of images Use locations – stairwells are good, buildings too.
  • Look for greenery. Or what about windows? Stand on a chair, crouch down low. Get them to look over their shoulder, look up, look down, anything but the boring shot.
  • Take them to the market if it is a story about marketing, market conditions. Use a car if it is about car insurance. You get the idea.
  • If shooting large groups you must take control. Get them in a semi-circle, smallest at the front, largest at the rear. Get them to say something that ends in an “eee” sound, such as “Smelly Cheese”.
  • Get in close – especially if shooting for the intranet. Don’t worry if they say they hate having their picture taken – everyone says that!
  • Take them away from their colleagues – they will be less embarrassed. Don’t finish until you are happy you have the shot you need.

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