Common myths about photo use debunked
It’s okay to use anything that’s online as long as I give credit. FALSE
It’s okay to use something if I asked for permission and didn’t get a response. FALSE
It’s okay to use the image if don’t know / can’t determine who took the photo. FALSE
It’s okay to use anything as long as I’m not making any money off of it. FALSE
Every story needs an image. FALSE
5 Tips for making better images (Click on the link below for more explanation!)
- Drop the mic!
- Get up in there!
- Shoot a lot, like, SO MUCH
- Change your perspective
- Patience is a virtue
Tips for making storytelling portraits (it's not just a headshot)
- Look for a clean and simple background
- Don’t forget to focus on the subject’s face
- Natural light is your best friend!
Protip: While it’s great to have them stand near windows, don’t have them stand in front of the window — you want the light to brighten them, but not overpower or silhouette them.
Protip: If you can avoid it, don’t use the on-phone flash. The light can be very harsh, and can be difficult to work around when you’re trying to tone the photo.
- Try photographing the person from different distances
Protip: Get close — try to frame them from the waist up, and include their whole head / limbs.
Protip: Alternately, back up — give us a sense of the characters in the context of the space (both inside and outside), and visually answer questions like, “How large is this place? How do these characters interact with the space and each other? Where are we geographically? How might this look different compared to what readers might think?” These types of images are called “environmental portraits” because they show us a person in the context of their environment, whether that’s a neighborhood or their home.
- Have some creative input on the scene
Protip: Put the subject at ease — talk to them about what they are doing, how their day is going, or whatever else to get them in the zone. How comfortable they are with you will come across in the picture. Just try to avoid taking all of your photos while the person is talking — it helps to just keep shooting, and wait for natural pauses in conversation.
- Smiling faces are not always appropriate for the story
Other useful photo links: