Using photos to tell a story

taking-photos

A photo can generate a lot of interest in your story. In fact, it can draw people in that would never otherwise stop and read what you wrote. It can also add dimension to your story and be used to add emphasis.

Photos are worth a 1000 words when they are done right. Pay attention to what you say with them.

Since most of us can’t hire a professional photographer for every article we write, what can we do to create better photos on our own?

One of the simplest things you can do is keep your camera with you. When you are out walking around or traveling, use that opportunity to snap interesting pictures. They can be backgrounds or items that spark an interest. Build a photo bank. You never know when a photo of a steaming cup of coffee will be just the one you need.

Learning how to shoot people can also make your photos more interesting. Begin by shooting at eye level with your subject. Then you can play around with other angles. Read up on posing. There are poses that make your subject appear authoritative and some that don’t. Make sure you are conveying the right tone with your subject. Make sure you don’t back them up against a wall. You’ll have problems with shadows behind their head. Move them at least 5 feet out from it.

Your phone is a great resource for snapping photos. However if you want better quality or higher resolution pictures you’ll need to invest in a good camera. An affordable choice is the Cannon Rebel. There’s lots of versions depending on the amount of money you’d like to invest. This option gives you lots of ways to adjust your image when shooting. If you need more light, consider increasing the ISO and turning off your flash.

Bracket the shots. That means take more than one using several different settings. This will give you a lot of options at press time. Don’t be afraid to shoot outside of the “automatic” mode. You’ll be surprised at how your images improve.

Finally, don’t just use a photo to take up space. It’s confusing to readers if the image or images doesn’t add anything to the story. Make sure the photos you pick answer at least 3 of the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where or why).

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