The importance of images in all forms of marketing has never been more pronounced than it is right now. Images in social media get more attention than copy alone. Images on the page and on the screen can do wonders to break up monotonous copy and keep the reader engaged.
At the same time, I’m the worst at remembering to take photos to use in my blog posts and in social media.
I’m marketing chair for a local membership organization. Every quarter we churn out a newsletter for our membership filled with great content about our work and that of our grantees. And for every newsletter, I wish desperately for more eye catching photos.
To that end, I’ve asked one of our members who is also a professional on the subject, to share her pointers for our members. She said I could also share these tips with you (Thanks, Diane!):
TIPS FOR VOLUNTEER PHOTOGRAPHERS
By: Diane Ronayne Writing/Editing/Photography, Boise.
1. Your photographs should be clear, sharp and in focus, and properly exposed for the lighting situation. This means you must learn how to operate your camera and know its limitations before the event.
2. Ideally, you will be invited to photograph the event by the event chair, who will tell you what to expect there, who to deliver your images to, what size and resolution they should be, and the delivery deadline. Notified ahead of time, you will come to the event prepared to take photos, with your camera battery charged and lots of space available on the memory card.
3. Plan to arrive a few minutes before the event is scheduled to begin. Ask the event chair what specific images he/she wants, where the action will happen and when. Save a yourself a seat or stand where you have a clear line of vision to the subject. If it is a speaker at a microphone, place yourself where the mic won’t be between you and your subject.
4. As you consider the scene, first photograph from a distance (include the large group and environment of the event), then move in to get close-ups of the individual people or activities. Also look for details that “tell the story” (a sign listing speakers, a lapel button, etc.) and capture interactions between people. If someone notices you and asks you to take their photo, oblige them, getting close enough to read their nametag. Try to take enough pictures that everyone present at the event is in at least one, but be sure to photograph the event chair, organization leaders and other VIPs.
5. For posed images (such as award presentations), get the award and everyone’s head in one photo; take two or three photos of each presentation. When photographing a large group, ask subjects to turn slightly toward the center and move in toward each other. Be sure you can see the entire face of everyone in the photo before you release the shutter. Again, make several images of each group pose.
6. Always run your eye around the outside of the frame before you press the shutter release, so you notice and can eliminate distracting or unimportant objects in the background.
7. Usually, closer is better. Every time you are ready to make a picture, take at least one big step closer to your subject. Move around the event so you get different angles on the activities.
8. Digital cameras can operate in very low light, but to maximize image quality, place the subject in the best light available and use the lowest ASA setting you can (1800 ASA indoor shots may be pixilated, but that may be preferable to flash images that wash out the subject. Try both if you have time.) Also, set your camera image quality as high as possible (the largest MB size). Shut off red-eye protection; it costs you a split-second and you may lose the image you wanted to capture.
9. Smartphone cameras may be used to make informal “selfies” or images to post immediately (during the event) to Facebook or other social media, but should not be used in place of a digital camera to record important events. A smartphone cannot create a high-resolution image that can be used to print on paper.
10. As soon as possible after the event, download your images, edit those you want to give to the organization and deliver them to the appropriate person by email or on a thumb drive or CD. Identify the event, organization, date and your initials on the email/CD and in the caption of each image.