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Tips Regarding Taking Good Photos

1) Try to have bright light sources behind you (e.g. the sun). Make sure your shadow is not in the picture frame.

2) Try to use soft late afternoon or early morning natural light for outdoor photos. Also, use the fill flash for close up photos where shadows may be present. If you are photographing a building make sure all outside decorative lights are on and cars are not blocking the view. Sometimes, with a smaller shop it's nice to get members of the staff out in front for a group shot. If so, put them in the foreground close to the camera. Always try to hold the camera steady for clear shots.

3) Use tight shots of people or products - preferably both - to show detail. Wide shots rarely show enough detail to be interesting. Try to show people using a product or service. (e.g. a client getting a hair cut in a barber's shop. Don't show an empty chair unless you are trying to sell the chair!

4) Always use the fill flash when taking photos inside. Vary the angle of the photo to ease hot spots. Try to have bold colors and good contrast in the photos. Turn on every lamp and overhead light you can find. Most importantly, make sure the focal point of the photo has the most light. If there is a bright light next to your subject the camera will lock in on the light source and under expose the subject. If the light is pointing at the subject it's probably OK.

5) When inside make sure bright windows are behind you. If not take the photo after dark.

6) Take candid shots of people involved in the product or service. This makes a page more interesting. Why do you think magazine ads are full of professional models using products? Also, try to get the workers involved in the photos. Make it interesting! If you use customers who happen to be in the store let them know what the photos are for - get their permission.

7) Take some extra photos. The number will depend on the conditions and the subject matter. For example if you're taking an outside photo and have a beautiful blue sky with white clouds take some extra photos. You may not have another opportunity with ideal conditions. Likewise, if you're taking indoor shots and have a perfect model handy take some extra shots to insure she didn't blink. Few photographers get every photo perfect every time out.

8) Learn to use the LCD screen on your camera to screen photos. Understand it is not perfect but do use it to gage framing and subject matter. In general, if the photo looks great in preview and has good light, contrast and colors it will be ok on a webpage. If it looks a little dark in preview it will be very dark enlarged.

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