How to Be a Good Photographer

Lesson Twenty-Two

In our most recent Chalk Talks, we have shared ways to be a good journalist and designer.  A central part of a memorable yearbook, however, is the photographs.  Good photos are essential in telling your school’s story.  Whether you are using a professional camera with all the bells and whistles, or you’re using a smartphone to take your photos, these tips are foundational to shooting a quality photo.

  • Be prepared. Make a list of all the events you plan to photograph and know where/when they are taking place.  Check that your phone/camera has plenty of battery and memory before you head off to take some amazing pictures!
  • Take multiple photos.  Even if you think you have the perfect shot, take several more photos. It may take more time to sort through and choose the perfect photo, but you will be glad that you have so many to choose from.
  • Shoot from several different angles.  Crouch down on the ground or climb to the top of the stairwell to make your photos more interesting.  Experiment with several different angles to make your photos more dynamic than the typical straight-on photo.
  • Follow the rule of thirds.  Rather than centering the subject of your photo, look through your viewfinder or screen and mentally divide the image into thirds both vertically and horizontally.  Then, center the subject on any of the intersecting lines, as shown belowRule of Thirds
  • Capture emotion.  Group images and posed photos have their place, but candid images are more impactful.  Rather than taking a picture of the football team posing with their state championship trophy, capture the moment where they were cheering excitedly after scoring the winning touchdown.
  • Practice, practice, practice!  Take pictures wherever the opportunity presents itself.  Practice at home with your family or at your little sibling’s soccer game; get familiar with your camera so that you’ll spend more time capturing the perfect shot and less time figuring out how to change the settings.  

We hope these tips help you create a yearbook with memorable, quality photos. For more yearbook inspiration, follow us on Pinterest.