Correspondents, It was a great pleasure speaking with you via the conference calls this morning. It was brought up during the first call that some of you would like to take pictures to accompany your articles. That is great!!

Below you will find some tips and tricks about news photography that will be helpful to you. One IMPORTANT word of caution, before you take someone's picture be sure you have their permission. And if you photograph children, be sure to have a signed release from a parent authorizing you to do so.

Photojournalism in Brief

Composing a Photo Some photos will be shot impromptu and will be beautiful regardless of informal set up. We encourage that type of photo. But here are few basics to make sure the photos are composed well. Remember a photograph is a message. It should convey a statement or an emotion. Here are few tips to make sure that we produce some great photojournalism to go along with our journalism.

Rule #1: Take Lots of Pictures There is no limit to the number of pictures you can take. Sometimes the right moment for a photo comes along only once, so click away while you have the opportunity!

Rule #2:Choose a Strong Focal Point It is usually best to have one main subject as the focal point because a photograph can successfully tell only one story. Even if the focal point is small, it can be given prominence by composing empty space around it.

Rule #3: Try out different vantage points When taking photographs, try to vary your vantage point in order to give an potentially ordinary object a unique composition. Try taking a picture from the ground, looking up. Or stand on something high and take the picture looking down. Get a close up of something tiny to make it look large.

Rule #4: Look for colors, shapes, and light When choosing a subject, first look for color. Firey red, calming blue, natural green, foreboding black. Remember to also look for contrast. A light subject will have more impact if placed against a dark background and vice versa. Contrasting colors may be used for emphasis, but can become distracting if not considered carefully. Next look at the shapes. Soft curves, hard edges, sweeping lines. Light is one of the most important elements of photography. Always make sure that there is enough light to get a good image on the camera. After that, look for more subtle lighting elements, like shades and shadows, shifting intensities of tone and hues.

I hope this helps and I look forward to seeing your images!


Comment on this Post


Hi Cristi, unfortunately I couldn't make the conference call but I have some Qs about photojournalism or should i just say as it applies to using photos in our articles. I would like to use some pictures from recent elections in Nigeria. I found most on the internet, duplicated on different websites. How can I track the original photographer to obtain permission. Is it necessary? Can I just acknowledge if I can't reach the person? I would love to take my own pictures but there won't be any elections within the next few weeks.

My capacity is so built!! I love photos and these are great tips. I used them for my article. It's great when you take so may and chose one... you get the best in the end!!


Regards, Stella Ndugire Mbugua

Community Champion - sub Saharan Africa group