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10 tips for when you can't justify a professional photographer

Jun 02, 2015

At some stage, most schools have needed to photograph a key event but could not justify getting a professional photographer who may charge a full day’s rate for the shoot.

So here are 10 top tips to help you when you have to do it yourself.

  1. Ensure you capture at least one ‘money shot’, the image that can be used to summarise the whole event and would sit underneath the Headline in your news section.
  2. If your school has quite old cameras but you have a relatively new phone then use the camera on it. An iPhone 5 or 6 will often give better shots than a five year old compact camera.
  3. Don’t ‘machine gun’ the event by taking countless photos. Even just ten good imagesis better than 100 poor images. Think more, shoot less.
  4. Step closer to the action. When the image is reduced in size in the news section of your website you need to be able to see the detail of what’s happening.
  5. Step away from the action too. You need at least one picture that shows the scale of the event. These can also be great ‘banner’ shots on your website.
  6. Step down to your subject, especially with children. Adults usually take photographs of children from their standing position of 6ft high. Bend your knees, crouch down, get to the child’s height and shoot from there. The differences will be instant.
  7. Turn the flash off. It kills the atmosphere and alerts your subject that you’re taking photographs (which is really bad if you’re after natural photos).
  8. Delete the bad photos afterwards. Everyone has some ‘duff’ photos. Don’t keep them all. Be ruthless.
  9. Back up, back up, back up. That doesn’t mean ‘transfer to a hard drive and use the card again’. It means keeping another copy somewhere safe, preferably off-site.
  10. Where you can, move right back and then zoom in. Your subjects will look slimmer and more flattering.
Bonjour School Photography has worked with hundreds of UK schools (state and independent) since 2004 producing high quality images for school marketing purposes such as websites and prospectuses. For more information call 020 7858 2246 or visit
Simon Jones
Bonjour School Photography

Category: Minerva blogs

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