7 Tips to Take the Perfect Picture

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a smartphone is held in front of a busy building to take a picture

Photos are easy to take these days – pull out the smartphone and you can get a fairly high-resolution image. However, simply taking a high-resolution picture is not enough to ensure a successful photograph. In order to create a beautiful, memorable photograph that can be used in your content marketing, follow these tips.


1. Find a Subject

What is the picture going to be? Even if you’re trying to get a shot of an entire setting, pick something to be the primary focal point. Whether it is a person, object, or location, be sure to set up the photograph with the subject matter as the center of attention.


2. Focus

A picture isn’t useful if it’s blurry and fuzzy. Make sure you focus on the main subject by tapping your phone screen over your subject, then take the photo for a crisp, clear shot. If you can, place the camera on a tripod or on a flat surface to minimize shaking, and then take the photo. 


3. Choose a Good Background

Look beyond your focal point to make sure your background is ideal and clear of unwanted items. Are there garbage cans behind your subject? Strange activity? Ugly signage? Make sure you don’t have anything in the picture that could potentially ruin it.  


4. Use the Right Lighting

Light is the key to all photography. If you can, position your subjects as close to a light source as possible (outside or by a window work great, no fancy equipment needed). However, don’t place your subject in front of a light—backlit subjects are difficult to see clearly and cameras often cannot pick up sharp details in these situations. Similarly, you want to avoid placing subjects in strong light that would cast harsh shadows over their faces. For a bright, sunny day, place your subjects in the shade, but without a bright background. In situations with low ambient light, use flash to illuminate the subject.


5. Know Its Purpose

For example, if you plan to use the image on your website homepage, will you want it to be vertical or horizontal? Are there words covering the image on one side? If that’s the case, you’ll want the main focus of the image to be on the other side. 


6. Capture Interesting Moments

It’s easy to take a picture of a highlighted guest while he or she is giving a speech, but then you have the perpetual “microphone-in-the-face” shot. Try to get pictures of that individual interacting with people or listening intently to someone else. While it’s also good to have the posed shots, sometimes the better picture comes after that pose is finished, when the people return to their natural state and behavior. These can often be more genuine and compelling.


7. Avoid Over-Editing

Using filters is only effective if the image is good to begin with. Don’t try to compensate for a mediocre picture by over-tweaking the photo’s properties. If possible, shoot in RAW format (as opposed to other file formats)for more flexibility during post-processing. Edit minimally for small enhancements, but let the moment of the photo speak for itself.


(Image courtesy of Angela Compagnone via Unsplash)