1. The word photography comes from the Greek word for light. Photography literally means the study of light. Taking a photo is more than pointing and clicking. You must ask yourself, which side of the subject is lit more? Where does the shadow fall? Where is the sun? If you remember nothing else, remember that photography is about light.
2. When photographing people, ensure the eyes are clear and well lit.
3. Digital cameras and their rather poor monitors do not always allow you to see whether your subject’s in focus. Ensure your image is clear and truly in focus.
4. Think before you shoot. What are you trying to communicate?
5. Capture movement when you can. Static photos are just plain boring. Even a simple portrait can communicate emotion, intensity and action.
6. Travel with your camera manual and flip through it periodically. Today’s cameras have all kinds of complex features, and it’s nearly impossible to remember them all. As you become familiar with a feature and it becomes second nature, you can move on to learn a new one.
7. Change your perspective. Get on your knees, climb into a tree, or stand on the roof of your car. If you’re not sweating, you’re not working hard enough to take good photos.
8. Patience is critical. Sometimes you have to wait for the inevitable – a child to fall asleep in her mother’s arms, or that wonderful hug between two old friends. These are the moments we cherish. Think about what’s going to happen that day and the shot you just don’t want to miss.
9. Look for colour. The use of colour helps make us feel happy, while its absence creates an atmosphere of bleakness. Both have legitimate places in your image. Ask yourself what you’re trying to communicate?
10, Respect the culture. Ensure your subjects are willing participants. It’s not always practical to have them sign release forms - maybe they can’t read! But ensure they’re willing partners since a photo documents a relationship - a contract between you and those being photographed. Your images will be far more meaningful when you have a relationship, even though it may be fleeting.
And…most of all, be genuine when interacting with your subjects, and have fun.