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Love to take pictures? Now's your time to shine! Not your thing? That's okay, too. Our School Needs isn't a photo competition - it's about showing the world that your school really needs something. Of course, a nice picture, one that "tells a story," can help you make your case.
Yesterday, I offered some basic tips on writing an essay. Many of the same concepts of writing apply to photography. You want to make sure you capturing the: who, what, where, and when. You're telling a story in one picture frame, but like the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words."
When it comes to taking great pictures, there are a few ticks of the trade:
Make a list of the things that might help you tell your story. If you're asking for a new science lab, you might want to take pictures of what the lab looks like now. On your list, you might want to include: beakers, Bunsen burners, tables, safety goggles, your chemistry teacher, and so forth. If you're trying to tell a story about something that's hard to capture in a picture, like a smelly locker room, try "staging" a shot that demonstrates that something smells bad (a student holding their nose and making a gross-looking face, for example).
Don't forget to make sure everyone who appears in your photos is okay with having their picture on the Our School Needs website.
Whatever your subject, take a lot of pictures. Professional photographers can take hundreds of shots of one subject, but may only use one or two of those photos. Move around and take pictures from a variety of angles. Play around with the light. Is the room really bright? Dim the overhead lights and use natural light. Don't take a bunch of pictures from the exact same location or of the same subject.
Include everyday objects in your pictures to help people understand how big or small something is. Want people to understand how small your speech lab is? Put a bunch of students in it. Have three swings for an entire school? Show a "waiting" line.
Pick the three to five pictures that you feel best tells your story. If your school needs new computers, your photos should not just show old computers, but how those old computers are negatively affecting students.
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