So you’ve been bought a digital camera for Christmas – now what? Mark Drinkwater shares his tips for making the most of your photographs:
· Try to place people in context. This documentary style image I shot was then used as part of the campaign to stop the closure of the Maudsley hospital’s emergency psychiatric unit.
· When photographing people take a number of shots in case they blink or grimace.
· Some occasions are easier to photograph than others. Choose photogenic events like carnivals and fairs.
· At events try to shoot a photo-story to capture the spirit of the day.
· Vary your photos as much as possible by shooting from low viewpoints or unusual angles.
· If possible, choose a sunny day as pictures tend to look better in sunshine, so check the weather forecast before setting out.
· Be bold and get in close to your subjects to capture details and expressions.
· Always ask permission from your subject, and if it’s for publication ask for permission to publish it.
· If publishing pictures of children, consider using photos of them having their faces painted as these are more anonymous and also make more interesting images.
· Photographs don’t have to feature people to tell a story – they could be more abstract like this image I took for a suicide awareness project with the Institute of Psychiatry last year.
Photography and mental health: a relationship kick-started by Hugh Welch Diamond
Mark Drinkwater is a community worker and occasional freelance photographer in Southwark, south London