Ten top tips for taking photographs

    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.

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    Mark Drinkwater is a community worker and occasional freelance photographer in Southwark, south London

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