Tips for Taking Better Photos for the Website

As we prepare for our new website, great photos and videos will be necessary to keep visitors engaged with all the content we have to share.  To that extent, we invite parishioners to get out their smart phones and start taking photos of parish life.   We will also be using some of these photos in social media such as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so quality photos will be in demand.
Now here are some quick tips/reminders for getting the best shots for our website:
Hold the camera steady.  This may seem like a no-brainer but we have come across too many photos that are blurry, not because of the camera being out of focus, but because of the phone shaking.   The best advice we can offer to avoid camera shake (at least for iphone users but a similar option most likely exists for Samsung as well) is to use the volume up button to snap the photo so you can continue holding the phone steadily and not have to press the screen.
Vary between portrait and landscape shots.
Our natural tendency is to take portrait shots so learn to vary from portrait to landscape more frequently.   Landscape photos can spread easily across a page or can more easily be cropped for front page slides and banners.
Mail the photo in Actual Size.
Some mail clients reduce the size of photos so that they can be sent more quickly via email. Ensure that your mail client is sending the photo in actual size…usually 1 to 3 mb in size.  This is essential for quality photos across varying sized monitors, pads etc.
Slide the exposure meter to brighten (or darken) images (for iphone)
If an image is too blown out or underexposed for your liking, you can fix it before snapping the picture by adjusting the yellow exposure slider next to the focus square.  Just tap once on the focus square and exposure slider, then use the sun icon to increase your exposure by sliding upward, or decrease exposure by sliding downward.
Tap on the screen to improve focus before taking the shot
For iphone users the quick way to get a subject into focus is to tap the spot on the screen where you want to focus.  Sometimes this may change the lighting as well so you will have to experiment but when you tap on or around the area of the subject you will see that you can improve your focus.  Then take the picture.
Use the grid
Both iphone and Samsung have the option to turn on the grid lines.  This helps you to line up your photographs expertly and is very useful for following the rule of thirds in your photo taking.    Start practicing this option and the composition of your photographs will look like the pros!
Happy picture taking!