We’ve tried to put together 10 crucial photo tips which should help you any given day, shooting any given subject. Do use this as a reference as often as you need to.

10 Important Photography Tips for Designers
Photo Credit

1. Watch that Background – Sometimes the background is more important than the subject, but usually a cluttered background is nothing but a distraction. If shooting portraits, a plain background like a wall would work best.

2. Shoot in Natural Light – Well, when you can use natural light, don’t use the flash. Sunlight is naturally diffused and softer – and it works much better for photography than a blast of flat, cold flash lighting.

3. Using Flash Outdoors – If the outside light is simply TOO harsh, try using a flash and see what happens! Usually this works well to darken the sky a little bit. I know this sounds ironic, but the reason is – the camera requires no more than a quick shutter speed of say 1/250 sec to capture the scene with a flash…thereby darkening everything that is out of flash range. Try it!

4. Know Your Gear – Every camera is a little different, every flash has a different range. To shoot like a maser it is crucial that you know every little detail about your equipment. How else would you get complete control over the photo taking process? Shooting on an important day with a new camera is like a hunter heading out for his prize game with a new rifle!

5. Get Close to your Subject – Move in to get a tight crop, and this usually enhances any composition. This works well for most images, but when shooting portraits don’t get so close that the image begins to get distorted. Distortions are more apparent with focal lengths of less than 50mm.

6. DON’T Center the Subject – Try and resist the urge to center the subject. Psychology speaking, it is much more interesting to the mind to have the subject just a bit off-center.

7. Shooting Vertically – There is nothing wrong with shooting vertically, but you need to know when and why! If your subject is taller than it is wide (for example a tall building or a person you plan to shoot full-length), shoot vertically by all means. If not, your image could look a little uninspiring.

8. Shoot Candid – Candid photographs usually make much better memoirs than posed ones. While a few posed images are fine, do try and get as many candid images as you can with your family and friends.

9. LOOK at Everything in Detail – Look out for reflective surfaces if you are using a flash. This can ruin the feel of a a photograph. A good photographer should be able to ‘see’ the photograph in the mind before pressing the shutter. The father of landscape photography Ansel Adams termed this as the ‘visualization’ process.

10. Shoot More than you NEED – In the digital age, there is no reason for you NOT to shoot as much as you want to. It is far better to get multiple exposures of the same subject and then choose the best out of a handful of images, than to be left wanting. So make sure you have adequate memory – always carry extra memory cards in your camera bag.

Posted by brantwilson

Brant Wilson is a staff writer for the DesignMag network. Brant enjoys all things design and development, dogs, and candy. Brant is passionate about training freelancers. Learn how you can earn $125+ freelancing. Start learning for free now! Connect with Brant on google+


  1. I’d say these are not just great tips for designers, but for everyone with a camera. I know from my own experience, tip No. 6 works, yet everyone I know always centres the target. When I suggest an offset, they look at me as if I have two heads…



  2. I’ll add a few quick tips to this great list:

    1. When shooting outdoors (natural light), you can use your flash to “fill in” some darker areas of your subject (lighten up the faces or reduce shadows).

    2. Also, when you do have to deal with an unattractive or overly cluttered background, just open up your aperture to reduce the depth of field. This will keep your subject in focus but blur the background and hopefully give you a nice bokeh.



  3. How often are candids used by designers?
    Flash in daylight is used to fill in the shadows – much more useful than dark skies.

    Close in wid(ish) angle portraits are very much in demand at the moment.

    This is just a bunch of generic tips for point and shoot cameras. If it
    were designer oriented reference should be made to the following:

    Shoot both landscape and portrait – portrait orientation tends to be the most useful in design.

    Shoot object or person with fill flash against the sky if possible and overexpose slightly. This will give a ready made white background – much more useful to designers – always a good extra shot to have.

    If the designer is going to be doing a lot of their own photography it may well be worth investing in Adobe Lightroom and a 3/4 dSLR. Point and Shoots are great for certain conditions but even a basic dSLR will really increase the creative possibilities.

    The most important tip though, is that doing your own photography if you are not a photographer will affect the quality of the final design. Exactly the same as if a photographer attempted design at a professional level – it would be inferior. An acceptable compromise would be a serious amateur. An understanding of the basics is essential.


  4. Great tips, especially “Shoot in Natural Light” – some of my best shots were naturally lit.


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