Photo Guide for USAID Partners

Speeches Shim

GENERAL TIPS FOR CAPTURING VISUAL CONTENT

PLAN AHEAD.

Partners are encouraged to hire a professional photographer. Make sure to consult with USAID Development Outreach and Communications Specialists (DOCs) early about what they would like photographed or filmed. Think about what visuals will help meet USAID’s communications objectives. Plan on visiting the site in the morning and in the afternoon to see how the sunlight enhances the photo. Arrive at a site a few minutes early to walk through where you might stand to take your photos and find unique vantage points (can you take a photo from a window on the second floor?).

BRING CONSENT FORMS.

Consent forms are usually provided by the mission or embassy and should be in the local language. This consent form can be used as a starting point but it needs to be translated and approved by the relevant mission/embassy.

CRAFT STATEMENT OF WORK.

It is important to capture photo credit details in the Statement of Work (SOW) with the hired photographer. The SOW should note if any photos are owned by USG (and therefore open for public use if on USG publications) and if not, the photographer would need to give permission for photos used outside of the project.

GET CLOSER.

Don’t be afraid to move nearer to your subjects when appropriate.

BE PATIENT.

If you really like the way you’ve framed a photo, wait for the action to come to you (subject to walk into the frame, etc.).

TAKE MORE PHOTOS.

The more photos you take, the more comfortable you’ll be behind the camera. Professionals don’t just take lots of photos to take photos, they do this because they know that it takes a lot of good photos to get a great moment.

KEEP YOUR CAMERA OUT AND KEEP THINKING ABOUT PHOTOS AT UNEXPECTED MOMENTS.

Sometimes the best frames are captured when you least expect them to happen.

CAPTURE ACTION SHOTS.

Get photos of people doing something, rather than just standing around. Instead of getting a group shot, capture people greeting each other. Find a moment when people are interacting with each other and their environment.

Date 
Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 3:00pm

Last updated: March 29, 2022