Photo Tips for CHCs

The Medallion featured some photography tips for County Historical Commission (CHC) appointees. We want our pictures to document projects and events in ways that will help others see the value of preservation.

We have created five photo tips webpages that address a variety of picture-taking challenges. This first page discusses framing interior event photos.

Take Another Look

Let's consider people in pictures. Action shots are great if you have a good camera and know how to capture the excitement of a moment. However, when we try to photograph people in motion, we usually end up with blurry pictures or images that provide little context for what is actually happening. Here's an example.

THC's History Programs Division held a luncheon for Sarah McCleskey, historian for the Texas Historical Markers Program, to celebrate the upcoming birth of her son, Anson. Below is a picture of Sarah and fellow historian, Linda Henderson, as they fill their plates.

Not exactly a keeper, right? Sarah is blurry, the light from the window is overpowering, the focal point is the toaster oven, and Linda . . . well, Linda doesn't know we posted this picture of her.

So, we asked them to pose for us. Much better! Background isn't very festive but we have sweet, happy smiles.

What can you do to improve the background of your picture if its setting is less than desirable? You can always ask people to move to a more picturesque location or try changing the angles used to take the picture.

Here is a picture of Sarah's magically delicious punch--beautiful punch bowl and a very pretty table cloth. Downside? There's a dirty air vent in the background.

We easily could have moved the table while setting up but our priority wasn't presentation since this was a simple office party. If you are planning an event to showcase your preservation accomplishments, you'll want to spend time staging the event for set up, sight lines, and circulation.

Here's an image of the dessert table; the picture was taken from up above and aimed down to avoid the unattractive surroundings. The subject matter isn't particularly interesting (unless you're a cheesecake fan) but the picture illustrates how experimenting with various angles may mask unsightly surroundings and make a picture a bit more interesting.

Click here to proceed to Photo Tips, page 2.