Olympic Fuel Tip #10: Are Your Photos Telling a Story?

Shelly Perry here, again, with your "Olympic Fuel" tip of the day.

Last week I heard on NPR's All Things Considered a great piece about Olympic photographers and how they capture a story of wins or losses in pictures and then quickly process and distribute them. (You can read it here.)

I was reminded, as I listened, about how important it really is to not simply "record" an event or a place… but to use your photos to tell a story about it.

That's what editors really want. And there are a few things you can do to ensure you're delivering that kind of visual commentary…


** 1. Make sure every photo offers a focus point for your viewer. Don't just take a series of horizontal "snapshots" that show what's there. Instead, compose your shots to call your viewer's attention to something (be it a person or an object) in particular.

** 2. Take close-ups.  Get in there and get the details.  Sometimes the race is so close, Olympic officials rely on the "photo-finish."  Those shots need to be detailed down to the millimeter to show who won the gold in the last split seconds of the race.  Train yourself to capture small details in your shots, too, as they can be extremely useful to an editor.

** 3. Make sure to include the human element in your story.  Just as you would have virtually no story about the Olympics if you omitted the athletes, most every story has some human element involved.  It's up to you to capture it in your photos.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]