Photo Guidelines

  • You can upload as many images as you like.
  • You must be the owner and creator of the photo
  • The image must be a photograph (not digital art, painting or illustration)
  • Make sure there is minimal digital alteration (colour, cropping)
  • Images must be no more than 5MB in size
  • Only jpegs are accepted
  • No date stamps or watermarks.

Ten Top Tips for Taking Better Images:

1. Get down on their level

  • Shoot from ground level for kids, pets and plants
  • Get high for an overview shot

2. Use a plain background

If you can, find a way to eliminate distracting backgrounds. Get higher, lower, shift things around until the background is all one colour or variations of a colour or texture.

3. Use flash outdoors

Flash can be used outdoors to fill in hard shadows on a sunny day. Some cameras have a fill flash settings, on others you can reduce the output of the flash. You only need a little light to make this idea work.

4. Move in close

  • If your camera has a macro setting, use it to shoot flowers or other interesting small objects. It will blur the background and make the subject of your image pop.
  • Even it doesn’t have a macro setting you can still get in close – just be careful of focus. Most cameras have a limit of about a metre. Putting the camera closer than that will produce fuzzy shot.

5. Go vertical

Some subjects (like most portraits) look better in a vertical format. If you not sure, take one horizontal and one vertical just to be sure.

6. Lock the focus

  • The best shots have something in focus. They eye needs something to draw it into the image. Keep your hands steady, make sure the camera has locked in the auto focus.
  • Most cameras have a center-weighted focus but you can get around this by pushing the button down half way and holding it. Then you can move the camera where you want it and push the button down the rest of the way.
  • The landscape and macro settings can help with focus too. Landscape will put as much as possible in focus. The Macro setting will focus on your subject and blur everything else.

7. Move it from the middle

  • Our instinct is to put the most important part of the picture right in the middle of the image but often a better composition is to move things off to the sides. Click here for more information on the Rule of Thirds.
  • Cropping out distracting elements like poles and furniture is another way to focus in on your subject

8. Look for interesting light

  • The middle of a bright sunny day produces the flattest light. Try shooting at dawn or dusk when the light is warmer and produces more dramatic shadows.
  • There are also many sources of light like candles, indoor lights, street lights, and bonfires that you can shoot with. Just remember you may need to set the camera on a solid structure or tripod for low lighting situations.
  • Overcast skys are great for portraits but for landscapes look for interesting cloud formations

9. Be a picture director – don’t be afraid to direct your subjects where you want them

  • Set up an action shot – set your camera to multiple images (overlapping rectangle) vs single shot (single rectangle)
  • Move people around to create more interesting groupings
  • Move people into the shade for more diffused light. Sunny days create harsh shadows that can be unflattering to people’s faces.

10. Make sure your camera settings are set for the highest resolution

  • Most cameras have a variety of settings for image resolution. Resolution is the number of pixels used to make up the image. The more pixels, the higher the resolution, the higher the resolution the better the output. For images to be used for print the need a high resolution.
  • Even if you plan to only view the image on a computer, it is better to shoot with more pixels than less. You can always throw away pixels but you can’t add them if they didn’t exist in the first place.