Example of a great photo - 1
Stories towards the best social media experience!
Social media exposure is a critical component of creating
awareness about our project. Great content, Search Engine
Optimization, effective usage of hash tags, timing our posts
strategically, sharing awesome photos are all part of the efforts
towards that goal. Especially, photos play an important role in
sharing our stories online, which not only get us 'Excellent'
rating for our reports at Global Giving, but also creates the
excitement in terms of likes, reactions, shares and retweets
in social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In fact, we had won the Global Giving Photo contest 2016!:
What we tried:
So, we wanted our schools to take pictures of all the events
that take place in the schools - education methodologies,
visitors and volunteers visits, "Profession with Passion" series
talks, to name a few.
We bought digital cameras and gave them to all our schools,
so that they can take the photos with these. We also conducted
a few sessions about how to operate those cameras.
We failed. Why?:
The photos taken so far are not consistent in terms of quality,
and were not up to the mark.
- The no. of photos taken were too few (3 photos), or too
much (40 photos).
- The photos were taken with smart phones instead of the
digital cameras that we provided.
- Some photos were very grainy and the content was
- In some cases, attempts were made to take selfies with
students in the background, which failed miserably because
of wrong light exposure and bad coverage area.
- The width and height of the pictures were not uniform,
and created difficulties in aligning them and producing a
consistent look and feel.
- The resolution was a mix of low and high without attention
- Because of high resolution, some pictures were too huge
to be shared.
- Some pictures taken during school closing times (evenings)
and events that happened in late evenings produced bad light
What we learnt:
- Just providing the necessary technology like digital cameras
is not sufficient to get great photos!
- Not all the people out there on the field who take the pictures
are great photo-shooters!
- They (photo takers) operate under heavy time pressure.
- They need to understand the requirements of what constitutes
a great photo-set, and keep that in mind while shooting photos.
- They need to know how to operate during various conditions of
weather and lighting.
- They need hand-holding in case they are having technical
difficulties or have some questions regarding the camera
settings, no. of photos to be taken, the phases of the event
to be covered, etc.
How are we using that experience to improve our work?:
First and foremost, we definitely felt the need for a standard
set of guidelines for taking pictures. We decided that the
guidelines should not be just a document sitting in the Google
Drive, but something that anyone can refer to before taking
We also realized that since the people who take the pictures
will change, we need to have a mechanism for the schools to
know that such a set of guidelines exist, and the school admin.
or the Principal should make the person who take the pictures
aware of such guidelines well in advance before the event to
avoid last minute surprises.
The guidelines that we came up with:
(Note: we shared what constitute great photos along with
1. Contact the person (Name, Mobile number) with technical
knowledge about taking photos and the digital cameras in case
if you have any questions or if you have technical difficulties,
well in advance before the event.
2. A typical set of photographs for an event should have 7 to 8
photos. Some events like cultural programs may have more
additional photos which is fine.
3. All photos should be taken with HIGH resolution. The photos
should be re-sized to 1024x768 pixels using the custom
software provided to all schools, before being sent to be used
in the reports.
4. Use night lighting/flash appropriately depending on the
5. Make sure that light is coming from behind you (the
photo taker), and light that's coming from the sides like
windows is not creating a bad effect on the photo.
6. Take moving objects photos with proper settings. The
point-of-contact person can help you with how to adjust the
7. Avoid too far (or) out of focus objects.
8. While covering activities like students work or volunteers
work, please make sure that the photos cover all phases
of activity, not just the end products. For example, if students
are making Diwali lamps, make sure you take photos of children
starting to work with the chart papers, gluing the components
of lamp together, applying colors, etc. rather than just a lot of
photos of finished lamps with children.
Some examples of great photos and bad photos attached.
We are extremely happy to have come across Global Giving's
structured feedback, learning from failures, and follow-up to
correct and move-forward mechanisms to improve our processes.
Taking part in Global Giving's various initiatives has enriched our
knowledge and experience about how to go about this.
We constantly strive to give the best for the constituents and the
beneficiaries in the field whom we work with, and initiatives like
Fail-Forward provide us with the opportunity to admit the failures
we had in the field, express ourselves, and improve towards a
Thank you Global Giving!
Example of a great photo - 2
Example of a great photo - 3
Great illustration of infrastructure photo
Bad lighting - 1
Bad lighting - 2
Bad lighting - 3