Taking photos of your project


This fact sheet provides tips for taking photos, intended for use by principal investigators, collaborators and others in the Horticulture Innovation Lab's network. It was created by Brenda Dawson of the Horticulture Innovation Lab. Excerpt:

1. Best photos show you and your partners in the process of doing things

2. Vary your photo range:

  • close-ups of fruits, vegetables, tools, hands, on vine, at harvest, at market
  • shots that show 1-3 people doing something, whole-body or waist-up (don’t cut off just feet!)
  • that show landscape and what horticulture looks like where you are

3. Who is in the photos:

  • Best: Photos of people who are involved in your project. Please tell us their names
  • Remember to get shots of you (the PI) in action too. Consider handing off your camera sometimes.
  • Good: Group-standing-around photos.
  • Good: Anonymous people—woman in market, man in field
  • Not great: People as props, back drops or scene decor
  • Not great: Photos with children

4. What is in the photos:

  • Action! People doing things
  • Best: Faces are recognizable
  • What the people are doing/looking at is clearly visible
  • Less good: backs of heads/butts

​​​​​​​5. What is in the photos:

  • Best: People in the photos are using best practices
  • ​​​​​​​Photos of mistakes or bad examples can be useful. If possible, it is nice to keep the people in those photos somewhat anonymous by focusing on their hands or backs of heads, etc.

​​​​​​​6. Some stereotypical development photos to avoid:Kids. Particularly those cute ones who have nothing to do with your project.

  • Kids. Particularly those who have nothing to do with your project.
  • Group ​​​​​​​photos of smiling people. You may have uses for these, and that is fine.
  • Desperation. In general, please respect human dignity.
  • Posed photos. Though sometimes necessary, unless you’re working with a pro, the fakeness often shows.
  • Vacation photos. Feel free to take pics of monuments and other cultural sites, but we don’t need them. Thanks!




Fact sheet