- Be selective. Rather than taking ten shots of the same thing, take two carefully composed shots and make them the good ones.
- Take a notebook with you to write down relevant names and details for the photo's caption. If you are taking pictures for a project that will be displayed publicly, you may need a consent form.
- Be conscious of what you want to shoot before you press the shutter: don't shoot blindly or aimlessly.
- Try to take the picture in such a way as to encapsulate a story in one image. Often, this will mean capturing people in action, or interaction, but a strong emotion can also be conveyed with a single portrait if done correctly.
- Vary your angles to capture the perspective of the subject. Don't always shoot from the outside in.
- Be aware that people are not always willing to be photographed. Building up trust and familiarity with the subject is a big part of a photographer's work. Always respect your subject and your environment.
- If you are ever in a situation in which you are asked by the authorities to delete your pictures, know that you can recover your pictures later s long as you don't overwrite the card with new pictures. The process of 'deleting' a photo involves simply re-allocating bytes as empty space. As long as no new data is written on the memory card, the old data remains and can be recovered.
- After transferring the photos to your computer, go through them and delete any blurry or unusable shots, and organise or tag groups of photos for easy reference later. A photo that can't be found is a useless photo.
- Back up important photos by storing them in at least two separate locations.
- Be mindful of the metadata you leave on your photos. Many digital cameras imprint the digital image file with information, called EXIF data, such as date, camera model and make, and even GPS location. Using online EXIF viewers, anyone is able to read this information. When dealing with sensitive topics be sure to clean your photos of any metadata before posting them online.
Image credit: This photo is made available under a Creative Commons by-sa licence via Slawek Puklo on Flickr.