Before I get off the subject of photography, I want to show an example of what I discussed in the previous blog post. As you recall, I mentioned that photos are nearly a necessity to accompany an article, if you want the article to be published. No photo, no publication... that's just the way things are today.
I mentioned that you should use a flash when you take photos, as that usually results in better pictures. With almost all digital cameras and cell phones, you can force the flash on if you know the right settings. I agree that the settings are not always obvious, but it's worth your while to learn how to do it and practice so that you understand the benefits and limitations of using the flash. Fortunately, taking photos is free in the digital world, so I encourage you to get lots of experience.
A Tale of Two Bretts: No Flash (left) and Flash (right)
I grabbed one of my office mates, Brett, and had him model for a couple of shots that I took with my cell phone. Here is a side-by-side photo of him, with the left shot taken without a flash and the right shot with a flash. Again, this was with a cell phone, and the flash is not nearly as strong as it would be from even an inexpensive digital camera. Still, you can see Brett's eyes better in the right photo and it is overall more interesting than the version on the left.
The keys to taking good photos are to work as close as you can, turn on the flash, and try different shots and angles. Assuming your subject will let you do that (and not all will), you are sure to get something usable that can accompany an article.
If you have any questions or tips on better editorial photography, feel free to leave them here.