You will probably be taking photographs of your trip as personal souvenirs, but Drew is also looking for images that illustrate the various learning experiences available at Drew. Since the university is not able to send photographers with most off-campus programs, we need your help in documenting your trip. Here are some pointers on how to get the best images for your own photo album, as well as Drew’s!

The Best Images…

Tell a Story – What is the experiential or service learning focus of this trip?  Can you take a picture that illustrates that?  Instead of large, posed groups, try to capture a small group engaged in activities that exemplify this off-campus program.

Convey a Sense of Place – What elements of the setting would help identify the climate or culture where the picture was taken?  Natural elements, signs, architecture, people, and clothing can all be clues for the viewer.


Fill the frame – move in closer, or use zoom, in order to fill the picture frame with your subject; this makes your subject the focal point and eliminates extraneous information.

Watch your back(ground) – buildings, landscape or interiors can help establish a sense of place so it’s good to include some elements in your picture; but try to frame your picture, or shoot from a different angle, to eliminate distracting background details.

Avoid Amputations – When shooting people don’t center the picture frame on their heads because this cuts off their legs; better to adjust your lens downward so people’s heads are toward the top of the picture frame.

Mad Dogs – You’ve heard that only mad dogs and Englishman go out in the noonday sun?  It’s also best to avoid taking pictures when the sun is overhead; best times are early morning or late afternoon when the sun is at a low angle.  If you are taking pictures mid-day, a cloudy day or open shade is more flattering for people shots.

What’s the Point? – The most memorable pictures have a point of interest.  Frame your shot to achieve this (and make sure the subject is in focus).  If you are taking pictures of people, get faces rather than the back of heads.

Bigger is Better – Shoot pictures at the highest resolution your camera will allow.

Fashion Tips – We’d prefer not to have brand logos in the picture (however, we love it when some Drew swag is worn). Clothing should reflect local cultural practices – for instance, head scarves on women when visiting a Muslim country – and not be overly-revealing.

Send your photos to Lynne deLade, Office of University Communications, at