Tips for Snaps





Tips for Snaps


You don't need a good camera, but you need to work within its limitations. For example cheap lenses are blurred and distorted in the corners and edges, so make sure you are far enough back to allow the subject to be in the main central area of the frame. Use a high resolution so the picture can be cropped later. Some of these example pictures are actually cropped from larger ones that were maybe not too good!

If you have a view finder use it. It's so much easier to compose a shot when you feel as if you are in it.

If you have a sports setting use it don't worry about the extra photos that will get thrown away they cost nothing

Switch off any fancy extras that try to do things that can be better done in editing.



You may have been told to stand with your back to the sun. Don't. In sunlight the best pictures will have dramatic shadows if you can arrange to see them. Even pointing towards the sun perhaps with it shielded by by a dancer or a tree can produce amazing pictures.

In April weather you can make a feature of the light glancing off puddles if you get down low enough.



Choose a viewpoint that will add interest. One of my favourites is inside a shop or doorway or arch. Climb a fire escape and look down.

Be creative! Can you see a spectator looking out of a window with the dancers reflected in it? Is there a brass band with a tuba which is reflecting the dancers?

If in doubt always kneel down and point slightly upwards. This adds drama and also often makes the background less fussy this is very important with our multicoloured kits and black faces much impact is lost if there's a multicoloured crowd behind it works like camouflage.

Remember to shoot wide.


The aim is usually to imply movement in a still photo. A moving subject will probably be leaning or in an impossible static position.

Try to avoid pictures of Flagcrackers standing still holding sticks. You know the moves better than I do. Try to anticipate them. Watch out for the dancers who lean into turns they will bring a shot to life.


Look out for those pictures where there are a knot of dancers moving in different directions. These are full of interest.

Portraits are nice, and revealing shots of off duty Flagcrackers are interesting, but they are only useful as an addition to seeing us in action.

If it's a windy day look out for tatters flying out sideways, also the same effect on tight turns.

Unless you are going for a definite mid-shot eg line of repeated patterns of sticks shot with a long lens (zoomed in, from a distance) please please leave the feet on! At least on the principle subjects. I throw dozens of really good pics away because feet have been brutally amputated.


Close-ups of he backs of people's heads rarely make a good picture.