Niki Jacob - Advertising Art & Design Instructor



Every grapghic designer should know the basics of photograpghy because most of the time you will be taking your own photgrapghs for your clients. Most of the time its just easier. You know what shots you want and you know how you want them to look.

In large agencies this job is mostly done by another department. Graphic designers and photographers follow similar career routes in some cases. They may work in the creative sector in advertising and marketing, or in publishing. Photographers may choose to follow more specialized career routes, focusing on sport, wildlife or medical photography, for example.

Use this Workbook to take notes and as a guideline as you travel around the school looking for photos.

Photography Basics with Ciro Toku

Ciro Totku is an abstract photographer with a keen eye for beauty in the most unconventional places. Born in Moscow in 1967, Totku’s father gave him his first camera at age 10. Since then, he has been honing his photography skills to capture the magnificence in unusual locations. Totku exercises his creative eyes by photographing subjects found in slums of large cities, dilapidated structures or any other areas that may be considered “filthy” or “dirty.” As Totku stated, “The dirtiest places are the most inspiring.”


7 photography composition rules to take your photography from meh to wow! Get up close and personal with these composition techniques to see an instant improvement in your photography.

You might already have heard that “rules are meant to be broken”, which is fine. In fact, sometimes breaking the rules is great and adds to the story of the image. However, if you don’t know the rules of photography composition, you won’t know how to break them intentionally.

Why photography composition is important

A well-composed photo is engaging, which is the purpose of photography, to engage and interest the viewer. Your photograph can be focused, well exposed, and nicely lit, but if it’s poorly composed, it will never be great.

Photography composition applied well, helps the viewer see, understand and appreciate the photo. These rules (I prefer to say composition techniques) exist, because over time creatives have learned how:

  • Humans appreciate an image
  • The human eye works
  • The brain reacts to an image


It goes way, way, way back to a very long time before cameras were invented. The rules of composition apply to art in general, not just photography. By the end of this article you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize composition techniques used in the great works of art
  • Create better photos

Some Jobs in Photography

Creative Photography

Advertising photographers create images of products for use in marketing, websites and marketing communications products. They work for advertising agencies, generally under the supervision of an agency creative director who specifies requirements for the shot. Fashion photographers also work in the creative industry. They take studio shots of fashion models or photograph models on the catwalk or in other locations. They may work on assignments for advertising agencies, fashion designers and manufacturers, or submit images to newspapers and magazines for publication.

Digital Design

Graphic designers with knowledge of digital design develop creative proposals for web content, online advertising, e-books, digital versions of marketing publications and animations for videos or television commercials. They work in advertising agencies, digital media companies and publishing houses. Graphic designers also work in game development.


Newspapers, magazines and television broadcasters hire photographers to provide images for news stories or news programs. Photographers may cover events with a reporter or submit images with brief background information to journalists or editors. While some publishers employ staff photographers, many rely on freelancers, paying them a fee for individual assignments. News photographers must be able to work on location in varying conditions and be available to cover breaking events at short notice.

News Photographer

News photographers work on location for newspapers and magazines, providing photographs to support or illustrate a news story or feature article. They also supply television broadcasters with still images to use with news programs. News photographers may work with journalists covering a story or provide publications with brief information to accompany their photographs. While some newspapers and magazines employ full-time photographers, many rely on freelancers who receive a fee for the assignment or for any photographs published.

Editorial Design

Graphic designers also work in publishing. They design layouts for newspapers and magazines, working closely with journalists, writers and photographers to create a balance between text and visual elements. In book publishing companies, they design covers and layouts for illustrated books.

Advertising Photographers

Advertising photographers produce creative photographs of products for use in advertisements, product brochures and websites. They typically work for advertising agencies on a freelance basis, although some may work directly for the companies that manufacture or market products. Advertising photographers work mainly in a studio, generally under the direction of designers or creative directors who explain the effects they wish to achieve in the photograph.

Scientific Photographers

Photographers with knowledge of science or medicine can follow careers in this field. Scientific photographers work with universities, research organizations, or science-based companies to record scientific or medical data. Medical photographers work in hospitals or with specialists, such as plastic surgeons, to record the results of medical treatment.

Fashion Photographers

Fashion photographers capture images of models wearing the latest fashions in clothing, jewelry and cosmetics. They attend fashion shows to record the event or arrange photo sessions in a studio or on location. Fashion photographers work for model agencies or fashion designers and manufacturers, generally on assignment. They may also provide fashion shots to newspapers and magazines on a freelance basis.

Marketing Communications

Designers work in advertising agencies, marketing firms and design studios creating layouts for advertisements, brochures, product leaflets, newsletters and direct mail shots. They work with clients to establish a brief and present creative proposals for review. They collaborate with specialists, such as photographers, copywriters and PRINTERS, to complete design projects.

Travel Photographers

Travel photographers capture images of exotic locations, particularly holiday destinations, for use by travel companies or publications that specialize in travel or holidays. Travel photographers with an interest in wildlife can also offer a specialist service to newspapers, magazines or scientific and zoological organizations. Travel photographers may also specialize in landscape or architectural subjects. 

Sports Photography

Sports photographers supply action shots from sporting events to specialist sports publications and websites, as well as the sports sections of newspapers and magazines. They may work on assignment to cover an event, or submit images to publishers or image libraries. These photographers must have a good understanding of the techniques and personalities of their sports, and must be able to work outdoors in all conditions.

Editorial Photography

Editorial photographers cover news stories, providing editors with images to illustrate journalists’ reports. They work for magazines, websites and newspapers, sometimes collaborating with writers to create illustrated feature articles. Editorial photographers may specialize in sports, travel or wildlife photography. Freelance editorial photographers may sell their images to publishers or submit them to photo libraries that market images to publishers and marketing agencies.

Portrait Photography

Portrait photographers take studio shots of individuals, families or groups. They also photograph people at events such as weddings, anniversaries, graduation and award ceremonies. They may work directly for clients or for agencies that provide event services.