You use a nice camera. But, your photos could be better.

“The Intentional Photo” provides pointers on how to structure your shooting to take photos that communicate a message.

In the workshop that Richard Lord has presented to global NGOs and corporations for the last eight years, he analyzes 35 of his own photos to show program staff how to take better pictures themselves. Richard’s style is reassuringly uncomplicated and his advice straightforward, aimed at the beginner photographer whose images have important meaning to convey.

Now it’s your turn. Richard’s workshop is available in a 30-minute downloadable video, as well as DVD.

Among the topics discussed are:

  • Informational vs. emotional photos — what is the purpose of the photo? To document phenomena or to stir emotions?
  • exposure — how your choice of aperture, shutter speed and ISO establish the photo’s mood
  • light angle – should the subject be equally lit or should some areas be darker than others?
  • vertical vs. horizontal format –which is more practical for print publications? Which is more practical for on-line usages?

Richard Lord is among the foremost global photographers. His work has been displayed at the UN General Assembly, 17 US embassies and art galleries throughout the US. It is included in numerous corporate and private art collections as well as museums. For his portfolios and stock library, go to his website


  • Introduction
  • Informational Photos
  • Emotion Evoking Photos
  • Light: Saturation
  • Light: Angle
  • Horizontal vs. Vertical Format
  • Composition: Background
  • Composition: Framing
  • Composition: Focus
  • Composition: Angle
  • Conclusion


To see the questions and answers, click HERE.  This is a free service for Intentional Photo users.


Richard’s workshop is available in a 30-minute downloadable video, as well as DVD.

“The Intentional Photo” is available for institutional lease, which allows it to be uploaded to your internal website where it can be viewed by all of your staff members. Single copies are also available for $25.00 each. To order individual copies or to discuss options for institutional versions, contact me at or call +1-434-296-3262 or fill out the form below.


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    There are many creative and technical elements involved in making visually interesting group photos. It is a struggle to break free of the “picket fence” composition most commonly used.

    The most important factor is the distance between the subjects. There must be space between them. Certainly on the horizontal plane and hopefully on the vertical plane. The amount of vertical space depends upon the maximum focal length that you can achieve with the light that is available to you. Everybody from the nearest to the camera to the farthest should be clearly in focus.

    Clothing should have contrast. The man in the brown suit should not stand in front of the man in the brown suit. Their shapes should be defined by the contrasting colors of their clothes. What is often the most boring photo in the publication can be the most interesting if you apply some creativity.

    When do you need photo releases?

    By April Hayward

    The usual preface. I am not a lawyer nor should my advice be construed to be legalistic.

    That said, here is how most professional media photographers deal with releases.

    1. Have a simple, understandable, short release form. There are many examples available in photo form books.
    2. Request that the individual sign the release before you photograph. You will be wasting your time photographing someone who refuses to sign a release.
    3. Any person who can be recognized in the photo must sign a release form.