PR Photography: Getting your pictures used, and commissioning a photographer.
- Does the photo tell the story? A picture has to stand up on it’s own, a reader has to know what’s its about. If you want your picture to appear in the papers, you cannot rely on the text. Editors want interesting and exciting photos.
- Is it creative? Bend the rules, if you want a photo to appear in the press it has to stand out, gone are the days of two business men shaking hands looking to camera (and board stiff). Use different angles, get the subjects to do something, look animated, get in close. If you are doing corporate portraits or head-shots put your subject in context – don’t just shoot them against a plain wall as if you are taking a passport photo. Tightly frame, and focus on the eyes, engage the viewer with the subject. It’s a relationship.
- The photo must be technically correct. This is a necessity; your photographs have to be in focus, correctly exposed, well lit, and without a colour cast. If you are sending them for publication, caption within the meta data and the correct file format and dpi is also wanted.
- Give a choice. Send a selection of images to go with the story or press release, and include both portrait and landscape format photographs. This way you are giving a choice to just how the photo can be used and where.
- Use a professional photographer. Without question. Many people these days have cameras, and your son, or the someone in the office may take great landscape photos or photos or their kids, that does not mean that they will take high quality, PR photographs, that are technically correct, or they will able to handle a difficult or changing situation. A professional will deliver under pressure, will work creatively and will be competent all round.
- Selecting a professional photographer. There are many around covering different areas of photography. A good wedding photographer, may not be a good PR photographer. Look for a PR Photographer. Look at their portfolio – do you like it? What’s their web site like? What are they like? Speak with them – do you like them? Can you work with them?
- Tell them what you want. It’s best to give a written brief, stating what you want, what the photographs will be used for, who the contact people are, with their contact details, and how you would like to receive the photographs, i.e. uploaded to a gallery, an FTP address or what ever, and tell them when you want to receive the photographs. This makes it easier for the photographer, and ensures no misunderstandings.
If you would like more information or need a photographer, please contact me. You can also find information and photographers at The British Institute of Professional Photography. www.bipp.com
The featured image was taken for a recruitment drive for computer programmers with the aim to show that it was not a dull area of work.