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The power of a picture

The conversation turned to photography in a meeting with a client, and while they acknowledged that photography was critical to help them tell the story of their business, it was not something anyone was taking real ownership of.

So we discussed some key actions which they are going to put iin place and which I thought would be useful to share in terms of getting the most out of photos for PR purposes.

1. Have a selection of photographers you can call on - some are great at people shots, others are great for 'on location' photos, others reportage style etc - you get the message. Take a look at their portfolios to see what appeals to you.

2. Brief the photographer! Sounds obvious, but it doesn't mean where there location of the shoot is, it means talking through with them what the story is you want to tell in pictures.

3. Try to get close ups and broader shots wherever possible - this will give you more options later. Always be on the look out for ideas for photo subjects around your business and your products - keep your eyes and ears open.

4. Think about other purposes where you might wish to use these shots too eg., for marketing collateral/brochures or for social media channels - this will also guide the sorts of shots you need in terms of tone and style and how long you might need the photographer for.

5. Make sure your 'people subjects' don't have things in their pockets which can distort their clothing - we did a quick shoot at an exhibition and had to get the shots photo-shopped because of unfortunate bulges!

6. Develop an image bank of photos that you can supply to the press at short notice.  And make sure you save these with clear photo captions and appropriate photographer credits, this will save you time when you get a call from a journalist or sub-editor on deadline.

It's a truth universally acknowledged that supplying a good photo to accompany a press release or editorial article can make the difference in terms of the coverage you achieve.  

An interesting photo livens up the page and editors are always on the look out for that.  By the way, some magazines also have preferred styles so if you have a press target in mind for your story, it is well worth looking through the publication so you supply photos that are in keeping with its editorial style.