A (good) picture is worth a thousand words

In this age of digital cameras and camera phones, it is only natural that – with an eye on reducing costs – businesses will question the need to spend upwards of £100 per hour on a professional photographer.

With admirable optimism the client will refer to an employee who was once seen snapping colleagues at a social event and suggest they can take the photos.

But the simple truth is that most people (with very rare exceptions) simply cannot produce the quality of pictures required for public relations or media usage.

Press photographer

Faced with out-of-focus photos, low resolution shots, self-conscious “firing squad” line-ups, or photographs where you need a magnifying glass to see the subject, pictures editors, printers and PR people often rue the invention of the pocket digital camera.

Yet, in media terms, a good photograph can make the difference between your story making it into the paper or being consigned to the recycling bin. It is that important.

The secret to good photography is not just recognising that your new marketing assistant will not produce the goods. You need to consider who is the right photographer for the job.

There are specialists out there. A portrait photographer is probably not going to be the best person to take photos of your latest oil industry tool. Equally a good technical studio photographer, may completely flounder when trying to capture the moment at a live event – particularly something like a Royal Visit, where you obviously have no opportunity to pose the subjects.

So, next time your PR adviser suggests employing a professional, take his or her advice. They should know who is the right photographer to deliver the goods – be it for your corporate brochure, your company newsletter or your next press release.

© Ken McEwen Public Relations, 2010. www.kenmcewen.com
No unauthorised reproduction without full acknowledgement of source. All rights reserved.
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