Harvey and Hugo

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Business Central, 2 Union Square Darlington,
Phone: 01325 486 666
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Taking the perfect press shots to accompany your story

So, an e-mail has just come through from one of your clients, announcing that they have been awarded a major industry accolade, or that they have just begun their expansion into overseas markets.

You suddenly have a great story to tell the press and public; but sadly, it has little chance of being noticed without an effective photograph to accompany it. We’ve therefore outlined seven rules below for helping you to achieve the perfect press shot – or shots – to represent your story.

1.     Remember – it’s important that the photograph tells the story

In an increasingly fast-paced world, readers demand as much information, in as little amount of time as possible. This is why a photograph which instantly sums up the angle of your story is more likely to attract attention than a long strip of plain text within the business section.

2.     Try something different to make your shots stand out

An example: We recently carried out a press shoot for a client who joined a virtual law firm in order to deliver services to various companies across the North East. To show how flexible his services are, we took some shots of him sitting on a JCB, laptop on knee, on the premises of one of his clients within the construction sector. This unique shot not only summed up the angle of the press release, but was also interesting enough to be picked up and used by various papers.

3.     Going back to basics – make sure that everyone is smiling

Your press release will have a positive angle as you proclaim your client’s success, so make sure that this mood is reflected in the photographs you take. It makes sense that if your client has just won a significant award or business contract, then nobody in the press shot should be frowning.

4.     Avoid the “corporate hand-shake”

Corporate images no longer need to be dull, stuffy and cliché. Photographs featuring two businesspeople enacting an emotionless hand-shake while they stare at the camera with forced smiles do not make effective press shots. Instead, try being a little more creative: capture your client’s team laughing together as they stand in front of their office building;or take a shot of the business owners casually leaning against the desk inside a light, non-cluttered office. Lifeless shots are now a thing of the past.

5.     Banish the clutter

If you’re taking some indoor shots, then background clutter such as Health and Safety posters, worn out “No Smoking” signs and fire extinguishers and alarms should not be visible. If you can’t avoid them, hide them instead with one or two people who are involved in the photograph.

6.     Be wary of sun and shadow

Of course you pray for a sunny day when you come to do an outdoor press shoot. If the weather does hold for you, just be careful that those involved in the photo aren’t squinting or grimacing in the face of the sun. On the other hand, you don’t want their faces half hidden in shadow while the sun is blocked out somewhere beside them. Remember: it’s a positive story. Involve the sunshine by all means, but ensure you keep it somewhere behind the team so that it won’t ruin your photos with a bright yellow glare.

7.     Experiment with different angles

We’ve already said that you can be more creative with your corporate press shots, and this can include trying out various different angles. Instead of taking plain, head-on shots, try kneeling and looking up at your clients as they stand in front of their building and signage. Tilt the camera at various different angles to try out more dynamic shots. Those images which don’t work can always be deleted; but you might also have just taken the most perfect shot at the most perfect angle.

So remember, when doing a press shoot …

… We live in a high-tech and visual world, highlighted by the fact that photographs can receive up to 50 per cent more impressions on social networking site Facebook than any other type of content (according to a survey undertaken by www.roost.com). If you’re uploading your stories and press shots onto a Facebook page, then surely you would like to ensure that they earn these impressions?

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