As the saying goes… a picture paints a thousand words, so we all need to make sure it’s painting the right words. In an age where images are more widely spread and powerful than ever, it is important to get the right one to accompany your release and help strengthen and support your story. There is nothing worse than a bad PR photo, so here are our top 10 tips to taking the perfect press shot.
1. Be prepared – Sometimes a subject will only be available for a very brief amount of time. Therefore, preparation is key in making the most of the time available. Prepare the shot, get the camera settings ready, if possible get someone to stand in so you can practice the shot, make sure you are completely ready when the time comes.
2. Get outside – There is no better source of light than natural light. When the weather allows it, rather than struggling with fluorescent lights and unnatural colours, get outside to capture the best looking press shot.
3. Stick together – For the best photographs move your subjects closer together than they are comfortable being, and then move them even closer again. While it feels unnatural in person, the end product will look much better.
4. Constant communication with subjects – Talk to them throughout the picture taking. Having a chat helps put your subject at ease and prevents the awkwardness that can build.
5. Bring props into play – Props are a great way of illustrating a story, however the most common mistake is not making them prominent enough. If your subject is holding a prop that feels like an unnaturally prominent way to hold it in person, it looks much more natural in a photograph.
6. Make it BIG or make it small – The use of props help to tell the story and the use of oversized or miniature props is an excellent way to communicate this. You can also play with depth to achieve the same effect.
7. Don’t take the obvious road – Tried and tested methods can also be tired and tested methods.
8. Colour me in – A pop of colour always helps a photograph. Think carefully about the use of colour – everything from a dramatic grey sky to a red balloon. This could also encourage the print press to publish you in colour.
9. Don’t rely on Photoshop – This is not an advert and the press will not trust a doctored image. You might get away with superimposing your logo onto the sky, using an Instagram filter or adding/removing people but don’t be surprised if you get negative feedback because a shot looks fake.
10. Take your time – Take. Your. Time. When taking photographs, the more time you take, the more you think the job through, the better the final end product. Time spent actually taking press shots should make up only 10% of the total job time.