How to nail your PR and press photography
Updated: Sep 26, 2022
We’re sure you’ve heard the quote ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. And press photos are no exception. Having a bank of great media-friendly images can significantly impact the quality and amount of media coverage you secure.
It’s almost a guarantee that you’ll see a photograph accompanying most stories in the media, but many businesses seem reluctant to invest in regular, professional corporate photography. We’re here to explain why PR photography is a worthy investment.
Why do you need photography for PR?
Here are some of the main reasons why you need a bank of business photography to achieve great PR results:
A great story deserves a great image. Media contacts are much more likely to publish your story if you have a selection of photos to bring the words to life. Imagine this scenario: two similar stories are sent to the same journalist, but one has ten different, high-resolution photographs to choose from, and the other sends a selfie taken on their mobile phone. The journalist is likely going to use the story with great images.
Media stories with great photography are much more likely to attract engagement and shares on social media. Readers love visuals, and journalists need to break up walls of text with good-quality imagery that helps readers connect with the content. People will find connecting with you and your business easier if they can put faces to names. We’re only human, after all.
Photographs help to tell your story and convey your brand values and key messaging. It’s not just the words you write that encapsulate your messaging as a business.
You can use the photos for other forms of marketing for years to come. Press shots are great for using on social media, in printed marketing materials and on your website. This is another reason professional corporate photography is a great investment for your business.
What makes a good press shot?
📸 First, we recommend you have a bank of team and personal photos, in landscape AND portrait. Most digital publications use landscape photographs, but this all depends on the space they’re trying to fill, and that’s why it’s best to have both.
📸 You should ensure that your photography is high resolution, at least 300dpi and a jpg file (you can view the resolution in the image properties).
📸 Have a range of photos taken with different backgrounds and from different angles.
📸 Avoid going heavy on brand logo placement (editorial publications don’t like this as it can look blatantly promotional).
📸 Think about being creative with photos and how these help you illustrate your business/story.
📸 Get your props out. Unique shots will help you stand out in the media.
How do I take my own press photos?
It’s always better to leave it to the professionals, but it’s not uncommon to take your own press photography. If that’s the route you’ve chosen, make sure you:
📸 Use a mobile phone tripod for accuracy.
📸 Turn ‘grid’ on, on your mobile phone camera settings so you can position the shot correctly.
📸 Take a range of landscape and portrait photos with various backgrounds/angles/variations.
📸 Have good lighting (natural light works best).
📸 Use HDR mode to help balance light and dark.
📸 Take a mixture of candid and posed shots.
How to send your photography to media contacts
Next time you pitch to media contacts and want to send them your press photography, try to avoid attaching images to an email. High-quality photographs are normally large files which can be blocked by the recipient's email servers. In addition, you’ll struggle to attach multiple high-resolution images via email.
We recommend creating a press centre with your key information, stories and press images which media contacts can access via a link. Or, you can send them over by WeTransfer, which also emails to let you know when your files have been downloaded and who by.
Last but not least, you should add the full names of people in each photo and any other important details to the image file name and include image captions in your pitch/press release. This makes it quick and easy for media contacts to include your images, and anything you can do to save a journalist's time is a win.
For more PR advice or to see how we can work together, check out our other blog posts, book a discovery call or email email@example.com.