By Keith Freeburn, Freelance Photographer.
In the lead up to World Photography Day on 19 August, I want to reflect on my role as a PR Photographer.
In more than thirty years of experience in PR photography, I have learnt a good PR photo requires more than simply picking up a phone camera and taking a shot.
Even though everyone might be able to capture events with their camera today, not everyone can communicate client’s key messages through photos.
Like writing a news story, PR photography requires me to tell stories through my camera lens while maintaining high levels of professionalism, good client relationships, and exceptional attention to detail.
When it comes to bringing together the ultimate PR shot, my essential tips include:
1 Always use a professional: I could build a yacht in my back garden, but it might not float.
2 First impressions count: You’ve got roughly the first 30 seconds to build a rapport with your subject, so make sure you make it count.
3 Make sure you understand the brief and know what your client wants you to achieve. Remember you’re not there with a free rein, and PR photography is totally different to other types of photography.
4 Compose your picture carefully: Pay attention to the light and shadows as well as making sure your background is always relevant to the photograph. You can use props to tell their story but make sure they are something specific to the client.
5 Be decisive: Try and capture the story in a single shot. While it’s good to have alternatives, it’s always important to have a single image that tells the story and this makes you look more decisive. Be creative and try different angles to come back with something that’s always different within the confines of a commercial photograph.
In addition, there is a range of things worth avoiding during the photography process:
1 Don’t rush the client or make them feel that you’re itching to get away.
2 Don’t ignore the client’s suggestionsif they make any during the shoot.
3 Don’t give up!Avoid going along with the easy option when things aren’t going according to plan. Keep shooting, the photo’s there, it’ll come.
4 Don’t play it safe: Keep your photos fresh instead of capturing the obvious and using the same style of picture over and over again. Editors will be grateful for the change!
5 Don’t think you can sort it out afterwards in photoshop! Believe me, you can tell. Get it right in the camera.
Keith Freeburn is a freelance photographer who supplies photography in North and Mid Wales, Cheshire, Shropshire and Merseyside and works closely with Outwrite PR, an award-winning PR agency.