Thursday, 2 February 2012

Choosing a PR Photographer

There are several things you should look out for when selecting a photographer for your press releases and PR photos.

Provide a good brief

PR Shoot - Richard Branson and Giant Suitcase
To begin with ensure that you provide the photographer with a good brief. Outlining the key message of the photos, intended publications, as well as who and what needs to be included (and excluded) will all contribute to effective shots and smooth running on the day of the shoot.

Obviously, these days it is fairly easy to look at a photographers portfolio online and it will give you a clear indication of their range of assignments and technical abilities.

Look at the photographers testimonials, either on their site or on resources like LinkedIn. Testimonials will give you an insight into how easy they are to work with and how they deal with people. Speaking to them on the phone will also help you assess the next point...

Personal as well as photography skills
Good PR photographers are creative, work quickly and deliver consistent quality images, enhancing the brief rather than just fulfilling it. In addition they need to be good at interacting with people so they can build a rapport with clients quickly and make them feel relaxed in front of the camera. They are equally confident in directing a CEO of a blue chip in his boardroom or a group of kids at a charity event, if necessary for the purposes of the shot.

PR Photography - corporate appointment
The photographer is also more often than not representing your company or organisation - they should be professional, presentable and approachable.

Image delivery
Press releases are time sensitive and so your pictures need to be delivered quickly, normally within a 24 hour window. For professional photographers this should not be a problem, but make your photographer aware of your deadlines and ensure that they can process and deliver the images in time. For smaller images email is normally sufficient, for larger files FTP or services such as dropbox are recomended.

Professional PR photographers will normally provide you with hourly, half-day and full-day shooting rates. Discuss with the photographer your requirements to work out how much time will be needed and get a written quote (or at least a confirmation email). For long term PR projects a photographer may well be willing to offer discounted rates if put on a retainer.