Many people mistakenly think that the role of a PR Executive revolves solely around the written word, yet PR relies on and exploits a spectrum of media tools.
It is probably best to look at PR as an aesthetic profession, where everything, be it the written word, colour, images or sound adds to the persona we portray for our clients.
So, I thought I would give a little bit of insight into one of the PR industry’s biggest assets, pictures, by giving you my top learnt-on-the-job tips about how to execute a successful photo call.
The first thing to remember is have a clear outline of your ideas. Write down a range of different picture set ups and narrow these down to a number realistically achievable in the time you have available.
When you are given a subject matter, try to think outside the box but don’t forget to use other successful campaigns or topical output as inspiration.
When carrying out a recent photo call at Edinburgh Airport for Edinburgh College, our Director Scott Douglas suggested a classic ‘Catch Me if You Can’ shot, which was completely different to the ideas I had developed.
However, this instantly recognisable pose worked perfectly and the fact we managed to nab a pilot to act as our pivotal prop just increased the success of the final product!
And this brings me nicely on to my next point. Good images require good subject matter, no matter what you are trying to capture or represent for which client, you need to make what’s in the picture look nice – and always try to get a photogenic person in the frame.
Another recent photo call I organised was to highlight a special sandwich created at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh using ingredients grown as part of the Edible Garden Project.
As you can imagine, sandwiches’ aren’t the most exciting subject matter, but alongside the shots of the beautifully prepared piece sandwich surrounded by its home-grown ingredients, we took some of some children helping to prepare it.
The resulting shots of cute kids in oversized hats and aprons, covered in flour, was well worth the time it took and mess it incurred (although I don’t think our photographer has quite forgiven me for the flour still covering his camera).
All in all, a successful photo call requires planning and considered creativity. Don’t shy away from recreating something iconic, just make sure it fits with your brief, and don’t forget to put down any idea you have, even if they seem off the wall they could just be perfect.
For some examples of what happens when it all comes together, check out our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/HolyroodPartnership