Being involved in a photo call of my own showed me the importance of good PR photography
CLIENTS can often seem reluctant to be involved in a photo shoot for a story, and to be honest I can see why, but having my own photos taken for The Edinburgh Reporter gave an insight to why it is actually a very positive experience.
Throughout my time working in a PR agency, I have learned a lot about the power of a picture, as I am regularly uploading stories to our website and then recording the coverage that follows.
PR photography always aids a story, with the best coverage results coming in for stories with good pictures, both in print and online media, but also getting more shares and interactions on social media.
Being part of Gen-Z I am used to everyone having a high-spec camera everywhere they go, taking photos and videos of quite literally anything they see. Growing up I’ve spent a lot of my life on social media that rotates around pictures and video, Snapchat, Instagram and more recently, popular new app Tik Tok.
Yet none of this is comparable to a good old-fashioned media picture shoot, with a news photographer.
PR agencies hear about media opportunities all the time, and a colleague asked me to help out with an article for The Edinburgh Reporter about first time voters in Scotland. They were looking for a group of young people who are registered to vote for the first time in Scotland’s May elections, to take photos outside of the Scottish parliament building.
I thought it sounded like a fun idea for a good cause and was happy to take part and help out.
When it came to asking my friends if they would take part, I was apprehensive and not sure if I would get any replies, but to my surprise they all jumped at the opportunity and couldn’t wait to take part.
Every one of us were feeling fed up with lockdown, so even a socially distant trip to the parliament was going to be the highlight of our weekend, and a good excuse to see each other.
Working with The Edinburgh Reporter editor, Phyllis, and photographer Martin, we posed in different locations around Holyrood and each had two-minute interviews with Phyllis. Overall it was a lot of fun and we all had a good laugh.
I think my friends and I were surprised how much fun it could actually be just standing in the cold and getting your photo taken, and also at how different it was to the pictures we are used to taking for social media, etc.
Instead of the usual posing, filters and pouts the pictures were just a natural take of us smiling and (hopefully) encouraging other people to register and vote. The real wow factor of the experience was eventually seeing our faces in glorious technicolour on the front page of the April edition of the paper. The story also appeared on the Edinburgh Reporter website.
Of course, I’ve seen videos and photos blow up before on social media, posting my own pictures to a large audience across multiple platforms, particularly a Tik Tok I highlighted in a previous blog post which had over 313k views.
However, news coverage is very different and a lot more satisfying, which I discovered when a friend excitedly started messaging me saying she couldn’t believe she’d seen my face on a newspaper.
PR photography also seems a lot more worthwhile, as its not being taken solely for the purpose of likes and approval, but it has a purpose to elevate a story.
So, my advice to others is not to shy away from a camera, but to embrace any picture opportunities and trust that it will tell your story in a way that no other media can.
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