A photograph tells a thousand words.  The more interesting a photo is the better chance it has of making the news pages of a papers, magazines or online publications.

However, many images submitted to picture editors are dull and boring due to a lack of imagination on the part of the photographer and client. Newspapers and magazines rarely use   ‘firing squad’ images. These are pictures of lifeless and expressionless people looking sternly at the camera usually wearing business suits!

Here are some valuable tips for organising a photoshoot but you can hire Ken Curran Communications’ team to do it all for you or to give you some practical advice. Contact: kencurran82@gmail.com or info@kencurrancommunications.ie Call +353 838977448

Tip 1.  Timing is everything. You can have a really standout image, but if arrives after a publication deadline then it won’t make the pages. So, if you want to target national or local newspapers or magazines with your photo check their daily or weekly deadlines. Daily newspapers like to receive images before noon. Organise your photoshoot for 11am or earlier. It should not take more than 30 minutes.  Magazines and weekly papers will have different deadlines. Don’t send the same image to magazines and weeklies that you already sent to the dailies. Give them a different selection of images.

Tip 2. Diary notice. You need to write and issue a brief diary notice to send to relevant media outlets’ picture and news desks. This notice should clearly state what the event is about and clearly give the date, time, and venue. Send a separate invitation to people you would like to attend. Both notices should be issued a week in advance.

Tip 3. When organising a photoshoot for a product launch or an announcement try to be as creative as possible. Use PROPS to illustrate the storyline. They might look silly to the client but may be exactly what a discerning picture editor wants for an inside page. The same advice applies for business stories, sports and news. 

 Tip 4.  Always have your own photographer at your photoshoot as newspapers and magazines cannot always send a snapper to your event. Your photographer should be  professional, and have all contact emails and telephone numbers of the relevant picture desks. They should be experienced working at photoshoots, organising people in pictures and trying hard to get the best possible images. The photographer should always include a caption clearly stating the names of the people in the image and what the picture is about. Ensure correct spellings. They should agree details with the PR consultant or client in advance of issuing them. The photographer should always RING the picture editor to inform them that they have sent images from the event and ask them to check their inbox of their arrival. Quite often editors will use the image and an extended caption which includes the details of the event rather than an accompanying press release.

Tip 5. Bring props to the agreed location for the photoshoot. Suss out the area a few days before and ensure the desired area is not on private land. Keep in mind the location should be easily accessible and not too far from towns or cities. People don’t have all day to hang around. Remember to consider natural light, backdrop. Prepare for all eventualities. Check if you need public liability insurance. If required you must pay for the relevant cover for the duration of the photoshoot.  Ensure you bring a copy of the insurance certificate with you on the day in case you are asked for it by a council official. Have a few umbrellas and waterproof jackets on standby in case the weather turns nasty. If possible, have a Plan B location.

Tip 6. While you may be trying to promote a product, service or announcement use promotional materials sparingly. Too much obvious branding often means the image will not be used as it is too much like advertising.  Don’t use large logos as backdrops. You might think they make a great photo but the likelihood is the picture editor will not agree with you.

Tip 7. In addition to supplying newspapers and magazines with the images, always upload them to your website, blog and other social media networks in order to spread your message.