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Better PR Photography: Make, not take, a photograph

Better PR PhotographyTaking pictures of individual people is often the mainstay of general PR and editorial work. But there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Steve Nichols looks at how to take a good shot, suitable for use as a PR, magazine or newspaper image.

It is very easy when you are covering an event to just stand around on the sidelines and snap away in the hope that you will get a good shot.

This seldom works well and you are better off getting in there and setting up a better shot yourself.

If it is a fun event, with perhaps sidestalls, get more involved with the people - ask them to pose as they throw the things at the coconuts or if someone is being dunked in water get a lot closer and set it up so that you know when they are going in. Ask them to pull a face as they drop into the water so that you get more emotion in the shot.

If kids are involved get down to their level and shoot at their head height. Also, get them involved in doing something and photograph that - face-painting is always a good one and I have had a couple of such images used in the local press - just make sure you push the kids quite close together to get a good shot and don’t forget - fill the frame.

If it is a trade show get one of the representatives to hold the item for you - and make sure you get their name for the caption. Try to include the company name or logo somewhere where it can’t be cropped out.

Get more involved with your subjects when taking their photograph and the end results will be much better for it. People generally don’t know what you want them to do so take control and set the shot that YOU want to take.

About the author: Steve Nichols is a professional photographer and journalist. His e-manual “Better Editorial and PR Photography” shows you how to take better images for press releases, magazines and newspapers.

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