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How to prepare images for press releases

Better PR PhotographyIf you just attach an image to a press release it might be used and you will get more exposure. If you don't attach an image then it definitely won't get used! But rather than just attaching an image to your email there are some ways of improving your chances of success.

The first is to make sure that the image is big enough. Ensure that the image is at least 3000 x 2000 pixels (six megapixels) in size and well prepared. If they are bigger than this – say 10 or 14 megapixels – no problem, It should be well cropped and the lighting and levels should be spot on.

There is no point in sending out a poor-quality image as it won’t get used. Also, don’t send out loads - one or two images is fine. Any more than that and the picture editor won’t have time to prep them and might just dump them instead.

Save the image as a JPG (compress image) at a quality level of about 8-9 - this keeps the image more than good enough for print. Next, make sure that all the caption information is embedded. To do this go to “File >> File Info” in Photoshop and add the caption and copyright information (see left). You might also want to add more information in the IPTC information as you see fit.

This stands for International Press Telecommunications Council and is an industry standard for images. You can find out more at Many newspapers won’t use images unless this information is complete as they don’t want to worry about copyright infringement.

Also, without the file info there is no way of knowing who is in the photograph once it gets detached from the press release.

This is also a good discipline for your own use and you can then file the caption information with the image so that in two years time when you want to use the image again you have all the details you need.

Good eh?

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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