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Chapter 7: Photos and Graphics

March. 2. 2010.

Public Relations: Writing and Media Techniques

by Dennis L. Wilcox

Elements of a Good Publicity Photo

  • Quality – a common complaint of editors is the poor content and technical quality of publicity photos
  • Subject Matter – who’s in the photo
  • Composition
  1. Take tight shots with minimal background. Concentrate on what you want the reader to get from the picture.
  2. Emphasize detail, not whole scenes.
  3. Don’t use a cluttered background. Pick up stray thing that intrude on the picture.
  4. Try to frame the picture.
  5. Avoid wasted space. There should not be a large gap between an object, such as an award and a person’s face. In the case of a group picture, people should stand close to each other.
  6. Ask subjects wearing sunglasses to remove them.
  • Action – projects movement and the idea that something is happening right before the reader’s eyes
  • Scale – very important for small, inanimate objects
  • Camera angle – interest can be achieved with the use of unusual camera angles
  • Lighting and Timing
  1. indoor pictures require more flash on a camera
  2. you may need to remove shadows
  3. glare of afternoon sun can be a hassle for outdoor pictures
  • Color

Working with Photographers It will cost more money to hire a professional photographer but at least you won’t end up with pictures that are unsuable

  • Finding Photographers – you should have a file of photographers noting their particular expertise and their fees
  • Contracts – a written document helps you to avoid any misunderstandings about fee, cost of prints, and ownership of he negatives
  • Photo Session – You will save time and money if you plan ahead
  • Cropping and Retouching
  • Ethical Considerations – you have a professional responsibility to honor the original photographer’s work and present accurate information; if an altered photo misleads and deceives the public in a significant, do not use it.

Writing Photo Captions

  • Captions – briefe text under photo that tells the reader about the picture and its source
  • Charts – primary reason fo them is to make figures understandable
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