Why you should just get a professional photo taken for work

Photo: Getty Images.

I’ve now been in the PR game for more than 20 years, but I could have retired happily at least a decade ago if I’d had $10 for every time I’d provided this piece of advice to startup and corporate clients alike:

“Get a professional photo taken.”

This, however, still creates confusion.

The “oh, we’ve got some that were taken on a mate’s iPhone” right through to, “the VP of executive toilet roll changing has approved these staged images of himself on a marble background and has had them Photoshopped” just don’t (and never did) cut it.

What you need is an image that looks like its been taken by the publication (online or print) in the style and format they like to use. It needs to be high resolution.

And for the love of all known deities, make the image relate to the story you’re trying to place.

A corporate headshot will work for the new appointment sections of the trade press, but it will not work for mainstream media if the story is about anything else. A pic of you on your last family holiday with your wife/husband/significant other/kids in the shot is also not useful (yep, I’ve had that one sent to me many times to pass on to news organisations).

Make photos interesting. Play with locations. Play with light and shade. Play with depth. But above all else, get a professional to do it for you.

A good pro photographer is worth their weight in gold, and before you comment that’s what they charge, they are helping project your business profile and your personal brand. Ask yourself if you can really afford to skimp on that.

The reason you need to provide imagery is because most media houses these days simply do not have photographers on staff. Even mainstream daily newspapers, that used to have teams of photographers, are now in the low single digits for on staff photographers in most capital city newsrooms. And anything that is not breaking news needs to book a slot with a photographer at the very least several days in advance (bear in mind, the publication decides if your news is newsworthy – they also decide if they’ll allocate photographer time, not you).

Most online news outlets do not have a photographer at all.

If you provide a good image that matches the story you are trying to tell, the chances of your story being published goes from highly unlikely, to near the top of an ever increasing pile in a journalist’s inbox.

Nat Bradford is the managing director at Bradford Public Relations.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn. Read the original here.