A frequently overlooked component of a press package is the photography. Too often, the accompany photos, which are typically headshots of a company's C-suite execs, look either like mugshots you would find in a post office or "execution at dawn" lineup shots of execs crowded together, looking very...uncomfortable or angst-ridden (or either, take your pick). To take better photos, here are five tips:
1. Keep shooting. Canned photographs of employees “working” have no place in publications, yet editors continue to publish them. Why? People become self-conscious before the camera. To combat that feeling, keep snapping pictures until your subjects grow comfortable.
2. Machines have a purpose—find it. So you’re writing a story about new machines and need a picture, but photos of machines can be so boring. What do you do? Watch that machine in action. See what it does. Find its purpose. Photograph the machine doing that.
3. Capture a group’s shared trait. Try and snap a spontaneous picture. If that doesn’t work, then avoid positioning the group in a rigid way. Do place them in a context that reveals what this group has in common.
4. Behold, the cell phone! Liven up that “on the phone” shot by removing the employee from his or her element. Think you can’t take a picture of a sales manager “on the phone” walking down the street? Think again. The cell phone frees photographers from these constraints. Rethink your next “on the phone” shot; remove you subject from the landline.
5. Use black and white. Photo-editing software lets any photographer easily change his or her color picture into a black and white. Do this when you want to create poignancy and add substance, especially in a portrait.