Do You Have a Photo Strategy?

We’ve all heard the famous line that a photo speaks a thousand words. Using a photo can greatly enhanced your written story, but do you have a photo strategy to go along with your communications strategy? At a recent IABC Conference, Suzanne Salvo shared some of her insights to help communicators enhance their stories by using photos, but not just any photo, a well-crafted photo. Communicators need to think more visually when crafting their stories and a photo only takes about 2 seconds to tell its story, but does it match your communications message?

Below are some her highlighted tips you can use when you are thinking of including a photo with your communications.

Photo Tips

  1. Do your research. Mine your companies Vision and Mission statement for keywords. Also look at the Corporate Culture and mine what the company thinks is important to them. Keep these words handy when composing the photo to make sure your photo represents these keywords.
  2. Add a human element to your photo. If you are showcasing a product, add a hand holding the object, or maybe a face behind the product. It’s not about shooting the product, but the results from the product.
  3. Don’t be afraid of the close up. Close ups can amplify the feeling you are trying to portray
  4. Take a photo and look at it, where does your eye wonder to first? If it’s not telling your story or highlighting what you would like, retake the photo differently.
  5. Don’t be afraid to shoot off the horizontal. Tilting your camera just slightly can give your image a larger impact.
  6. Colour is important. Our eyes are drawn to bold colours. Red has a big impact when surround by green. Don’t be afraid to lose colour and only highlight the product in a specific colour by de-saturating the image. Don’t forget that colour could represent the company’s culture, if their corporate colours are blue, shoot with more blue.
  7. If shooting a wide shot, the background should enhance what is happening closer to the camera for bigger impact.
  8. Avoid giving people props. Usually they will feel out of place and unnatural. We’ve all seen those CEO with shovel shots or worse those “I just got an award”  or “here is a cheque” shots.
  9. Avoid shooting the shoes, unless you are highlighting the shoes.
  10. Avoid using a flash if you can. Use reflectors if possible to bounce light to add for a more dramatic effect. Natural lighting can help with emotional connection.

Above all just have fun. Taking photos are meant to be fun and if everyone is having a great time your photos will reflect a truer picture and you won’t be stressed out about it.

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