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.

A Conferencing I Will Go!

What a crazy few days it has been and I have neglected my blog for far too long, so my apologies to all of you.

That said I’m gearing up for a busy couple of months of conferences starting this Friday with Northern Voice. I’m very excited about attending this for the second year, but this time I’m attending the full conference. I’m hoping to get some great new insight into the community as well as be able to connect with some great people all around.

The week after, I’m attending the BCAMA Vision Conference for my first time and I’m looking forward to it. This is a different type of conference that I’m used to as it deals mainly with Marketing and will have a different type of person than I’m usually used to.

The next day I head over to Calgary for some special training. I’ve accepted a board position with IABC-BC and will be involved with their Dare to Lead conference. Saddly Tanya and Barry are on their honeymoon so I won’t be able to visit with them. This will be a quick weekend trip in and out so I’m hoping to get in as much as possible as I’ve never visited Calgary before.

In June I head off to Toronto for the IABC World Conference. As it is in Toronto, I’ll be able to connect with my family for a few short days before and after. I love Toronto (let the hating begin), and it’s always fun to go back home and explore the city further. That city is so big and every time I visit I try to find a new place or area I’ve never been in all my years living in the area.

Right after the IABC Conference, I head to Regina for the CPRS National Conference. Last year I was involved in the great successful run in Vancouver and I’m looking forward to seeing some fellow colleagues as well as PR professionals from across Canada.

So I’m going to be a very busy man in the next couple of months. I’m excited about the new possibilities and the new direction my life is going.

September PR and Teckie Events In Vancouver

Now that summer seems to have gone past (if this weather is any indication), we begin to look forward to the Fall which brings us a few events throughout Vancouver for both the PR Professional and the Teckie Professional.  The following is just  a short list of some of the events coming up in September.

The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) of Vancouver has 2 events coming up.  The first is the Stretching Out Summer – Season Kick Off Social being held on September 9th at George Ultra Lounge in Yaletown at 5pm. I’m actually excited about attending this and checking out venue. This event is free of charge.

Secondly on September 25th at 7:30am CPRS has their Speaker Series Breakfast (sponsored by my employer, Marketwire and Cision).  This breakfast will have Cathy Allen speak about Public Relations in American Politics. The event will be held at the Metropolitan Hotel.

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Vancouver will be holding their Annual September Kick-Off: Fall into Autumn with Professional Communicators being held on September 23rd at Steamworks Brewing Company in Gastown beginning at 5:30pm.

I always enjoy the IABC Events, so I’m looking forward to attending this one and running into some familiar faces.

For the Teckies a few more events are happening this month.

Launch Party Vancouver 5 is coming September 18th and will be held at Unwine’d.  For all those not familiar with Launch Party,

Launch Party Vancouver is a lively mixer for the city’s brightest entrepreneurs, tech junkies, and bloggers, who are doing it, have done it or want to make their ideas happen here. The goal of the event is to connect BC’s growing community of Internet and new media leaders with investors and other trailblazers across Canada and abroad.

You can register for the event via Eventbrite.

Of course we can’t forget BarCamp which will held September 27-28 most likely being held on Granville Island.  Based on their Wikipedia site;

BarCamp is an ad-hoc un-conference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees.

Currently the event is “sold out”, and you can register for their waiting list.  I’m currently on their waiting list, though I have been told I should be able to get into the event.  You can find out more on their wiki site. I’m excited about participating in the WordCamp and Photo sessions.

Of course there will be the usual Third Tuesday Vancouver and Vancouver Blogger Meetup scheduled in September as well.  This is looking like a busy month and I’m sure just the start of things for the remaining of the year.

IABC-BC: Second Life Event

Tonight I’m attending IABC-BC’s Second Life – A Communications Tool? event.

It will be interesting to hear what the speakers have to say as I’ve heard mixed reviews of Second Life over the past year. What might be cool (ok maybe just plain uncool) will be the virtual DJ performing via Second Life as well as one of the speakers themselves speaking through Second Life.

I will report more on my findings later.

UPDATE: Ok so I didn’t post about my findings, but here are some photos I took of the event. I’m still not sold on Second Life, but what the hell.

Setting Up Second Life

Talking About Second Life

Speaker Speaking Through Second Life