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A very brief guide:'How to get a picture that sells your story.'

By Giles Rocholl Freelance Public Relations Photographer and former Picture Editor, Yorkshire Post Newspapers.

'A picture is worth a thousand words'

This old saying is as true today as ever.
The first thing people read when viewing media are the pictures and many pages whether they are on the web or printed publications are planned around the images.
So it is very important to accompany articles and releases with images that relate to or promote the message you wish to convey.

The image should catch the attention of the viewer and encourage closer enquiry to the message or story behind the picture.

Once you have decided that you wish to inform your target audience of your message these following steps may improve your chances of success in capturing their attention to your message with using photography.

• Identify the media that your target audience already reads or may see.

• Study the images already published in the target media and decide which style will best promote your accompanying message.

• If the creation of the images needed for publication are beyond your skills to produce commission a photographer to take them for you. Some publications carry by lines for the photographers they publish and most photographers these days have their own website with contact details. Or contact the Picture Editor of the publication for recommendations of photographers to use. Check what format and image delivery the publication prefers. E.g. Formats: Jpegs, TIFFs, Prints, etc. Delivery: Email, CD ROM, hardcopies.

• Most photographers are happy to be part of the creative planning of a picture and will bring their own practical experience to achieve the impact desired. With a track record of success they know what images stand the best chance of working for you successfully.

• Expensive photography does not always guarantee success; carefully thought through and practical application of skills and efforts are more likely to achieve this. If using a photographer for the first time or working to strict budgets always confirm charges and full costs of photography before booking a photographers time. A written brief with an outline of what is expected from the shoot is appreciated by the photographer and stops any misunderstandings that could occur otherwise.

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