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Tuesday Tips: Picture-Perfect Photo Ops

by guest blogger Sodelba Alfaro

How many times have you coordinated a photo op for a client only to end up with unusable images? Poorly lit, out of focus, or, the PR pro’s worst nightmare, photos that don’t include your client or their event signage! Below are some tips to ensure none of that happens when you’re in charge of the photography.

Focus your photographer
Establish a relationship with a professional photographer and provide meticulous instructions for each client photo shoot. Of course, it’s advisable to be onsite for oversight as well. Press credentials ensure your photographer gets in.

Prepare a “shot” list
With your client, determine the story you are trying to tell with the photos, the audience, the media etc. List the poses and pictures you need and go over the list with the photographer and other key attendees at the event.

Light well
The word photography derives its meaning from the Greek words to “draw light” and for a photographer, lighting is everything. If your event is outside, you will be blessed with Natural sunlight but many events take place indoors. When coordinating an indoors photo op, make sure to pick a room with high ceilings and plenty of space for the most favorable lighting.

Does everyone have their permission slips?
Bring the necessary forms with you when coordinating a photo op to prevent shooting delays or worse, the inability to use some of the photos you’ve painstakingly obtained! Release forms provide for participants to give their permission to appear in photos.

And, action!
Even with great lighting, photos can be boring without direction. Make sure you coordinate action shots which illustrate guests “doing” and not just standing around. If there is a speaker, make sure the photographer shoots him/her addressing the crowd. With a question and answer session, make sure the photographer shoots guests addressing the speaker. Action shots make media notice so make sure your photographer knows to make these shots.

Use a camera phone in a pinch
Did you end up at event without a professional photographer? Don’t worry, use your iPhone or Android device to shoot some photos. Make sure to clean your lens, steady your hands, and increase the resolution for a perfect phone shot.

Brand your visuals
A good PR photo op becomes a photo flop if the client’s brand is nowhere in sight. When coordinating photo ops, maximize your client’s exposure with shots of visible branding — step and repeats, banners, and even staffers in branded garb are good examples of visual branding.
What are your tips for a great photo op?

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