Inside PR 3.35: Take Original Photos for Your Owned Content


We are all together for the second week in a row, this time for Counselors Academy in Austin.

There were bats, the weather was hot and humid, and Mark Wahlberg was staying in our hotel. Despite every effort to stalk him, I didn’t see him, but there was a sighting the last night of the conference, after I’d left. Clearly he was avoiding me.

As it turns out, we were there to actually learn. Because of that, I attended the pre-conference session about creating photos for your content.

As Joe points out during the podcast, most communicators use stock photos to clear a copyright, but it’s shocking how many use the same images as everyone else. When you create your own photos, the copyright belongs to you and they complement the beautiful content you’ve created.

The instructor, Paul M. Bowers, made a great analogy. He said you can write beautiful copy to describe a meal or a dish, but until you see it on a plate, you don’t fully understand how good it might be.

Photos appeal to all of our senses and, in his example, makes you want to eat what you’re seeing. The goal is to elicit feeling from your readers when a beautiful photo is attached to it.

He provided five tips:

  • The six inch rule
  • The rule of thirds
  • Negative space
  • Lighting
  • Foreground and background

During the foreground and background assignment, Martin served as my creative consultant. You can see the results (and other photos) on Spin Sucks.

As Joe says, “The world is full of interesting things. Why use an image everyone else is using from Creative Commons? Go out there and shoot something for yourself.”

Now armed with these tips, you can!


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