I have seen lots of examples of stories getting published just because they have an amazing photo with them. Photographs make people stop and look. If you run a news-feed on social media you want it to have lots of interesting images in it to stop people scrolling. If you are a magazine editor then you want your publication to be visually exciting. When Lisa and I launched Promote Vegan we needed a good image to go with the press release. We were brainstorming with the photographer about ideas, such as getting us sat on tractors in business suits or photographed in baths of broccoli. They were good ideas but were going to take time to set up and we were on a tight deadline to send out a press-release. Then we got talking about a wedding the photographer was photographing that weekend, and the idea hit me – vegetable confetti! And that’s how Lisa and I ended up on the side of a hillside two days later at the break of dawn in near freezing temperatures having vegetables thrown at us. It was an absolute blast, the photographer was amazing and the resulting photos got us on the front cover of Vegan Trade Journal. If we had just sent a press-release without the image then the story wouldn’t have got picked up in the way that it did.
In the same way that you need to make your company remarkable, you need to make your images really stop people in their tracks also. Creativity beats budget every time. Happy Carrot Skincare describes their products as superheroes that will nourish your skin and care for the environment too. When I received the press images from their founder Victoria I laughed out loud because they were so much fun. Each of the pots of cosmetics were dressed in tiny little superhero capes and photographed – mid-flight – against a comic background of ‘Ka-Booms’ and ‘Pows’! It’s an image that jumps out at you and really captures the spirit of the company, and it was all done on a minimum budget.
If you make a physical product then it is important to have some good, clean images of your packs. However, you also need what are called lifestyle shots. These are photographs that show your product in use, or in everyday surroundings. It’s like the ‘serving suggestion’ images you might find on the front of a food packet. You might show your vegan cleaning product next to a gleaming bathroom basin or your vegan pet toys being played with by a happy human and their companion animal. Lifestyle shots are not just for companies that sell products. If you offer a service then get some great photos of that service in action. People eating in your cafe, you delivering your coaching with a happy customer, people doing yoga at your retreat.
And if your story is directly related to you then you need to have some good ‘founder shots’ taken of you also. Get a great photo of you in your kitchen surrounded by your product, or in your office with your dog sat on your desk, or just in a field on a sunny day surrounded by brightly-coloured flowers. Getting a good photo by a professional photographer won’t break the bank but will pay you back in spades. Or, if you have literally no budget, find a friend who knows how to use a camera and knows a little bit about lighting and pay them in cake.
Choose your best image and send that to the journalist, but let them know there’s more to choose from in a Dropbox folder or on a media photo page on your website.
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