The Perfect Shot

By Paula Cerruti

Getting Your Picture in the Paper

Planning a photo call is no easy job. Managing conflicting schedules, preparing briefs, booking photographers and arranging props are just some of the many considerations communications professionals will have to deal with ahead of the day. But what happens after the make-up comes off, the props are stored away and the photographer’s gone home?

Pitching a photograph to newspaper picture desks is an art in itself. We want to share with you some expert tips we’ve picked up along the way to help you get your photo to land on print.

Make sure it adds value

Above all, a picture needs to be newsworthy – a newspaper will hardly ever publish a photograph based on its artistic value alone. A good photograph is one that adds journalistic or informative value in some way, that is relevant and that has context.

Picture desks have developed a bit of a resistance to overly staged PR photos. Spontaneous shots will go much further than posed ones.

Keeping all this in mind from the early stages of planning onwards will help you get the perfect shot. Make sure you have briefed the photographer properly to let them know exactly what you want and where you want this picture to go – a photographer will not take the same shots for an internal newsletter than they would for the Irish Times front page.

Give the photographer enough space to work

Have confidence in the photographer’s expertise – after all, you hired them for a reason. Experienced photographers know what works and what doesn’t, and above all, they know what picture desks like.

Allow them enough creative space to work freely and to their best judgement: quirky angles, unusual poses, innovative lighting, prop usage – let them take the lead.

If it’s a high profile event, plan ahead and offer relevant publications a first look: they might send along their own photographers, which would then increase your chances of getting it onto the newspaper.

Time and format matters

Once the production and post-production is finished and you have your final selection of photos, let the photographer be the one who sends them on to newspapers. From captioning to titling and formatting, each publication has their own way of doing things. The photographer will know the appropriate formats and sizes for each publication or media outlet – again, they’re the experts, not you.

When it comes to timing, it’s very important to be aware of print deadlines. Know the value of the content you’re pitching – is it a strong newsworthy photograph that editors will jump over? Or are you not too confident it will get published? Always be conscious of the type of content you have and pitch accordingly.

To learn more about organising the perfect photocall, contact

We Create the





To Build Your Reputation