Local papers and magazines are always on the look out for interesting photographs. If you have a Count On story to tell, the chance of it being used will increase if it is sent out with a picture.
Firstly, think what would make a strong picture.
How to select and brief a photographer
Unless you know of a good, reputable photographer who is used to taking press shots, the best option is to call the local paper and ask for his/her recommendation. Using their contacts you are certain to get someone who understands both your needs and that of a paper or magazine. A reasonable photographer will charge upwards of £50 for their time, plus extra for materials and expenses, so ask them for their hourly rate first. Decide with the photographer what type of film the pictures should be shot on. If it is for a specific publication, it is worth calling them first. For example, local newspapers will usually want black and white photographs therefore the photographer will shoot it on negative film. Magazines however sometimes prefer to receive transparencies (slide film), but can often work from prints too.
What makes a good photograph?
The photographer will have his or her own ideas about what makes the picture interesting, but try to give them guidance on what you want too.
- Make it interesting. Handshake shots can be dull as can the giant cheque shot.
- Action shots of people actually at work/using props are more exciting than the static shot of children, parents or teachers.
- Try to include something branded so that your school name (on a child's sweatshirt) or the Count On logo is in the picture - but keep it relevant.
Sending out your photograph
Before sending out, attach a caption to the back of the photograph. This should give clear, concise information on the event and the people in the photo (from left to right), as well as contact names and numbers in case of follow-up enquiries or it gets separated from your press release. Do not count on having your picture returned.