We did a quick shoot at Webnow (www.webnow.co.za) - the guys I use for my nifty newsletters, which you should be subscribing to, by the way - yesterday. Basically the brief was to shoot Jean-Pierre, the CEO, to get some imagery for general PR and media purposes. It's a funky, trendy company, so the images needed to reflect that.
Now this just made me very aware again of the need of companies to get a decent profile of media friendly images together for their respective MD's, CEO's, Managers and all who will have some media exposure. I cringe every time I see a photo in a business magazine grabbed while at a party by a mate (because I wasn't looking at the camera, and it looks friendly), or while making a speech of some sort (grabbed by the event photographer from below, showing podium, powerpoint presentation, and oh, a pic of some indiscernable figure, basked in all colours of light), or the latest fad: the company bought a nice new camera for these purposes and my secretary will quickly take a pic for us. Because of the inherent damage such a pic will do to your press release, I must implore you not to go that route. Why not actually manage or even control the image you put forth? Magazines will be forced to search for ANY image of you if you don't supply decent imagery with your press release.
You need to remember, magazines don't just need mug shots. They need some creative options: i.e. image with copy-space, headline space, mast-head space (if you get cover you know) etc etc. Designers like cropable pictures as an option.
Now, this call goes out to all companies: spend the money (and really, this isn't megabucks we're talking here) and get a decent profile of your people. Magazines are so much more likely to accept your submissions from you or your PR company if you have good imagery to go along with it, in a media-friendly format: (300 dpi, correct size, Adobe RGB colour space etc). Also, your newsletters, blog and Plaxo Avatar will just look so much more slick with a nice portrait.
Yes, photography will bring value to your brand. Just look at what all the big names are doing. Do not be caught unawares.
Now back to BTS talk:
We had 2 hours to shoot and get a couple of options. So strobists: it had to be my 2 Speedlites, brolly and bare, Elinchrom Skyport and trusty 5D to do the job. Oh, and Jeremy, also now affectionately known as Mary (or Mark) Poppins, because of his constant frolicking around with umbrellas. (Thanx for that Kanya...)