Photos and Digital Asset Management

Courtesy of Ceilings PlusDon’t forget the value of a good photo in your marketing and PR efforts. An enticing graphic can prompt an editor to publish a story about your product. Strong photos often capture people’s attention much more quickly than words alone.

When acquiring photos for PR purposes, make sure you take photos at a high resolution so the image size can be modified for a variety of uses, both print and online. While “glamour shots” of completed projects are attractive, it is also useful to take action photos of your products and services. For example, a ceiling panel being installed, concrete being poured, or plaster being applied. (In addition to PR use, such photos are invaluable for training and continuing education.) Photograph your product from a variety of angles and distances. You may need a tight shot showing detail, plus a wide shot showing how the product integrates with its surroundings. While most photos are taken in a horizontal (landscape) format, take vertical (portrait) format shots for use on magazine covers. And take more pictures than you think you need so you can choose from the best when you get back to the office.

Motivate your sales reps and distributors to take good photos of your product on the job site and after job completion. One of our clients created a contest in which the sales rep submitting the best photos was awarded a high-end digital camera, and his project was publicized throughout the company and in magazine articles. The resulting publicity scored points for the rep amongst the project's architect and contractor.

Often the photos you need have already been taken; you just need to get them. Call the architect and contractor who worked on the project in which your product is used. Chances are a professional photographer has already been hired to shoot it. If you get in on the ground floor and split the cost of photography, you will be able to give the photographer your shot list to make sure he captures photos you can use.

Sometimes architects own the rights to photos of their projects and will be willing to share them with you. If not, you can often purchase usage rights for an image directly from the photographer that the architect hired.

If you have to take your own photos, coordinate photo shoots with facility managers. Consult with them on lighting conditions and the best time to shoot, taking into special consideration crowded areas with heavy foot traffic. When negotiating contracts with photographers, try to get unrestricted rights to use the photos for sales literature, website display, editorial publications, and advertising. If the photo is taken on private property, you may need a release from the property owner to use the photo commercially. You may also need releases from any people in the property, and even the copyright holder of any artwork shown in the image.

Many businesses are adopting digital asset management (DAM) as a standard practice, because managing images and other media assets presents unique challenges. Effective implementation of DAM streamlines the acquisition, storage and retrieval of digital media. In working with our clients, Chusid Associates has used programs such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom that are designed to catalog and optimize digital photography libraries.

Chusid Associates can help you with all aspects of your photography needs, including organizing photo shoots, photo acquisition, digital asset management, writing photo captions, and submitting photos to editors.

Photos Courtesy of Ceilings Plus