Pictures First

Most of my clients do not realize how important it is to have good photos of their products.  They should take note of a recent blog post by Nadav Malin president of, describes how the editorial process at architectural magazines is often driven by images. He writes:
This visually interesting project went on the magazine cover (over Malin's objection) even though it has questionable sustainability.
For me, the creative tension between beauty and green performance came to a head in 2006, when I began working with the staff of Architectural Record on their new magazine: GreenSource...

As GreenSource’s executive editor, I was the “technical guy” who could help make sure that we’re talking about sustainability topics in a meaningful and defensible way. I learned a tremendous amount from that team, beginning with the power of using images to tell a story. I had always been a words-and-data kind of guy, so when I saw how they developed a story by leading with the visuals, it really blew my mind. That was quite a shift from the early years of Environmental Building News, when we tended to write an article first, and illustrating it was sometimes just an afterthought.

At GreenSource it went more like this: Here’s the topic, here are the images, here’s how they’ll flow, and, oh, ok, looks like we can fit in about 800 words of copy, so that’s what you get to write.
This thermographic picture of the same project shows how the fins on the building act as radiators to leak energy to exterior. (Image:
Bottom line: get good photos, organize them so they are retrievable, and use them in your marketing.