Public Relations (PR) photography is a form of commercial photography with a news angle. A PR photographer is commissioned to create images for a business, organization or individual’s news usage. A well-crafted image can often elevate a PR story from a few column inches to a quarter or half page.

Communicators tend to think of themselves as wordsmiths, whether it’s writing press releases or thought leadership articles. Nowadays, the demand for photography and video skills are rising, given that nearly everyone owns a photography studio in the form of a smartphone. The question is how to do you take better pictures?

Yes, by all means, hire a pro if you possibly can. Professional-quality photos or video matter. Sometimes though, you’re forced to snap a shot. In a time of shareable images, the old style no longer works — grip-and-grin pictures of donors handing over giant checks.

Here are a few tips to assist you with your images:

  1. Get closer

The famous war photographer Robert Capa once advised, “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”

Of course, he also died on the job when he stepped on a landmine, notes Kristin Griffin of Kristin Griffin Photography. Given that most of us won’t be tromping across minefields, the advice holds for organizational photographers.

  1. Set the scene with your shots

Shoot from far away, medium distance and close up, say many photographers. This is essential with video but also matters in still photography.

Example: Shoot a high-level overview of a farmers market, a person at a booth in said farmers market and a detail such as a close-up of a child getting her face painted. With these three shots in mind you can really capture emotion in an event with just a few photos,

  1. Fill the frame

You know those photos where your subject is standing three miles away (or so it seems), surrounded by extraneous space? Don’t do that.

Apply the rule of thirds

  1. Photographers consider this a basic tip, but many beginners don’t know it. Start with your subject a third of the way from either the left or the right side of your frame. I will also share with you to look for the light and crop if necessary. KEEP IT INTERESTING and attractive. Remember: you are trying to tell a story. Ask yourself: What is it you are trying to say?

To learn more about photography and public relations, contact, for assistance.