Product Photography – how to gain those extra column inches

“Good photography is the key to extra column inches…”

We asked Jon Barrett, a well respected editor of various B2B trade magazines, about the importance of good product photography in ensuring your product is featured.

As professional product photography is often seen as a luxury, marketing budgets don’t always allow for it, but as you’ll see, it’s an investment well worth making.

Here are Jon’s tips:

Firstly be aware that on news and product pages, for example, your press release could be competing with hundreds of others. If the editor is faced with two stories of equal merit, they will naturally gravitate to the one with the best image. Good pictures add value to the story and improve the magazine’s aesthetic appeal.

Regular photo shoots are important because no editor wants to publish the same photo twice. If you’ve got a new story, take a new picture to support it.

Editors are always looking for quality front cover images. By investing in professional product shots (with the right lighting and use of colour) you could be in the running for the cover. Simply buying a digital camera doesn’t make you a professional photographer.

Remember, if it was your magazine, which images would you publish? Exactly, so don’t let an excellent, well written story by undermined because the supporting photography is sub-standard.

Jon’s view on best practice when working with the media:

  • I prefer images to be sent with product and news stories
  • It isn’t necessarily good practice to ask busy editors to find the images themselves, either on a website or via a link on the email. This simply adds extra work to the news gathering process
  • Also, the image you’re asking them to find might not be suitable anyway, again wasting time

Jon’s experience is that most photographs are landscape, whereas magazines are portrait. Ideally product releases should be supported with both portrait and landscape pictures with backgrounds, plus one cut-out. This gives the editor and magazine designer the greatest flexibility.

Other things to consider when weighing up the cost of the photo shot:

  • One shoot can create a large library of images which will provide ongoing PR support for many months
  • Vertical always makes the most of clients’ investment in new photography, using it in press releases and articles, brochures, presentations, exhibition display materials, on the website and in digital marketing campaigns.