When describing my job to the uninitiated it generally goes something like this:
“Writing news releases, going to photo shoots, helping out on events.”
Going to photo shoots sounds by far the most glamorous and is usually the part that people pick up on.
“You have to be in the pictures? No? Well then, what do you do?”
It’s a good question; after all I am not a photographer and wouldn’t claim to have a great deal of expertise in lighting or composition. However at Orchard we’ve attended many, many shoots and studied hundreds of photos in the newspapers each day so we’ve built up a substantial knowledge about what makes a good picture and what makes a picture that will be favoured by the media.
Working with our bank of freelance photographers we strive to give the photos that accompany our news releases a point of difference. This means avoiding line-ups of men in suits headed for the business page and no cheque presentations for charity stories: instead we try and think differently do something a little more interesting.
Recently we came up with an idea to launch the partnership of Saffery Champness with local children’s cancer support charity CLIC Sargent by spelling out ‘CLIC’ using Saffery staff in bright pink t-shirts. This is not the kind of thing seen frequently in the local media so it had stand-out appeal
Ok, so we pitched the idea, but what do we actually do when we arrive on the scene? In this case I was on the ground with a walkie talkie implementing the requests of Steve who was hanging out of a third floor window with the photographer. The picture was fantastic but I was a little too close to the action – nothing a little Photoshop couldn’t fix!
Quite often photo shoots are just downright awkward. A recent one for another client took place on a roof. Not an easy flat roof as I’d imagined but one with lots of clambering required and a maze of technical equipment. In these instances getting a good photo requires lots of moving around and giving things a go until you find something that works. I managed to get into that shot too.
Not all shoots are so dramatic.
Most often I find myself in the role of photographer’s assistant by helping to carry kit or holding up something to block out unwanted light sources – like Chris did when we recently had some photos taken in the office.
So to get a great photo you need to:
1. Think differently
2. Be prepared to help out with the technical stuff
3. Have an eye for detail
4. Be invisible!
Posted by Chloe.