The Online Photographer, part one: Public Relations usage

Part one in a series discussing what it means to be a professional photographer in an ever increasingly online world. I’ve found this change to interactive online companies and organizations to be an opportunity for more work and exposure as a photographer… Commissioned work being picked up by news outlets.

One of the things I like most about having a blog is the freedom that words allow me as a photographer to express myself where photos cannot. The power of photography is the relevance they have to specific topics, subject or ideas. I’m lucky in that I have a steady stream of images of things that I find interesting to accompany the thoughts. A lot of bloggers, news agencies and marketing professionals have the challenge of finding images that match what they are writing about.

The new air ambulance for Wellington's Life Flight Trust is a J32 Jetstream with livery designed by Weta Workshop. Photo: Mark Tantrum

The new air ambulance for Wellington's Life Flight Trust is a J32 Jetstream with livery designed by Weta Workshop. Photo: Mark Tantrum

The image appeared in the Dominion Post newspaper and in the news website: Stuff:

Hard hitting news is thankfully still reasonably well covered by staff photojournalists and news agencies. The hard part seems to be for companies and organizations to get traction and engagement in traditional print media, and in blogs + online channels. Matching their ambitions of being engaging and having relevant content that’s specific to their brand can be helped by professional photographers. Employees can be armed with digital cameras and sent out to represent the brand visually, this is a great thing to do for certain situations, but does not always ensure engaging imagery that represents the brand well. Having professional photographers on call to complement this strategy is an even smarter move.

Paramedic Aaron Hartle signals to the missing diver during a rescue by the Life Flight Trust Westpac Rescue Helicopter at Moa Point. Photo: Mark Tantrum

More and more of my client work is producing content for the online space. I’m shooting specifically for professional websites as well as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr channels. Email newsletters are also distributing more and more of the images I’m shooting for clients as a secondary use. Public Relations or PR agents are also including bloggers as legitimate outlets I’m sending media selects to. During the Children’s Book Awards, 2011 – my brief included sending to Graham Beattie, a prominent NZ blogger:

Margaret Mahy and David Elliot accept the New Zealand Post Children's Book of the Year Award with publisher Jenny Hellen -Photo - Mark Tantrum

Link to BeattiesBookBlog, the unofficial homepage of the New Zealand Book Community:

Next week… how companies are using photos online to enhance their brand.

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