Theatrical and PR
photography is truly a unique art. As publicists, we cannot emphasize enough how important great photos
are. It takes years of industry experience to know
exactly what type of photos really work. Below, is a guest post by our longtime friend and
top photographer, Bill Rich. In addition to new talent, his portfolio
reads like a celebrity who's who (see just a couple examples below). In this post, Bill offers some tips to help choose the best photographer for your needs and situation.
**** I showed my wife some thoughts I wrote about choosing a great
photographer and she said, "Booooring" -- so I said: "What do you want --
Choosing a photographer can be a daunting task,
considering there are over 100,000 professional photographers in the U.S., and
millions who claim to be photographers with cell phone and apps in
hand. Actually, that's a good place to start. Make sure your photographer is
professional, with professional equipment, a professional portfolio, and LOTS of
Make sure you like their style. Meet with them, or talk to
them. When you find the right photographer, you will know it. You will know that
you have made a connection with a photographer who will make you feel good about
yourself and capture your essence. This is a photographer who will guide you
through movement, breathing, thinking, posing and posture, characters and moods,
natural and joyful expressions, and very important, what you are feeling. They
are going to teach you how to take the reins and take charge of the shoot,
guiding you to access your best Self. You will leave your shoot feeling like a
This really is starting to sound like Quantum Physics.
Here's the easy stuff:
Remember, it doesn't matter how many shots you
take -- it could be 30 or 300. The goal is to make you happy with the
Headshot photo shoots range from $100 to $2,000, and higher.
Going with the least expensive photographer may waste your time and money since
you may have to re-shoot. You certainly don't have to go with the most expensive
You have to like the photographer as a person -- not
just like their images. This is the person you are going to feel comfortable
enough with to let down your guard and take off your mask to capture an alluring
image that the viewer can't get out of their mind. ****
The quote below (and video to illustrate) applies to all aspects of promotion today. Whether it be
your advertising or your media hook topics -- entertainment value and humor
are critical elements. If you can get people laughing, you will be far more
“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”
Whether you are an author, actor, speaker or entrepreneur -- the one factor in common is the need for publicity. Talent, originality and
creativity are certainly considered by the media. However, the most
powerful element in the equation for media success is "connections". If you
don't have any of your own, then you must hire a publicist who has them. This is the
same reason why actors, models and sports figures hire agents -- for their
connections. There is no secret media E-mail list or magic app for getting prime
media. Don't waste your money, it's not that easy. You have to know people, and it takes years to
build those strategic relationships.
Connections are vital in just about every industry (not just media). Below,
is a link to a great article on the power of personal connections.
We have been asked - what would make a publicist / agency stop working with a client? There are several factors. Remember, an agency's name and reputation goes with
the clients they represent. The quickest way to burn a top media contact is to send
them mediocre interview topics and guests. That's the primary decision making
factor for us. Are the clients giving us great material to pitch? If we have
provided all our advice and guidance, and the
client doesn't want to take it or won't put the effort in -- then why did they
hire us, right?
No matter how much we may like a client personally, we have to think of
our media contacts first. That journalist will interview many of our clients over time, and we can't compromise the relationship. There are other factors as well. The article at the link below offers some great tips.
Nobody ever said pursuing a creative career in writing, the arts, fashion or any other aspect of the entertainment industry would be easy. However, if
you’re considering settling because going after what you want seems too hard to
do, remember that hating what you do every day is even harder. The article at
the link below will give you some great inspiration and guidance.
Having a product or service to sell, or offering self-promoting info, is rarely viewed as newsworthy by
the media. In fact, most journalists view that as more appropriate for advertising. After all, they are not
in the business of giving away free commercials. If you want free publicity -- you will have to do something unusual. In other words, businesses and talent must give
their publicist an exciting story or topic to publicize. News
is what's "different." Below, is a link to an article by Sir Richard Branson with a great story to help get
your ideas rolling!
If your publicity efforts are successful, you will eventually be invited to attend elite events. If you are not used to mingling with high profile personalities -- these can be intimidating. The article at the link below will give you some excellent starter tips.
Successful firms all have the identical philosophy -- quality over quantity in both clientele and media placements (watch the short video below to hear how it works). Another tip - unless you are a major name celebrity, always contact the agency personally. Don't have a "personal assistant" or anybody else contact them for you -- it will just make you look ridiculous, and likely won't get a reply.
Wonder why you are not getting much engagement or business from your social
media nowadays? One reason is because hardly anybody is seeing your posts. Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram as well, extensively throttle their feeds.
Unless you pay a fee to "boost them" -- only a very small percentage of your followers,
fans or friends actually see your posts. The lack of engagement may have little
to do with your content, and much more to do with it simply not being seen. That's why mainstream publicity remains the most effective form of free visibility.
Whatever your career or field of endeavor -- the question above is
critical to success. It applies in your business dealings as well as your
interaction with the media. It is really never just about your knowledge or skill. When
working with an agent, publicist, casting director, lawyer, journalist or any
other industry professional, being likeable is a major factor. Be fun and easy to work
with, and your opportunities will expand accordingly. The article at the link
below explains it well.
"When my book on synchronicity, "There are No
Accidents," came out through Riverhead Publishing, I hired R. J. Garis and his agency to jumpstart the
publicity campaign for what I knew could be a very successful book. Easy to work
with, highly professional, and with an obvious knowledge of the media and
contacts throughout the industry, R. J. immediately secured for me a variety of
high-quality appearances on radio and on TV that within less than two months
made my book a national best-seller. My book has now been translated into a
dozen languages. I've worked with lots of literary publicists in my time, but R. J. Garis took a broader view of what would work to get my book in the public's eye, and
so he was head and shoulders more effective than any of the rest. I recommend
him without hesitation." (January 13, 2016)