I’m married to a press photographer so there is no escaping in my household the value of images. As a journalist who has worked across newspapers, magazines and online, I’ve been trained to always think in terms of pictures asking myself constantly what images can go with this story? Although not every story will carry an image, a strong image can make or break a story. Here are some of the key reasons why:
1 It can make your story bigger
An image-led story will potentially take up more space in your target publication. If you have a poll press release that can be reduced to a nib (news in brief), including pictures that add to the story could make it into a page lead.
2 Online publications are often picture-led
Websites such as Mail Online require a minimum of five images to go with each news story so if your idea does not have images it doesn’t stand a chance of getting in. Whereas print has limited space, blogs can take (almost!) unlimited images if they are good enough.
3 The picture can become the story
A well-thought out and newsy picture stunt can become the story itself. Check out this one of a replica of The Kiss carved out of Marmite which got tons of coverage including a whole spread in the Evening Standard. Pardon the pun…
4 Don’t forget about the file size
Finally, think about the file size. If you are sending pix with a pitch then you can send small res files or let the journalist know that higher res are available. For online publications, low res Instagram pix are fine but if you are pitching to a magazine you will need high res (above 2MB). Anything less will look a bit rubbish in print. I’m currently writing the eating out column for Vegan Living, which is a glossy magazine. Each item requires a high res image to go with it so restaurants that can’t supply one won’t make the cut.