Digital Photos for Salon PR – Ready for Prime-Time?

Photos are Everything for Salon PR

If you are headed for an industry show here are a few photo tips for getting good editorial shots with your digital snapshot camera.

Occasionally, we (or the magazines) get emails with photos that are simply too pixel-lean … too small.  They look fine on a computer screen at 72-100 pixels per inch (ppi) but that is at most a 3″ wide print and it’s fuzzy, pixelated and unusable.

As you get ready to take pictures during an industry show, here are a few rules of thumb for getting good digital snapshot camera images for editorial use.

  • Set your camera to create images at a minimum of 1200 x 1800 ppi (approx 4″x 6″ print size at 300 dpi). More is better of course, but this number is safe. You can always eliminate excess pixels for web use, but you can’t add them after the fact to gain improved print quality.
  • Most smaller snapshot cameras have limited flash capability. Keep your people groups small (3-6 people). Don’t expect your flash to evenly illuminate a wider area than that. A good distance between camera and subject(s) is between 8-12 feet.
  • Outdoors, or on a show floor, set your camera flash to always flash. This compensates for bright areas (spotlights, bright booth backgrounds, etc) that can fool your camera’s light meter leaving your subjects faces dark and/or shadowed. (Here’s a photo taken for Beauty Fashion Magazine of an in-store Paco Rabanne promotion. The store lighting was enough to illuminate and without forcing the flash the people faces would be muted and dark)
  1. Take 2 or 3 photos of the same shot. Avoid discovering later on that someone in your group has their eyes half-lidded in the middle of a blink on the only shot you have. Here’s your worst nightmare. no forced flash and the subjects are all half-lidded with the background lighting overpowering the camera’s light meter. Yipes! Don’t let this happen to you. 🙁

  2. Write down the names (check spellings) and titles of who is in your picture. Pictures need captions and editors most often want to ID the people in the picture.That’s it. See . . .painless.

Here’s a resolution chart

Pixels to Prints — Minimum Resolution Guidelines

Print Size

Pixels for 300 ppi

4 x 6 inches

1200 x 1800

5 x 7 inches

1500 x 2100

8 x 10 inches

2400 x 3000

11 x 14 inches

3300 x 4200

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