How to use your photo in written materials

friday, 6 june of 2008

How to use your photo in written materials

by Trey Ryder

1. Largest possible face size. The size of the overall photo doesn’t matter. What draws people to your photo is the size of your eyes. Your eyes convey warmth, friendship and trust. You want your face to appear as large as possible within the space allowed. Crop the photo closely around your face. Don’t waste space showing anything below the collar on your shirt or blouse. You want the largest possible face size with the strongest possible eye contact.

2. Don’t enlarge the photo. You want the finished size of your cropped photo to be smaller than the same image in the photograph itself. When you enlarge the image, your face gets grainy and you lose definition. The image you use from the actual photograph should start out bigger than the resulting image you print in your materials. In most cases, a 5” x 7” photograph is all you need. But if you want a larger image than you get from a 5” x 7”, start with an 8” x 10” photograph and then reduce it down to the finished size you want.

3. Print at the finest screen possible. Before they can be printed, photographs must be converted to screens, which means the entire photograph is converted to a pattern of tiny dots. If you look closely at a newspaper photograph (with the naked eye or under a scope), you can see that the photograph is actually a dot pattern.

Newspapers often print photos with an 85- or 100-line screen. This means the photo’s resolution is 85 (lines of) dots per inch, in the same way that a laser printer might print at 600 or 1200 dots per inch. When you look at an 85- or 100-line screen in the newspaper, you can see the dots that make up the photo.

When you go to a commercial printer to print your brochure or educational materials, you can get him to print your photo at 133- or 150-line screen. These screens result in clean, crisp photographs. Always ask for the highest screen the printer can print because the higher the number, the sharper your photo’s resolution.

4. Put a border around your photo. Because your photograph has been screened, all four edges of your printed photo will be made from the ends of the rows of dots. If you look closely, this often results in your photo having uneven, choppy edges. To avoid this uneven result, put a line border around your photo. Then the dots will merge into the border, resulting in a crisp, clean appearance.

5. Keep copies of your photo on file and on computer. If you conduct a publicity campaign, some media may want an actual photo for their files. Others may prefer you send your photo by e-mail. Make sure you have both available so you can respond promptly when someone requests your photograph.

CONCLUSION: Few elements in your marketing are as important as your photo. Make sure you get a good marketing photograph with strong eye contact and a warm, engaging smile. This creates a sense of relationship with your prospects. Often, that sense of relationship - the feeling that prospects already know you and trust you - causes prospects to choose you over all other lawyers.

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© Trey Ryder

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