For corporate communicators brought up on printed publications, immediacy of on-line communications is a breath of fresh air. But just as we have had to adopt our writing style for net, we should also be thinking differently about how we take and edit photographs.
Why? Internet and intranet images are used very small Ė often no bigger than about 250 pixels wide. This immediately throws up a problem. On printed pages where we had a whole page to play with we could afford to be clumsy with our cropping and composition. Not any more.
Photographers should adopt a different shooting style for intranet, one that involves much tighter composition and adherence to common shapes that are used.
Take a look at your on-line news service and you will see that most imagery tends to be landscape shaped. The more enlightened will have adopted portrait-shaped images too, which seem to give viewer more to look at when placed alongside copy, while still leaving space for a decent column width for text.
But, with a few exceptions, I bet you donít use cut-outs, or full-screen shots that whack reader right between eyes. And you donít have too much room for picture stories that tell tale across about 10 images either.
So what we need is a single image that has impact, even when only two inches wide.
The answer then is to brief your photographer carefully about space you wish them to fill. If possible, show them a typical page or send a print-out. If you donít brief your photographer carefully how can you expect to get results you require?
If youíre taking pictures yourself then try to a) get a lot closer to action and b) compose your shots to maximize area you have. I have one consultancy client who nicknamed me ďPhil FrameĒ as apparently thatís all I kept saying to them! I donít care Ė message seems to have struck home!
But how can you compose your shots better?
The first trick involves heads. If you are shooting a group of three or four people donít just line them up, stagger them so that their heads are closer together. The same with a shot of a couple. OK, it may feel a little strange for them to be so close to their neighbor, but you can lose that irritating space between their heads and so come up with a tighter image.