August 17, 2007 2:20 pm

People are visual creatures by nature. The show-me-don’t-tell-me line of thinking translates into invention publicity shots as well.

Last entry, we discussed how to write a good press release. Let’s say you are lucky enough to get a phone call from an editor who wants more information about your idea. A good, high-quality publicity photo could be very helpful.

With these ten easy tips, you can attempt to show your invention in its best light:

  1. Focus on your invention. We know you’re beautiful, but unfortunately, an editor is interested in seeing your invention, and not necessarily you. If your product can’t be easily understood in a still photograph, have someone take your picture while you demonstrate how to use your invention.
  2. Remember, the content of your photo should be appropriate for publication in a newspaper or magazine!
  3. If you’re using a 35-mm camera, choose a 400-speed film. This film works well in most lighting conditions.
  4. If you’re using a digital camera, set it at the highest possible resolution. This will result in a large, high-quality image. Do NOT send computer printouts or Polaroids. Send the images as a CD or via e-mail. If you mail the photos, be sure to mark “Do Not Bend – Photos” on the envelope.
  5. Get close to your subject. Take the photo from a variety of angles and distances. If you’re using a model, be sure not to cut off his or her head!
  6. Take the photo outdoors on a slightly overcast day (bright sun can wash out a photo). Or, take the photo indoors in a brightly lit room.
  7. Use background to your advantage. Eliminate clutter. You want an editor to see your invention, not the stuff piled around it. And don’t photograph a dark invention next to a dark background. A simple, plain tablecloth can make a good backdrop.
  8. Watch your fingers and the camera strap! The last thing you want is for your favorite photo to be ruined by a blurry finger in the way.
  9. Be sure that the image is not blurred. Sturdy yourself by standing with your legs slightly apart, keeping your knees slightly bent, and elbows close to your body.
  10. Finally, be creative and have fun with it!

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