Wolf Craft - The secret ingredient to media success

In this month’s edition is all about *the most important* element of successful media outreach—photography.

You may have some photos, but if the backgrounds are distracting, the colors are weak, or there aren’t enough images, getting great press will be all but impossible!

Below are two in-depth tips for creative businesses, like yours, on how to get the right images for successful media outreach.

Q: As a surface pattern designer, what are the best example photos I can use in a media pitch? Pattern mockups, product photographs, or mix of both?

A: You definitely want real photos. Renderings aren't going to do it there.

This is a great moment for collaboration.

You’ll have the best chance at PR success if you show your surface pattern applied to something. For example, if you're doing something like fabric, maybe there's a cool furniture designer that does upholstered pieces that you can collaborate with on a small collection.

It doesn't even have to be for sale, it can just be for a photoshoot so you both have assets and you can spread that budget across two businesses.

This is also where the research part that I always talk about comes in.

What publications do you want to pitch? Look at how they've covered other surface pattern designers. There's probably like four kinds of images that they use. Try and get at least two of those kinds of images.

Using the fabric example, there's probably images of stacked fabric, images of upholstered pieces or the fabric in use somehow, images of it on a roll, and likely a few detail shots.

Whatever your contemporaries are doing that the publications are picking up is what you should do. This is speaking in terms of the types of visual assets you should make, not your actual creative work, of course.

Q: I feel like I need to start over due to inconsistency in my photos. I'm a jewelry maker and have a lot of one-of-a-kind designs. Starting over means I’ll lose the ability to show pieces that have sold.

What’s your advice about building a more professional look without seeming like I just dropped in the game yesterday?

A: It sounds like you've been doing this work for a while and you have an archive of images, but they don't have the consistency and quality that you're looking for, and so you want to get that consistency.

This means you already have a benchmark, a moment to move forward from.

If we were working together, your homework would be to go out and get a light box and get a tripod specifically for shooting your work.

Then do a bunch of test shots so you know exactly what every new piece is going to go through in terms of asset creation moving forward. You’ll basically be creating a standard operating procedure for every new piece before it goes to the client. It gets placed in your light box and you document it from three angles.

Setting this up means that in a year you're going to have all these new consistent assets based on your commission's and the work that you’ve made over the past year. You’ll look back and your website, Instagram, Pinterest, etc will all be populated with a whole new collection of work.

You shouldn’t throw away your archival work, but start to transition into the place that you want to go. Know that month by month you’ll update one or two elements until it all looks cohesive. This won't happen tomorrow, but now you have a clear path forward.

Eventually you can remove your older work or can even put it on its own separate archival page on your website. This way people will be able to see your growth.

Remember that this is all very normal for business, so it's not something to feel discouraged about, it's something to move forward with.

Useful tools to help you get started:

For small products like, home goods, self-care products, consumables, ceramics, jewelry, tech products, cards, and booksUnderstand the *exact* images you need to get press for your brand

For large products like, rugs, furniture, wallpaper, lighting, large artwork, and textilesUnderstand the *exact* images you need to get press for your brand

For residential architects & interior designers—understand the *exact* images you need to get press for your projects

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