Tag Archives: media campaign

RIP Senator Specter

Senator Arlen Specter during hearings on Capital Hill ©2006 Daniel J. Splaine - All Rights reserved

Senator Arlen Specter during hearings on Capital Hill. This image is from my archive of client work.  Many of my photography assignements involved creating editorial images for public policy clients.  ©2006 Daniel J. Splaine – All Rights reserved

The news of the death of Senator Arlen Specter yesterday was noteworthy for a few reasons.  First and foremost the nation has lost a long serving and capable public servant. His death also marks the end of another era in American political life.  The senate he served in was once a place of civility and high-minded pursuit of effective public policy.  Today it is all about dogma and disparagement  Moderate northeastern Republicans like Specter, offered a counter balance to more extreme right and in my opinion we all benefited from that middle road.

Specter was tough and pragmatic, with a political career that began with the Warren Commission and ended with the Tea Party.  In my photography career I was able to photograph and observe the senator in action on a couple of occasions. What I recall most from watching in the Senate hearing room was his intensity and his no-nonsense approach.  We would be well served as a nation if we had more like him.  Agree with him or not, the man always earned respect. RIP sir.

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Photos equal engagement

Social media marketing research is only confirming what I have known all along – if you want to get attention use photography. 

Photography, especially well produced professional photography has always been an attention getter for business communications.  Good images always attract eyeballs.  In social media marketing photography makes your message stand out and increases your engagement.

If you goal is to gather as many likes, comments and shares of your posts the best tool you have is photography.   Build your, brand, amplify your message and increase your engagement rate with your online audience by including photography with all of your posts.

What kind of photos work best?

Adding photos to your posts increase engagement rates. Photo ©2010 Daniel J. Splaine - www.testoftimephotography.com

Photography builds engagement with your social media audience. This random photo from my archives most likely caught your attention and may have motivated you to read my post. Contact me at info@testoftimephoto.com for more information on my commercial photo services and how you can use my photography in your business communications.

The quality of the images you use will impact your rate of engagement.  Certainly a snapshot from your cell phone will be better than a simple text post but an original high quality photograph is more effective.  Include images that will grab the viewer’s attention, that feature your products and services and that tell your narrative.  Technical flaws distract viewers and leave a negative impression.

Consider the value of investing in the services of a professional photographer to produce your image archive.  A professional headshot for your online profiles is an essential first step in your online marketing and personal branding.  Event photography, product shots, and promotional photography will look its best when done by a pro and not as a DYI project.  If your goal is to build your audience, use original and interesting photography created by a pro.  The old cliché’ “A picture is worth a thousand words” rings true today.  It also worth many likes, clicks and increased Edgerank.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Photographer and photo educator Dan Splaine has more than thirty years experience producing photography for public relations, marketing and editorial clients. His company TEST of TIME PHOTOGRAPHY based in Nashua, NH provides commercial photography services in studio and at client locations all over the world. He presents a program of digital photography workshops and photography tours for adults throughout New England.

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Environmental Portraits for business

Environmental portrait of Chef in Kitchen by photographer Dan Splaine of Test of Time Photography in Nashua, NH. ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine

Environmental portraits present the subject in a context and the visual information presents the subject with more impact. Photographer Dan Splaine is an expert at location portraiture for editorial and public relations productions. This image of a Chef in the kitchen is an alternative to a standard studio portrait that editors will readily use. ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine – All rights reserved


Studio vs. Location portrait session – Editorial style ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAITS

A professionally photographed business portrait is an important weapon in your promotional arsenal.  At the least a headshot or profile type image is a basic requirement for business professionals.  This type of portrait is typically used in sales letters, business cards and online profiles as a method to build your professional identity. Headshot photography sessions are usually conducted in the studio with the subject placed in front of a neutral background.

Consider having an environmental style portrait made in addition to the studio portrait. Environmental portraits are made at the client location which serves as the background for the portrait sitting.   Placing portrait subjects in the context of a location adds impact to business portraits. Flip through your favorite business magazine and you will see how these editorial style images present people in more dynamic and dramatic setting.

Why would you need more than a studio portrait?  Profile photos are useful for many publications; however having different styles of business portraits made allows you to capitalize on public relations opportunities as they occur.  Editors and webmasters are always seeking high quality and interesting content.  Providing an environmental portrait with your press releases and announcements will gain a higher rate of publication.

An environmental portrait adds visual information that informs the viewer about you. Photographer Dan Splaine is an expert at creating these custom portraits in locations as diverse as tropical rainforests to corporate boardrooms.  Your studio portrait is a good presentation; your environmental portrait is a complete narrative.  Let us tell your story in images book your editorial style business portrait session today.

For complete information about our business photography and portrait services go to the Test of Time Photography website or contact us at info@testoftimephoto.com.

Environmental portrait of Veterinarian in surgery by photographer Dan Splaine of Test of Time Photography in Nashua, NH. ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine

Environmental portraits present the subject in a context and the visual information presents the subject with more impact. Photographer Dan Splaine is an expert at location portraiture for editorial and public relations productions. This image of a Veterinarian in a surgical suite is an alternative to a standard studio portrait that editors will readily use. ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine – All rights reserved.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Photographer Dan Splaine has more than thirty years experience producing high quality images for corporate, institutional, and individual clients.  A location and live action specialist, he is most noted for his images of people. His corporate assignments and photography projects have taken him to dozens of countries and settings as diverse as tropical rain forests to the halls of the US Congress.  In addition to photography services he presents a full program of digital photography workshops and photographer yours throughout New England and internationally

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Radio interview with Kevin Willett – FRIENDS of KEVIN RADIO SHOW 11-27-2011

Take a few minutes to listen to my radio interview with Kevin Willett from his FRIENDS of KEVIN RADIO SHOW on WSMN 1590 radio in Nashua, NH on November 27, 2011.  It was a great conversation and a nice chance to share some of my history as a photographer and the genesis of TEST of TIME PHOTOGRAPHY.

To check out the interview click hereFRIENDS of KEVIN 11-27-11 RadioShowAUDIO


Kevin Willett on the FRIENDS of KEVIN RADIO SHOW interviewing photographer Dan Splaine of Test of Time Photography in Nashua, NH  ©2011 Daniel J. Splaine

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How to get more space in print and online – PR PHOTO TIPS

How do you get an editor’s attention?

The single most important element that will improve your company’s odds of gaining free column inches in print and online is simply to provide quality photography.  By supplying an editor good illustration with your press releases you will dramatically increase your publication rates. What do I mean by “good” photography – what sort of images are editors seeking?

Business portraits and headshots are basic requirements for any entrepreneur or professional and they are most useful for building your personal online identity and for marketing materials.  Publications will use this type of imagery when the format allows for it but these are not the shots that will be prominently featured.  They are great to have for straight news articles but are of limited appeal for editorial feature articles.  Provide  the publications you are targeting in your media campaign a reason to display your content prominently and in return you will gain free public notice.


PR photo shows action, tells "story"


Types of PR photos that get the editors attention:

  • Show your subject in action- have them actively doing something
  • Use photos that relate to your narrative tell your story
  • Environmental portraits that show the subject in context
  • Provide a good variety of views and a selection of different photos to choose from
  • Shots that are well-lit, well exposed and properly focused
  • Good product and facility shots
  • Unusual perspectives and compositions
  • Horizontal and vertically shot choices

Types of public relations photographic clichés that you should avoid:

  • The award presentation hand-off and handshake
  • Shots that are poorly exposed framed and focused. Technical flaws are a non-starter
  • Image files that do not match the publications submission specifications
  • Images that include people and property without proper photography release
  • Group shots that are arranged for a firing squad – up against the wall!
  • Amateur quality, low resolution unprofessional quality


Making photographs that get published rather than end up in the trash requires some skill and expertise.  Although digital camera technology is readily available, the results you get yourself may not enhance your professional image.   I would encourage you to consider hiring a professional photographer like myself to produce your PR photography.  Not only do I have the creative skills to make images that editors want,  I also understand the formatting, technical standards and release issues that you will encounter.

You wouldn’t consider someone who watches court room TV shows qualified to defend you in court, that would be crazy..  Why would you trust your public identity and the perception of you and your company to a casual snap shooter?

I have been producing editorial grade, public relations photos for clients, which have been published thousands of times during my career.  My objective is to create photography for my clients that enhance their image and provide a maximum return on investment.  Not only do my images make you look good- they add value to your brand.  For more information on my public relations photography services please email me at info@testotimephoto.com

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The power of PUBLIC RELATIONS photography-10 tips for building your “image”

Photography is an important tool for creating and building individual and corporate identity that is often under utilized, and from my point of view as a professional photographer certainly under appreciated.  Photography has always been an effective public relations tool. My experience goes back thirty years to the days of setting up darkrooms in all kinds of locations and hustling wet prints to the nearest wire service office.  Today with our powerful digital photography capabilities and the infinite requirement the internet has for content its value as a PR device has never been so great.

I would argue that all enterprises and individual entrepreneurs should incorporate photography into their PR and marketing programs.  Listed below are ten suggested ideas and methods for utilizing public relations photography to build your “image” and enhance your personal brand.

  1. Prepare a set of high quality photographs in advance to anticipate a media request or public relations opportunity.  Having some shot “in the can” that illustrate your products, facilities and key personnel that are ready to send will help you capitalize on unexpected  publication offers.
  2. Business portraits and headshots are essential for any entrepreneur.  Having a professionally created portrait of your company personnel is necessary in building a personal connection via social media.  The business mantra that “people buy from who they know “is still true today and your portrait online is a powerful method to become “known”.  These shots are great for business notices and identifiers for blog postings and other marketing material.
  3. Headshots are great for some uses but having an environmental type portrait will work best with editorial outlets.  Images of the person in their work environment or in a setting that adds information about them are better illustrations for editors.  Environmental portraits provide context for the person and more readily transmit a narrative to the viewer.
  4. Make the investment in professional photography services. Digital cameras are common and seemingly in every device you can imagine, truly anyone can take a picture. The distinction for the purposes of your brand is that snapshots will not enhance your image.  Professionally conceived and created photography literally presents you in the best light.  Hire a pro to achieve professional results.
  5. Provide editors and media outlets a good variety of images to select from.  The more options they have in layout and design choices the greater the likelihood your images will be published.  A mix of portrait (vertical) and landscape (horizontal) orientated photos, shots with negative space for headlines and copy and unique points of view are all appreciated by editors, so give them what makes them happy!
  6. Follow submission guidelines carefully.  Sending an image correctly formatted and prepared according to the publications requirements is essential.  Send the photography and illustration incorrectly and you will not get published.  Using a pro photographer adept with photo editing tools and familiar with the process can be critical to avoiding submission problems.
  7. Use images that tell a story and specifically match up to the narrative you are providing with the press release content it is accompanying.  Your visual content is critical to convincing an editor of your value for publication. Photos get stories printed and most importantly read so send out complete packages.
  8. Make sure to correctly caption and keyword  your images to take advantage of the SEO potential photography has as online content.  Image file meta data is searchable text that can be enhanced to maximize your branding and messaging online. Once again using a pro photographer familiar with this process will justify the investment in will add power to your imagery.
  9. Make sure you fill the frame.  Avoid using photography that has a lot of vacant area that makes the subject smaller and distracts the viewer.  Well designed and composed photographs capture the viewer’s attention so take care to use the whole image area well.
  10. Take chances with your photography and show unusual viewpoints and scenes.  Often a story will get published simply because the photography is so attention grabbing.  The same visual impact that gets the editor’s attention works doubly on attracting the viewer to your messaging.

I provide photography for business , shot either on location or in my studio facility in Nashua, NH.  My experience with public relations assignments and live action coverage has ranged from tropical jungles to corporate boardrooms.   For more information about PR photography or any of my other photography services for business contact me at info@testoftimephoto.com

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Samantha Brown’s PEANUT BUTTER diplomacy

I have to confess to being slightly jaded about the occasional celebrity that I encounter with my camera. It has been my experience that the public persona is often distinctly different from the one I see behind the scenes.  Occasionally a public personality surprises me and pushes back on my cynical expectations.

I recently was providing photographic coverage of and public relations support for the New Hampshire  Tourism Council 2011 Governor’s Conference.  The keynote address of the gathering of travel and tourism professionals was television host Samantha Brown.  Brown, a New Hampshire native, has been the presenter on several TRAVEL CHANNEL series and great match for the conference program.

Samantha Brown at NH Travel Council 2011 Govenor's Conference

Television host Samantha Brown with her peanut butter


As I photographed her speaking from the stage I really got caught up in her talk.  Her transformation from actress and novice traveler to the very confident globetrotter she has become was delightful.  What I really appreciated about her speech was her openness to the power of the experience of travel, how who you encounter on the road matters most.  Her sincerity and enthusiasm for the experience is what rings true in her shows and makes her a great host.

For more than thirty years I have had what I consider a supreme privilege, the chance to travel to dozens of counties and to photograph people of many cultures.  As I listened to Samantha relay her evolution as a traveler she revealed that same sense of privilege.  She talked about her methods for visiting a culture and connecting before the cameras start rolling. Quiet walks into neighborhoods where people live are essential for the discovery process.  She also presented her essential travel supplies including the all important jar of peanut butter.

Peanut butter is a handy snack that travels well but as I learned it can be a powerful tool of diplomacy.  Brown often shares her stash with the locals, constructing sandwiches with local bread and jellies and revealing the primacy of the food in the American diet.  Although the flavor is not often well received, the gesture works magically as an ice breaker.   Good old PB & J can build bridges across the miles and cultural divides with the very human experience of a shared meal.  I vow to never travel again without the jar of brown goo and the insight of Samantha Brown. Count me as one of her fans.



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My objective when making images for my clients is to provide great photos that enhance their communications and public identity. A powerful tool to maximize that effect is the inclusion of a photo caption with all public relations photographs. Why are photo caption so important? Simply stated, photo captions are the most read body of type in any publication.

For the photography client they are one of the most effective communication tools for getting a message out. A high quality photographic image with a well written and accurate caption is the cornerstone of any successful media and publicity campaign. The photo attracts the viewer and the caption informs their impression.

Captions will help sell your story to editors and will increase your chances for publication. Use the caption to explain the content of the image and why it is significant. Follow newspaper standards for the information to include. The five W’s and H rule (who, what, why, when, where and how) with correct identification of the people and items shown is a good starting point. Some description about the subject with basic background information will inform the reader about your organization. Be concise and avoid sounding like a commercial, be informative and accurate.

Digital photographs with captions embedded in the image file have the added advantage of becoming search engine optimizing tools (SEO). The text content of a caption becomes searchable content along with tags and links. Unlike traditional print media which has a limited exposure to the public (daily newspaper, weekly magazine) your images posted on website have a long shelf life, existing long after publication in website archives and databases.

A primary service I specialize in is “real time” event photographic coverage combined with press photography distribution. Correct formatting of images to press standards and the inclusion of captions increases the PR impact and increases publication rates. The return on investment in press kit images, business portraits and headshots that I produce is apparent in the results. I have provided this service from remote jungles to  the hall of congress and it has proven to be as adaptable as it is effective.

To learn more about my photography services and capabilities email me at dan@insplainesight.com. Let me know what is on your mind and how I can be of assistance to you.

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