Although the history of the PA Photocall service goes back further under the guise of PA Hostpics and indeed PA Photos, this month sees the 3rd anniversary of the PA Photocall name.
So along with blowing out birthday candles and wearing a big ‘I am 3′ badge we thought it was as good a reason as any to have a look back over the last three years & what we’ve been doing.
Three years might not seem a long time, but since our relaunch as PA Photocall in Oct 2006, there’s been some big changes in press & PR.
We’ve seen the londonpaper come, and go, a complete redevelopment of the the concept and content of newspaper websites, an industry shaking recession and the explosion of social media – Facebook in it’s modern form is only about a week older than us, while twitter was still known as ‘twtrr’ and had about as many users as vowels..
But however the industry has changed, photos remain important. Video & moving image has become more accessible and that’s something we’ll be doing more of next year. But great photos retain the ability to cut through complex information and campaigns, and convey stories in a way people intuitively respond to.
Our first PA Photocall commission was to photograph a giant cheese board. However random that might seem, I look at that shot 3 years later & it still stands up; bright, simple, quirky, fun. Any new PR shot that does the same will always have a good chance of succeeding.
Is it harder to get PR pictures into the newspapers now than it was 3 years ago? Yes and no. There’s more pictures around now than ever before & technology makes them easier and quicker to take & distribute. As a result the papers have become more demanding, a celebrity just standing there in a branded t-shirt isn’t going to do it anymore. But good launches, stunts, events and news, where the picture has been an integral part of the activity rather than just tacked on at the end are still in demand. In an age where papers are employing less & less staff photographers, PR photos are important again.
Looking through the files I also see later that first PA Photocall week in October 2006 we also photographed the Sugababes. Three years on the Sugababes have just announced another line up change, yet in a strange way remain exactly the same. There’s something similar with good PR photography. To a certain extent the more things change, the more they stay the same.
However they’re taken or however they’re distributed, or however they’re seen, at the end of the day the quality of the pictures & the ideas behind them are still the most important thing. Here’s to the next 3 years!
Post by Tim Kerr (Director & Picture Editor of PA Photocall)